Himalayan Journal vol.35
The Himalayan Journal
Vol.35

Publication year:
1979

Editor:
Soli S. Mehta
Index
  1. EDITORIAL
  2. THE STORY OF THE HIMALAYAN CLUB, 1928-1978
    (JOHN MARTYN)
  3. FIFTY YEARS RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT
    (TREVOR BRAHAM)
  4. THE PASSANRAM AND TALUNG VALLEYS, SIKKIM
    (DR EUGEN ALLWEIN)
  5. NANDA DEVI AND THE SOURCES OF THE GANGES
    (H. W. TILMAN)
  6. THE MOUNT EVEREST RECONNAISSANCE, 1935
    (ERIC SHIPTON)
  7. THE SHAKSGAM EXPEDITION, 1937
    (MICHAEL SPENDER)
  8. GANGOTRI TRIANGULATION
    (Major GORDON OSMASTON)
  9. EVEREST, 1976
    (MAJOR M. W. H. DAY, R.E.)
  10. LHOTSE, 1976
    (KANJI KAMEI)
  11. THE SECOND ASCENT OF LHOTSE, 1977
    (DR HERMANN WARTH)
  12. MAKALU, 1976
    (ANDERS BOUNDER & OTHERS)
  13. THE CLEAN-UP TREK, 1976
    (MICHAEL CORDELL)
  14. THE THIRD KOREAN MANASLU EXPEDITION, 1976
    (JUNG SUP KIM)
  15. THE HONGKONG KANJIROBA EXPEDITION, 1976
    (DICK ISHERWOOD)
  16. AVALANCHE ON SISNE, 1977
    (R. A. L. ANDERSON)
  17. DHAULAGIRI IV, 1975
    (KUNIAKI YAGIHARA)
  18. NORTH SIKKIM, 1976
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  19. NANDA DEVI FROM THE NORTH, 1976
    (H. ADAMS CARTER)
  20. NANDA DEVI SANCTUARY - A NATURALIST'S REPORT
    (LAVKUMAR KHACHER)
  21. A BOTANICAL SURVEY IN THE NANDA DEVI SANCTUARY, 1974
    (N. C. SHAH)
  22. AN ATTEMPT ON NITALTHAUR, 1974
    (MANIK BANERJEE)
  23. CHAMRAO GLACIER EXPEDITION-1977
    (M. DEY)
  24. CHIRING WE, 1977
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  25. KINNAUR-1976
    (LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALWANT SANDHU)
  26. BLACK PEAK, 1976
    (MANDIP SINGH SOIN)
  27. NILAMBAR EXPEDITION, 1977
    (RANVIR SINGH)
  28. POLISH K2 EXPEDITION, 1976
    (JANUSZ KURCZAB)
  29. A CRAWL DOWN THE OGRE
    (DOUG SCOTT)
  30. ISTOR-O-NAL NORTH I, 1976
    (RONALD NAAR)
  31. THE ASCENT OF SHERPI KANGRP 1976
    (PROF. KAZUMASA HIRAI)
  32. AFGHAN DARWAZ, 1975
    (RYSSZARD W. SCHRAMM)
  33. SWISS THUI EXPEDITION, 1975
    (DR ADOLF DIEMBERGER and HANS SCHIBLI)
  34. CLIMBING SHERPAS OF DARJEELING
    (DORJEE LHATOO)
  35. OF MOUNTAINS & MEMORIES
    (SITU MULLICK)
  36. EXPEDITIONS AND NOTES
  37. OBITUARIES
  38. BOOK REVIEWS
  39. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  40. CLUB PROCEEDINGS, 1976
  41. EXPEDITIONS 1975-1977

EXPEDITIONS AND NOTES

ON 14 July my Swiss comrade Peter Liechti and I met Heidi and Albin Schelbert who had just arrived from Switzerland, in Rawal pindi. Due to bad weather the next day we decided to leave by road for Balakot. From there we reached Skardu in a rented jeep via Bsbusar pass and Gilgit in 3 1\2 days,

20.7. After settling the formalities of police registration and purchasing provisions we were again on the move. A jeep brought us four miles short of Dusso where the Braldo river had flooded the road. In 2 1\2 days' hard walking we reached Askole.

23.7. We had to exchange our Dusso porters for new men from Askole. Two more were required to carry the additional 100 pounds of ata (local rye flour). We left the same afternoon and arrived at the end of the main Baltoro glacier named 'Concordia' after 7 days.

30.7. At the first sight of K2 our porters wanted to return- We paid them and kept only two whom we provided with boots and warm clothes. Now we had to carry equipment ourselves following the Upper Baltoro and the Duke of Abruzzi glacier.

2.8. The Base Camp was established at about 5250'm. The two porters went only to an intermediate camp on the moraine of the Abruzzi glacier where we released them the same day.

3.8. Albin, Peter and I started for a first reconnaissance on the SW ridge of Urdok I. After two days' snowfall and with the weather still looking not too promising we decided to change our plans and to climb Sia Kangri from the south-west instead. The weather remained bad till 7.8 with a lot of snowfall.

8.8. For the second time we plodded through deep snow towards the Conway Saddle and established Camp 1 at about 6100 m, 200 m below the saddle.

9.8. 'The lost day'. We made an unsuccessful attempt, traversing above the Ccnway Saddle on the southern slopes to the Sia Kongri South peak. A 50 m high partly overhanging ice-wall .'.topped our rush at round 6500 m. In spite of the spectacular view of the peaks of the Siachen glacier we returned discouraged and shifted Camp 1 to a small plateau, 100 m above the original site. Now everybody agreed to the route, through an open couloir which I had already proposed earlier.

10.8. At 6.30 a.m. we left for the couloir rising approximately 300 m above our camp. The steps prepared by Albin and Heidi the day before heloed us a lot, but soon) the hard work of plodding in deep snow started again. Higher up the route seemed without difficulty. However, we had to climb a steep slope covered with Schwimmschnee (very loose snow with a hard crust) before we reached an ideal site for Camp 2 protected by a solid serac at about 6900 m.

11.8. Jammed like sardines during the night, we were happy to leave the tent at 7 a.m. Unfortunately I vomited just after drinking a little hot Ovaltine. My stomach was upset due to the rapid climbing and bad acclimatization. It was bitterly cold on the SW face and I was forced to take off the boots and massage my toes. My comrades were better off as they all used special double boots. For a long time we could see the Sia Kangri summit above us but it took us hours to reach the highest point. Heidi was very little affected by the altitude and she broke the trail for a long time. We stopped for a short rest on the only rocks on the whole snow face, a few feet under the top. Climbing over the ridge and a steep hard snow slope with crampons we reached the Sia Kangri SW summit at 1 p.m. Standing on the watershed between Baltoro and Siaehen glacier we had a splendid view into China. The Urdok glacier originating from the slopes of the Hidden peak leads into the Shaksgam valley. Due to rising clouds and a strong wind we decided to descend as quickly as possible and not to cross over to the higher north summit. At 3 p.m. we had returned to Camp 2 and continued down to Camp 1 which we reached by dusk.

Sia Kangri from the Abruzzi glacier.

Sia Kangri from the Abruzzi glacier.



BRAMMAH II, 1975

Sapporo Alpine Club Expedition

By Kosaku Keira

THE ten members of the Sapporo Alpine Club left Delhi by minibus on 10 August, and arrived in Kishtwar on 14 August. Three days after that, we started from Kishtwar with 33 ponies, and on 21 August the Base Camp was established at the end of the Brammah glacier (3440 m). On 29 August, all members were in Camp 1 (3980 m) where we could examine Brammah II for the first time.

There are two possible routes up Brammah II, one from the west and the other from the east. From this point the glacier takes a turn towards the south, and the way to Camp 2 led up the easy glacier.

On 1 September, we established Camp 2 (4320 m) at the head of the glacier, and we could look up at the northern face of Brammah II from there. We decided to take the west route, because this long route had more possibility of success.

We eventually broke through the ice-fall that leads up to tin* west ridge. On 3 September, we set up Camp 3 (5450m) at the col on the west ridge. We traversed the snow slope on the northern side, and on 8 September, we set up Camp 4 (5800 m) on the northern ridge of the 8002 m peak.

A steep ridge and three rock peaks run upwards from Camp 4 to the 6002 m peak. Four days' struggle was needed to make the route and to set fixed ropes, as far as Camp 5 (5950 m), behind the 6002 m peak.

On 15 September, the weather was not good. At 4.00 a.m. the summit team (Yokoyama and Noku) and the support party (Kawagoe and Inagawa) started to climb. They climbed up the rocky and icy face step by step, and Yokoyama and Noku got to the summit at 3.00 p.m. They could not enjoy any view from the summit because of a snowstorm.

All members descended to the Base Camp on 18 September.

The team :

Kosaku Keira (leader), Akio Kawagoe (deputy leader), Isao

Tomita, Tsukasa Yamanaka, Hideo Yokoyama, Shizuo Noku,

Yoshimasa Chiba, Yasumichi Waaa, Yuko Hoshino and Kiyoshi Inagawa.

Our liaison officer was Capt. K. S. Sooch.

Two instructors from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi worked with us till 1 September.

North Face of Brammah II from Camp 2.

North Face of Brammah II from Camp 2.



Brammah II from Camp 5.

Brammah II from Camp 5.



ASCENT OF LESSER PEAKS : KEDAR VALLEY, 1976

By G. R. Patbordhan

IN 1967 I had to pay all my attention to the ascent of Jogin III. The lesser peaks in the Kedarganga valley were not studied well -an opportunity came our way in 1976.

We followed the true left of Kedarganga over a shepherd's track, crossed a few steep snow tongues, went across a big landslide and on 28 May pitched our base near a shepherd's shelter (12,500 ft).

Four days' rations were left under an overhang. Totaram was paid off and we started on 29 May with heavy loads. After the birch forest, there was a biggish land-slide; we went along its upper edge and had a breather. A stream was coming down from the basin formed by Pt. 19,600 ft and Bhrigu Parbat I. A high ridge connected Bhrigu Parbat I and II. The side was steep and a basin was formed below, from which a stream was issuing down, Manda was hidden by Bhrigu Parbat II, and Pt. 21,547 ft was sending down a ridge which was bifurcating towards the valley. On the arm towards us there was a huge rocky peak with serrated edges looking like a skyscraper. The other arm was joined to Pt. 19,710 ft. A hundred-foot waterfall was descending from the left. We walked to its base and established our Camp 1 (13,500 ft).

On 30 May, Ganga and Vaija went up a grassy gully and reappeared on top of the waterfall. They crossed the stream, cut ever two accumulated snow tongues and began traversing the side of the Patangini Dhar. The rock was rotten and they had to go very carefully. They reached the summit of Pt. 14,500 ft on the Dhar. They had a good view of the Bhrigu Parbats, Manda group and the huge spur. The Dhar was leading towards another summit of 15,500 ft but the rock was rotten. They could not make out any peak from Rudugaira valley as the mist had come up.

31 May dawned fine and cold. After breakfast, we packed up our ironmongery, rope and food and started for the rocky summit of 15,500 ft. A few steps were cut in a snow gully and we came to easier rocky ground.

The next day we crossed the Kedarganga to its right over a snow bridge and found the base of the ladies' Jogin III Expedition. We crossed to the left over a big wide snow-bridge and camped near the stream from the col.

On 2 June there was verglas everywhere. We started rather late. We went up steeply and found a big boulder and a shepherd's camp site. Kedar Kharak was below us. It was a good expanse of alp. It was surprising but there were no flowers ; the whole alp was covered over with lovely green grass. We had some refreshment near the sparkling stream and then followed the left bank of a bigger stream. High up a moraine ridge, there was a stone as a landmark. It was nicely covered with grass. We came to a shepherd's shelter. It was 2 p.m. and we decided to pitch our Camp 3 (15,000 ft). After a general survey we decided to attempt Pt. 16,500 ft which was on the Dhar itself.

After a heavy breakfast on 3 June we started at 6.30 a.m. The slope up to the foot of the horseshoe ridge was gentle, covered with a few stones and tufts of grass. The ridge was rather broad. Our ridge now had snow on it and we roped up. The snow was very hard and after a few steps we had to put on our crampons. The going was good now and soon we gained the top of the ridge. There was not a cloud in the sky. We had a long rest. We changed ends of the rope, went up the easy slopes and reached the summit at 10.30 a-m. We had a grandstand view of the lower reaches of the Kedar glacier and the whole of the Rudugaira glacier basin. We were an hour on the summit-had our lunch, built a small cairn and left an empty tin of pineapple behind.

On 6 June we were back at Gangotri.

We saw Kashmir and white-capped redstarts, blackbirds, choughs, jungle crows, himalayan vultures, wagtails, snow pigeons, yellow bunting, brahmany myna and king crows.

Flowers were not many. This year there was not much of snow and the valley gets a good deal of sunlight-I was expecting to see more. Marsh marigold, buttercup, monkshood, berberry, wild rose, saxifraga, rhododendrons, primula denticulata and wild strawberry were the only once seen.

Members: G. R. Patbordhan (leader), Negi Gangasingh ; Tota- ram P. Misra, Vaijanath P. Misra (H.A.P.s).

ANNAPURNA IV, 1976

1st Ascent of its South face

German Himalaya-Expedition 1976 on the occasion of

75-anniversary of the Section BERGGEIST of the German Alpine Club

By Pit Schubert

(Translated and condensed by Mrs Mary Guzdar)

Members: Heinz Baumann, Dr Werner Goltzsche (deputy leader), Ernst Mahner, Udo Pohlke, Dr Karles Van Saamek (doctor), Pit Schubert (leader), Rudiger Steuer.

THE south face of Annapurna IV has not been tried before. Only a German Expedition (1955) and later, a Japanese expedition, have had a look at the south face from a point many miles away. They thought there was no possibility for an ascent. The face is too steep and too many avalanches sweep down throughout the day and night. So they went to Marsyandi valley and tried Annapurna IV from the north. This was the German expedition of Harald Biller, Jurgen Wellenkamp and Harald Steinmetz. This expedition was the first to reach the top of Annapurna IV.

The height of the face is 5000 m. The glacier comes down to a height of 2500 m. The porters can go only up to this point. After this there are steep walls where the porters cannot go without fixed ropes. After considerable effort we at last found a suitable site for a Base Camp (3600 m). Camp 1 was set up at 4100 m and Camp 2 at 5020 m.

The way to Camp 1 was very difficult and dangerous. We counted sixty avalanches sweeping past in a single day. Between Base Camp and Camp 1 there is an ice-fall. The way to Camp 2 was comparatively less dangerous from avalanches.

Camp 2 (5020 m) was three days' distance from Camp 1. We thought we had found a safe place because it was against a rock wall. But 80 m from this wall there was a steep chute. Through this couloir the avalanches shot down with tremendous force. Beneath Camp 2 was a steep rocky camp which was made safe on 8 May. At its end were newly fallen snow avalanches, and blocks of broken ice. Next day when the flank was free from new snow, Schubert and Baumann could cross it to the next higher camp site. Since in one day over 60 avalanches swept by, the risk was considered too great by the others.

Since the monsoon was threatening to break, Schubert took the risk to attempt the summit assault in the swift alpine style. On 10 May they left Camp 2 to attempt the 2500 m to the summit. They agreed to let off light flares if the radio contact failed. Whereas the weather deteriorated at the lower camps, it was very clear above the clouds at about 6000 m. After reaching the material depot in half the time, they crossed the crevasse to the east and reached their tent at 5650 m. From this point, radio contact to the Camp 2 was broken. On 11 and 12 May they progressed 500 m per day; on 15, about 150 m. At 6800 m they found a level place to put up a tent. They saw the summit so close to them and were elated. They didn't know that they still had 4J clays to go. Because at this height everything appeared so close to them they did not attempt to hurry.

At midnight of 16/17 May they made the first attempt across the bare ice. A little to the west Schubert loosened a snow slab and was engulfed by the snow slide. Fortunately his comrade could soon find him but since the excavation of his legs took so long they froze (he had to be in hospital where some toes had to be amputated). Nevertheless, he continued the summit attempt. They reached the summit the next day at 10 a.m. only to realize that they were not yet on the actual summit of Anna- purna IV-it was another 150 m away. The fog descended, followed by a snowstorm and they had to return to the bivouac. The storm continued the next day and it was very cold. Food became scarce. They used their fuel only to melt snow. For seven days they had now been without radio contact. They had planned for a four-day ascent and a two-day descent- Now they felt they needed two more days to reach the summit.

On 17 May another attempt was made. They carried no loads.

Baumann had a pullover; Schubert, a down jacket. They shared a pair of crampons between them and a bivouac sack and each had a light-weight safety sack. But they could not reach the ridge that day. In the early evening they scooped out a snow cave. Next day, before sunrise they started again. Once the ridge was reached, each put on one crampon, and after three rope lengths they reached the summit at noon. It was so small that they just managed to sit. After 20 minutes they descended. On 18 May evening, they reached their tent. Schubert was in great pain- his toes had blistered and were blue.

The weather deteriorated and as they reached the first part of the spur an avalanche enveloped them. Schubert loosened himself from the rope and Baumann ran for his life down. All the crevasses were covered with wet snow avalanche debris and they stepped into a crevasse almost simultaneously. Within a few seconds, one saw the other disappear. Fortunately this crevasse had a ledge and as they sank in, their ruckssek got caught on the lip. When they reached Camp 2 they found some provisions and a tattered tent.

They realized that their comrades had already abandoned this camp. They were five days overdue. Since the team mates experienced such bad weather and avalanches they must have given them up as lost. It later transpired that the last porters had left Camp 2 only five hours before their arrival. The descent from Camp 2 to Camp 1 which was at 4100 m was difficult but secured with fixed ropes-but by now the ropes had disappeared. No one knows who removed them; probably the high-altitude porters. Thus with the frozen feet the descent was made mostly on their knees.

When they reached the Base Camp it was deserted. They at once proceeded to the next village. At Siklis, the villagers kindly brought them to Pokhara. Especially kind to them was Miss Laxmi Gurung and Mr Chinbahadur Gurung. On 26 May they were all united at Kathmandu.

ANNAPURNA SOUTH PEAK-EAST FACE, 1976

By Peter Cooper

ANNAPURNA South peak lies to the south of the main Anna- ** purna range and is connected to the latter by a long ridge. The mountain stands 23,683 feet high and the east face route is approached from the Annapurna Sanctuary.

In the autumn of this year a group of nine British Army climbers serving in Hong Kong mounted an expedition to climb this route. Prom a report written by a previous expedition to Annapurna South peak,[1] it was apparent that the east face had some technically difficult climbing on it, most of which was concentrated on a long snow and ice-ridge named Serac Ridge. It was because of this climbing that the route was chosen in order to give more interest to the expedition.

On 22 and 24 September the expedition set off from Pokhara in two groups accompanied by a total of 70 porters, a Liaison Officer and two runners, both of whom were also in the Army. After 6 days' march the expedition arrived in the Sanctuary and Base Camp was set up at about 14,000 feet, not far from the subsidiary glacier between Annapurna South and Hiunchuli.

Over the next seven days a possible route up the near side of the subsidiary glacier was tried but this proved to be heavily crevassed and severely threatened by avalanche from the slopes of Hiunchuli. It was not until 6 October that a Camp 1, on the far side of the glacier, was set up and occupied. In order to reach Camp 1 it was necessary to drop down into the main Annapurna glacier basin, go under the snout of the subsidiary glacier and climb up its moraine on the far side. Camp 1 was situated about half-way up the moraine at about 15,500 feet on a grassy spot near a stream coming from the upper slopes.

From Camp 1 the plan was to reach the further of two round- shaped cliffs (called left and right nostril) on the east face but after five days Camp 2 was set up at approximately 17,500 feet by the nearer of the two. From here we found that the route along the glacier below the left nostril was blocked by a wide crevasse and eventually a route was made over the ridge behind the left nostril and down to the foot of Serac Ridge. Camp 3 was set up here at 18,500 feet on 18 October.

During the third night of occupation at 3 the camp was hit by an ice-avalanche coming from the side of Serac Ridge. The tent was pitched on a rise above the snow-field and was thus only partially buried and rolled over a few yards. Nevertheless Camp 3 was moved further from Serac Ridge to a safe place. The Serac Ridge itself was a broad staircase of moderately steep snow rising in steps of vertical ice cliffs along its length. Although the weather during the expedition was mainly good the ridge was covered in deep powder snow and the ice was very wet and mushy. This made climbing both difficult and dangerous so it was with some relief that Camp 4 was set up at 20,500 feet on 23 October.

However the troubles were not yet over as from here until Camp 5 at about 21,500 to 22,000 feet (altimeter had broken by this stage) the ice continued to be in poor condition with a covering of loose snow on its less steep slopes. The route was eventually made and Camp 5 set up on a gently sloping snow-field at the end of Serac Ridge. The date was 31 October. At Camp 5 the Serac Ridge ran into the main face leaving about another 1,000 feet of climbing to the main Annapurna ridge. This part of the route gave the best climbing with short vertical sections of hard water-ice interspersed with steep hard snow. In its middle section the face was less steep but the final 300 feet to the cornicc did give some moderate climbing in deep snow. As there were three of us in the summit party, climbing the face was slow and a bivouac was used in a crevasse at about 22,500 feet the night before the summit bid.

On the morning of 3 November the summit party climbed easily over the cornice on to the main ridge to be greeted by a viciuis wind. After 3 hours' walking in the wind the group finally reached the southern summit of the mountain at 1 p.m. We stayed only a few minutes and then returned. Unfortunately the wind had a bad effect, causing exposure to two of the party even through their down jackets, and it was necessary to spend a further night at the bivouac before descending.

On the descent we discovered that the tent at Camp 5 had been blown away during our absence but after two days all members were safely recovered to Base Camp.

For a 1 but one of the members this was the first time that we had been to the Himalaya. Also, as we had no Sherpas, all the load-carrying was done by expedition members and the sheer hard v/ork of climbing long routes at altitude was brought home to everyone. The route was well worth doing and provided an interesting climb.

THE FOUR FROM GRAZ ON NANGA PARBAT, 1976

By Hans Schell

(Translated and condensed by Mrs Mary Guzdar)

On 11 August 1976, four of our climbers stood on Nanga Parbat (8125 m)

IN 1975; under Dr Karl M. Herrligkoffer, a team had attempted the SW ridge and reached a height of 7500 m. The amazing fact is that this route runs along the fierce left part of the Rupal flank which is the steepest wall on earth. We decided, on this route which from base to the summit is half as far as the normal route. Along this way there are few glaciers, though much stone movement between Camp 1 (5100m) and Camp 2 (6100 m). 16 expedi- tions before us had made attempts.

On 25 June we reached Rawalpindi and got our permission that very day.

Our aim was to make this attempt cheaply and without high altitude porters. Robert, Siegfried and Hilmar and the liaison officer left Base Camp with provisions to erect Camp 1 at 5100 m. We took porters upto Camp 1 and transported 18 loads in quick time to save 5 load-days. While I and Gerhardt went with the porters, the others went ahead to set up Camp 1. This part was mostly rock and ice. Ropes had to be fixed. Just below Camp 2 we found steel and perlon ropes left by Herrligkoffer's expedition. The way from Camp 1 to 2 was most difficult and dangerous. Soon after Camp 1 a couloir had to be crossed. At the site of Camp 2 we found some provisions, left by an expedition of the previous year. We, too, left some provisions behind, as also othu material.

Heavy knapsacks and deep snow stopped us 200 m below Camp 3. We fixed a simple depot there. Next day at noon we reached Camp 3 and added yet more load to our knapsacks. We now climbed in deep snow. At 7000 m we found some tattered tents. Whatever else that had been left behind was also useless. We erected our Japanese Dunlop Nanga Parbat tent, After the last, two days of strenuous effort, we decided to rest a day at Camp 2. In the evening a heavy storm descended which this tent withstood well. Next day the sky threatened worse weather and we decided to go down to the Base Camp. It rained heavily for few days and we were apprehensive that the monsoon had begun. We heard on the radio then that Pakistan had had dreadful flood:,.

After six days the weather cleared and we began afresh. By the time we reached Camp 1 the weather had deteriorated again and we spent a day there. At Camp 2 our Japanese tent could hardly be seen. Thanks to the igloo shape of the tent, it could withstand the pressure of the storm and snow. Next day we climbed to look for our depot which we had erected below Camp 3 but it could not be found. We lost the oxygen equipment, personal items and the bivouac equipment.

Anxiously we climbed to Camp 3 but could not find that either. We knew the exact location and after 2 hours' digging we located it under 2 m of snow. It was in a useless condition. We erected the American 4-man Bishop tent which was actually intended for Camp 4.

Next day the weather had cleared as we stood in front of our tent; a sudden gust of wind caught the tent and would have thrown it into the valley. Robert chased it and was able to grasp it. We had forgotten to fix it when erecting it, since it could stand by itself. This oversight would have meant the end of our expedition, because our food, radio and equipment were all in it. Our comrades plodded knee-deep to Camp 4. Although we had to climb only 500m it took 8 hours. Sometimes, we sank up to cur stomachs into the snow; we thought of giving up. Fortunately, ' v/e found a shelf at 7450 m, where we put our Bishop tent.

Next morning we started refreshed. As a precaution we carried mats, burners, snow shovels and bivouac gear, since we were still far from the summit. We had to descend a little and then cross some unpleasant snow slopes and steep rocks Siegfried; fixed ropes. We now reached the snow slopes which Reinhold and Gunter Messner had used for their descent over the Diamir flank. We slowly trudged up to 7700 m where we deposited our bivouac under a rock. On this day we could not attempt the summit, but we reached the place where the Messner brothers had bivouacked. We dug here a little depot. The weather was lovely and as warm as it is in the Alps, Thanks to the American sleeping bags, I had no cold feet and slept well. Incidentally, the European boots are not suitable for this cold weather.

We started at 8 a.m., assuming that we would climb the 400 m in a few hours. But a strong storm forced us to return. At noon the storm was spent. At 7800 m there is a combined rock flank which we crossed in a westerly direction for about 100 m and then climbed over snow.

It became quite steep until it levelled off west of the south shoulder at 8042 m. It was 7 p.m. and it became dark. Hilmar and Siegfried had gone to the summit ridge but could not proceed since the only rope was with us. We decided to bivouac in a rock wall at 8020 m.

We had only one bivouac sack and struggled to fit all four of us in it from our hips down. For our exposed upper bodies we put on sweaters and whatever else we had.

Feeling fine, in spite of the bivouac, we climbed over the steep snow ridge directly to the highest point of Nanga Parbat which we reached after about an hour.

We were surprised that we reached our goal on 11 August, exactly a month from leaving Base Camp. This was the 6th attempt on Nanga Parbat (by the Graz Mountaineering Club), which we reached by a new route via the Rupal flank. We were elated, Siegfried had just two days ago celebrated his 20th birthday and is the youngest to have climbed an 8000 metre summit. Besides none of us used oxygen.

We fixed a hook, given to me by a Japanese friend, into the summit rock and Robert fixed on to the hook his treasured yellow scarf. Soon after descending I was overcome with such exhaustion that I just wanted to sit in the snow. This must have been due to the high altitude. Many hours later I reached my comrades at their snow depot. I had to rest every five steps and reached Camp 4 rather late and even the further descent was as slow, as the ascent. I felt depressed and sometimes hopeless since my exhaustion increased. Only on 5 September did I reach the Base Camp where I felt in my right lung much pain. Throughout this time of exhaustion my comrades looked after me with much care and kindness. The pain lasted until we reached Rawalpindi 10 days later.

KOLNER KARAKORAM EXPEDITION, 1976

By Robert Wagner

AFTER preparations of three years the Kolner Karakoram Expedition, 1976, on the occasion of the centenary of the German Alpine Club Section Cologne, started for Pakistan on 14 July. The expedition consisted of two groups with 7 members each who had got permission for Canchen Peak (6462 m) and Haramosh II (6217 m).

After waiting at Rawalpindi, for three and a half weeks(!)- due to an unexpectedly strong monsoon and deficient traffic links to the mountains neither group could reach Skardu before 7 August. Because of the long approach march from Skardu to Haramosh II one of the groups had in the meantime got permission for Sosbun Brakk (6413 m) near Canchen Peak.

Both groups reached their Base Camps with 30 porters each after an approach march of 4 days. So the region of Canchen Peak and Sosbun Brakk was visited for the first time since 1939.[2]
First the camps were built up very quickly; but after one week the undertaking was interrupted by a long period of bad weather: Group I left behind Camp II (5390 m) on Canchen Peak; Group II didn't succeed in getting higher than 5500 m on the west-ridge of Sosbun Brakk. Under winter conditions both groups had to go down. Waiting for the return flight for two weeks at Skardu, the whole waiting time during the expedition was more than half of the time of the expedition itself.


Canchen Peak (left) and Hikmul (right). The Hikmul pass is on the extreme right.

Canchen Peak (left) and Hikmul (right). The Hikmul pass is on the extreme right.




Sosbun Brakk, South side with West ridge on the left.

Sosbun Brakk, South side with West ridge on the left.



PHUPARASH GROUP, 1976

By Raffaele Casnedi

THE 'Citta di Rovigo' expedition left Italy on 24 June 1976 with the aim to climb the highest unclimbed peak of the Phuparash Group (6824 m). The members of the expedition were Silvano Brescianini, Giorgio Chierego, Marino Lena, Giancarlo Milan, Franco Morelli, Milo Navasa and Gianni Zumerle with the physician Stefano Zanella. The geologists Raffaele Casnedi and Franco Secchieri, the geographers Paolo Faggi and Mario Ginestri, ind the zoologist Bartolomeo Osella joined the expedition with the task of carrying out scientifis researches.

After completing some business with the government authorities, the expedition left Rawalpindi with the Liaison Officer Capt. Knrooq Rana, for Skardu and then reached, by jeep along the Indus Valley, the village of Sasli. This hamlet is located in the Indus Valley about 170 km downstream from Skardu, at the confluence of the Phuparash and Darchan rivers; it was chosen as the only base for the climb, in spite of the great difference in height (nearly 5500 m) from the top of Phuparash.

The long delay in such an extraordinary hot spot (48° C) for finding out the fuel for cooking in the high camps and for recruiting the porters, caused intestinal diseases in several members of the expedition on account of the lack of potable water. Three members (the doctor too!) were obliged to leave the expedition for this reason.

The Base Camp was finally set up on 12 July at the head of the Phuparash Valley in a nice shady spot at an altitude of 3440 m. Two days later the first high camp was put up at 4300'm on the lateral moraine of the glacier which feeds the Darchan valley. The crevassed glacier was explored in order to find the best route and climbed as far as the head (5100 m), where the second camp was located on 17 July. From this place it was possible to see the tremendous southern walls of the Phuparash, exposed to sun- .shine and therefore beaten by a continuous fall of ice and snow. The wall, 2000 m high, in its terrifying beauty, shows a vertical ace at the base, and in the upper part, very steep, suspended glaciers which produce avalanches with extraordinary frequency.

An attempt to reach the eastern ridge of the mountain was unsuccessful; the climbers decided to head for another peak, the highest on the north-western ridge of the Darchan valley. This unnamed and unclimbed summit, nearly 5500 m high, appeared as a beautiful icy pyramid: it was reached by two teams of climbers by two different routes (north and east). The peak was named after the valley: Darchan Peak. The northern wall of this peak was climbed on 21 July by G- Chierego and S. Brescianini: they got into remarkable difficulties in getting over two large crevasses in the middle part of the route; the icy wall at the top of the mountain was avoided by going up the NE. crest. The ridge was chosen for the descent. The day after, the second team (M. Lena and F. Morelli) climbed the eastern slope of the Darchan Peak; after crossing the Darchan glacier the team went round an icy wall and then got over the steep upper face of the mountain.

Many difficulties were overcome during the return' journey along the Indus valley to Skardu: the rain caused a lot of land slides and the road was interrupted in several localities; most of the way was covered on foot.

Even if the highest peak of the Phuparash is still unclimbed, the expedition has shown good results as regard the exploration of the very steep southern slope of the Group. An easier approach must be considered by the north-western side, from the Hunza valley-still closed to foreigners.

The work carried out by the scientists was much more extensive and covered, besides the above-mentioned zones, many different areas of Kashmir as far as Nepal.

R. Casnedi, who had already made geological researches on the Karakoram under the direction of Prof. A. Desio, investigated the titure line along the upper Indus valley and the Dras zone Indian Kashmir), between the Indian and the Eurasian continents; this argument is one of the most exciting of the modern plate tectonic theory.

F. Secchieri surveyed, from the geological and glaciological points of view, the upper Darchan valley.

B. Osella collected many specimens of fauna of high altitude in order to point out the differences between the Baltistani and Kashmiri zoological peculiar rities.

Faggi and Ginestri carried out studies on the commercial activities of the most important villages of the upper Indus valley which underwent a deep change after the Partition.


Darchen Peak from the north east. ------ northern route.  .......... Eastern route.      Route  of descent.

Darchen Peak from the north east. ------ northern route. .......... Eastern route. Route of descent.



Darchen Peak from the southeast, showing the eastern route.

Darchen Peak from the southeast, showing the eastern route.



EXPEDITION VIZCAINA TO TIRICH MIR WEST IV, 1976

By Agustin Castells


WE left Bilbao (Euskadi) on 3 July. It was a little late but some last minute problems like examinations forced us to wait until that date.

Ahead of us, 10,000 kilometres to Pakistan. We had no time to lose. Day and night we travelled in our two jeeps through Europe and Asia, and in eleven days we reached Islamabad,

Everything was like a quick mid-summer dream which we wouldn't realize until we had lived through it.

Anyway, by 14 July the nine members of the expedition were in Pakistan, making the last arrangements with the Government to get the final permit to climb Tirich Mir West IV, (7338 m) climbed only once in 1984 by Kurt Diemberger.

19 July-We've got the permit and "can't wait any more-that very night under heavy monsoon rains we leave for Dir, 540 km to the north.

At last, our dream starts to come true and the first wooden houses of Dir are in front of us. In Dir, we leave our vans and take smaller jeeps for the narrow tracks to Chitral and Mulkoh. These narrow tracks are one of the most exciting experiences of the expedition. Luckily, in two days we reach the roadhead safe and sound-Mulkoh-its apricots, the best in the world.

From here, we have an approach march with 60 porters to the Base Camp. There is no problem at all with the first day's porters but next day we have to change the porters and the new ones are far more expensive, as they charge us three times the price allowed by the Government. After a day of we agree with them and in three more days we set our Base Camp at a height of 4700 metres.

The Base Camp is not a beautiful green meadow as we had been told but doubtless it's the best place in the area. One hundred metres over the glacier and with the range of the Tirich Mir North in front-we wouldn't change it for the best Hilton.

On 30 July, we start putting up Camp 1 at a height of 5050 m. The first few days are hard. With no high-altitude porters (our finances didn't allow it) all the load must be carried by the members. Sometimes we envy our liaison-officer comfortably resting at the Base Camp.

But little by little we feel better and soon Camp 1 is ready so we can start on the next camps.

In Camp 1 there is an Iranian expedition coming down from the Main Tirich Mir. They tell us about the condition of the glacier. Crampons will not be needed till the base of the Tirich Mir West IV wall which is good news for us. 4 August-we set up Camp 2 at 5600 m. This will not be a real camp to stay in as the strong winds and the frequent opening of crevasses makes life very uncomfortable in it. We'll use it as a depot for material, sleeping every night at Camp 1, which from now on will be our new Base Camp.

On 7 August, Camp 3 is reached at 6050 m, two hundred metres in front of the wall.

For the first time, we see the SW. wall of Tirich IV completely. One thousand two hundred metres of rock and ice that will be our home for the next few weeks. We discuss the way to follow, from the bottom it doesn't seem so hard as it eventually turned out to be. Our goal is in front and we stare with fascination at the virgin wall.

Trying to watch the wall from different points and to improve acclimatization, two members of the team climb a peak near camp 3 the name of which we are not quite sure but suppose it to be Achar Zom (6132 m).

The following week we equip Camp 3. The work is getting harder and harder because apart from the height, we have to carry the loads every day from Camp 1 (5050 m) to Camp 3 (6050 m), and come down to sleep at Camp 1.

After five days of exhausting work, on the 11 August, four members sleep for the first time in Camp 3 and start the attack on the wall the next day.

Two pitches of ice lead to the first metres of rock. Up there three hundred metres of rock climbing that sometimes reach difficulties ties of IV-V, start to show us that the wall will be a hard task for the expedition.

Three days later, on 15 August, we manage to establish Camp 4, simple tent on a little ledge in the middle of the wall, at (6450 m.

Now the weather begins to worsen and we'll have to reach the top as quickly as possible. It snows from noon onwards every day and the ice climbing becomes very dangerous because of the thin mantle of snow that covers, the ice.

To equip Camp 4 would be one of the hardest jobs we have done so far.

At 6650 m on the wall we set up a new camp. This would be camp 5 and from there, the final attack to the top is planned.

On 22 August two members leave Camp 5 and after an exhausting day of ice climbing with slopes of 45°-65° and another two hundred metres of rock climbing (IV), they are forced to bivouac one hundred metres below the top. The temperature drops to 30° and the night becomes uncomfortable.

Next morning 23 August, at 8.30 a.m. our two friends, Ernesto Fonquernie and Francisco Chavarri, reached the top. In the descent the accident happened. It was after a rappel-always the traitor rappel! Ernesto fell down 1000 m, to sleep in the mountain he had sacrificed his life for.

Members of the Expedition : Benjamin Mancebo (leader), Ernesto Fonquernie, Francisco Chavarri, Javier Poza, Miguel Angel Alonso, Ricardo Alea Goitia, Inaki Alvarez Mendieta, Jose Luis Alvarez Mendieta, Agustin Castells.

Activities: 10 August-Achar Zom, (6132 m).

23 August-Tirich Mir West IV, (7338 m), second ascent by a new routq on the SW. Face, with difficulties of III, IV and V on rock7 and 45°-70° slope on ice.

KALANKA NORTH FACE, 1977

Expedition of the Alpine Club of Liaz Jablonec and Nisou

By F. Grunt and J. Kulhanek

WE travelled to Delhi in two trucks, and continued in them up to Chamoli where we transferred the loads to local hired lorries which finally landed us at Lata (at the confluence of Dhauli and Rishi Ganga rivers). At Lata we hired porters and goats for carrying the loads and bought all provisions for the porters.

One can approach the north face of Kalanka two ways. We were not given permission for the easier northern route leading from the Dhauli Ganga through the Dunagiri and Bagini glaciers so we had to traverse the more spectacular Rishi gorge and the classical route to Nanda Devi.

Base Camp was set up at 4600 m on a grassy field on Ramani glacier under the shadow of Rishi Kot.. Kalanka was first attempted by a small British expedition led by Jon P'rosser in 1974. A strong Japanese team (led by Ikuo Tanabe) came in 1975 and after an unsuccessful attempt on Changabang, made the first ascent of Kalanka from the South. In 1976 an Italian expedition from Torino failed on the SW ridge of Changabang as well as in the attempt on Kalanka.

Our Camp 1 was established at 5150 m at the foot of the Bagini Pass on the Ramani glacier, about 7 km from the Base Camp. Camp 2 was at a similar height on the other side of the Pass (5600 m) over which 300 kg of loads were carried. The Pass itself was exhausting work--fixed ropes and the dangers of stone avalanches.

The north side of Kalanka and Changabang comprises a granite massif (2000 m wide and 1800 m high) covered with ice and snow -average slope of about 80° which is almost constantly scoured by stone and snow avalanches.

We first attempted the Face diretissima but were beaten back by the weather. We then planned the route via the col between Kalanka and Changabang. Camp 3 (5950 m) lay between two bivouacs on the Face. The second one was on a small platform at the top of a vertical rock pillar rising directly over Camp 3. The climbing of this pillar (Grade V) took three days. On 18 September it was decided to complete the rest of the ascent alpine style by a team of two (Josef Rakoncaj and Ladislav Jon) whilst the other supporting members J. Jains, J. Hons and M. Uhlir descended to Camp 3.

On 19 September the two summiters climbed up to the final bivouac and the following morning started for the summit. The te mperature was -20° C, foggy but without wind. At 11.30 a.m. they reached the ridge connecting Kalanka and Changabang about 150 m above the saddle. The last 100 m over the ridge to the summit followed the Japanese line of 1975. The summit was reached at 3 p-m. After the customary photographs they rappelled down one 40 m pitch after another to reach Camp 3 late in the evening. They all arrived at Camp 2 the following day. Base Camp was struck on 23 September.

During the whole of the expedition we had bad weather, but most unusual was the absence of the wind which indeed allowed good progress on the Face. Temperatures at Base Camp were between -2°C to 6°C; in Camps 1 and 2 they varied between -5° C to 0° C, During the final ascent, the weather improved and the low temperatures of -20° C at Camp 3 allowed safe climbing on the Face.

Members: Frantisek Grunt (leader), Ing. Jan Kulhanek, Bohumil Karasek, Jiri Etryoh, Jaroslav Hons, Jiri Jains, Ladislav Jon, Richard Kastaka Oldrich Kopal, Jaroslav Krnak, Gustav Pfannenstiel, Miroslav Polman, Josef Raconcaj and Miroslav Uhlir.

The northern side of Bagini pass.

The northern side of Bagini pass.



The northen face of Kalanka from Camp 2.

The northen face of Kalanka from Camp 2.



The route up the northern face of Kalanka.

The route up the northern face of Kalanka.



Purbi Dunagiri from Camp 2.

Purbi Dunagiri from Camp 2.



Purbi Dunagiri from Camp 2.

Purbi Dunagiri from Camp 2.



Peak 6547 m from Camp 2.

Peak 6547 m from Camp 2.



EXPEDITION 'LAHUL 1977'

A. Palczewski

THE Polish Himalayan Expedition 'Lahul 77' was organized ^ by the Mountaineering Club 'Matragona' from Warsaw. The members were: J. Andzelm, M. Gieraltowski, M. Konecki, A. Koziorowski (doctor), Miss B. Lewandowska, P. Nowacki, A. Palczewski (organizing leader), M. Singh (liaison officer), A. Wachal and A. Zboinski (mountain leader). Our aim was one of the virgin peaks in the Koa Rong Valley in Central Lahul. We chose the peak 6157 m denoted on Krenek's map as KR 1 (H.J., Vol. XIII, 1946, p. 61).

We reached Darcha on 29 June by bus, and left it with 10 mules on 3 July. In 2 days we were at the beginning of the Koa Rong valley. It turned out to be false! The exit of the Koa Rong forms a very steep canyon about 3 km long which is difficult not only for mules but even for porters. A, proper way leads from Yotse upwards at about 4000 m and then traverses over the walls of the canyon. On 6 July the first tent was pitched and in 3 days Base Camp was finally established at about 4400 m under the south ridge of our peak near a pretty little lake. In two days Camp 1 was established at 5100 m and we reached the south ridge of the peak 6157 m. The first part of this ridge is rather horizontal with several difficult small summits which culminate at Ft. 5603 m. From the pass behind that point begins a steep slope. By this slope a south summit can be climbed and then by an easy ridge the main summit. We decided to establish Camp 2 on the pass between point 5603 m and the south summit and try the main peak from that camp.

Unfortunately the weather was very bad all the time. It was raining at B.C. and snowing over 5000 m every day. After a few days of waiting for better weather P. Nowacki and A. Palczewski started on 16 July to find a way through the horizontal part of the ridge. In difficult rock and ice climbing conditions during a constant snowfall we reached Pt. 5603 m at 2 p.m. It was a very small and sharp snow summit. We found that in such bad weather conditions it was too difficult to establish Camp 2 and transport equipment to it. We went back to Camp 1 and the next day to B. C. Since bad weather continued we decided to go back to Darcha.

Apart from the first ascent of Pt. 5603 m, Miss B. Lewandowska and A. Zboniski climbed Pt. 4941 m by the easy south slope on 13 July.

Peak 6340 m. the heighest in Koa Rong valley seen from Camp I.

Peak 6340 m. the heighest in Koa Rong valley seen from Camp I.



Peaks 5603 m and 6157 m seen from the Peak 4941 m.

Peaks 5603 m and 6157 m seen from the Peak 4941 m.



NORTH OF ENGLAND HIMALAYAN EXPEDITION TO KULU, 1977

By Paul Bean

"D A.B weather early on, causing a low snow level, resulted in extended load-carrying by Paul Bean and Rowland Perriment. By 19 May a Base had been established on the East Tos glacier at 14,000 ft. After passing a huge ice-fall we then set up an Advance Base on 23 May at 16,000 ft on he Papsura glacier at the foot of White Sail (Dharmsura).

The team split into two groups and proceeded using Alpine tactics.

On 25 May Paul Bean (leader), Barry Needle and an Indian friend Tara Chand bivouacked at the head of the Papsura glacier and next day (26 May) during 14 hours made the first ascent of the beautiful Point 20,300 ft. We later named the peak Deva- chen which means "Paradise of boundless light". The route went via the south couloir 50° connecting the west couloir 55° and on to the summit ridge. Grade AD-D. The climbers regained camp that evening in fine weather but only after being threatened by an electric storm throughout the climb.

Meanwhile the first attempt on the unclimbed SW. ridge of White Sail had failed through a climber becoming ill but next day Rowland Perriment and George Crawford-Smith set out again. They left on 27 May, climbed a steep snow gully on to the peak's prominent shoulder on its SW. ridge. Through thick cloud they continued up a narrow ridge, past a serac wall and bivouacked on a level section 1000 ft. below the summit, which they reached next morning. Height 21,148 ft. Again the climbers reached Advance Base the same day. The climbers -were amazed that on such a popular peak (now 5 ascents) this fine, safe route had never been attempted before.

Editor's Note: Apart from KRI (20,200 - 6157 m) the other peaks mentioned above are not marked on Krenek's map, which itself is not very detailed. The photo of Pt. 6340 m (20,800 ft) corresponds to KR4 which is, however, ciearly shown.

We weren't surprised that the buttress-like SW. ridge of Papsura (21,165 ft.) hadn't been tried. It looked very impressive but it was decided to make an attempt as soon as the weather became settled. After 2 minor ascents and a new route on Angdu Ri (19,500 ft) Barry Needle and Rowland Perriment bivouacked below Papsura south face, on 31 May. The first 1000 ft vertical buttress was passed by climbing up the steep mixed south face to a prominent step on the ridge. The crest was then closely followed with several very delicate slab pitches of grade 5+, one pitch of 6 and finally a tension traverse and grade 6 pitch to near a bivouac ledge at 20,000 ft. Next morning a few further mixed pitches and the snow ridge avoiding a bergschrund and a serac led to the summit, which they reached just after 1.00 p.m. (21,165 ft). In a snowstorm the climbers descended a new route down the NW. ridge connecting Devachen and down steep snow on to the Papsura glacier where they bivouacked again at 8.001 p.m. Advance Base was regained next morning and the expedition started down to the valley.

The climb on Papsura was a tremendous finish to the expedition and ignoring its isolation the route was still regarded as being at least T. D. Sup. Under the conditions it would have been very difficult to descend had unsurmountable difficulties been met near the top.

The expedition was extremely low-weight and low-budget, the equipment all being carried from England within normal air baggage allowance, and food was purchased locally. No Sherpas were used and above Base the climbers carried all the loads without local porter assistance.

The area is ideal for hard alpine climbing and although the weather was terrible we felt at ease and could treat the difficulties at face value.

Papsura SW. ridge.  (Photo:  B.  Needle)

Papsura SW. ridge. (Photo: B. Needle)



EDITOR'S NOTE ON THE I.A.F. EXPEDITION TO KULU, 1971

An account of the above expedition was printed in the H.J., Vol- XXXI, 1971, pp. 240-49. I should have had the photographs c hocked carefully and I regret to say that my lapse has resulted in a serious mistake of identity.

Thanks to Paul Bean, my attention has been drawn to this and now comparing his sketch and photograph along with those of the I.A.F. and Pettigrew (in A.J. 317-Plate No. 35) it becomes obvious that Flt. Lt. V. P. Singh's team actually climbed White Sail (Dharmsura) and not Papsura as deecribed in the article.

This, of course, in no way detracts from the fine climbing effort of the Air Force team, as long as these' corrections are taken gracefully in the same spirit as they are made.

Papsura (21,165 ft) - 1st Ascent 1967 - Expedition led by Robert Pettigrew.

- 2nd Ascent 1977 (1st ascent by SW ridge) Expedition led by Paul Bean.

Dharmsura (White Sail) (21,148 ft)

- 1st ascent 1940 - Expedition led by Col J. O. M. Roberts.

- 2nd ascent 1961 - Expedition led by Robert Pettigrew

- 3rd ascent1970 - Expedition led by Lt. Col P. P. S. Cheema.

- 4th ascent 1971 - Expedition led by Ft Lt V. P. Singh.

- 5th ascent 1971 - Expedition led by Maj. B. S. Ramdas.

- 6th ascent 1974 - Expedition led by A. Bamzai.

- 7th ascent 1977-(1st ascent by SW ridge)-Expedition led by Paul Bean.

THE IRISH HIMALAYAN EXPEDITION TO KULU, 1977

By Mick Curran

The main aims of the expedition were :

1. To climb the North Ridge of Hanuman Tibba (19,450 ft) and to explore the Bara Bangal, a remote area to the west of the main Kulu valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Northern India.

2. To collect (a) ant-lions and dragonfiies between Istangul and Delhi as part of a study of their worldwide distribution and (b) birds, small mammals, reptiles and insects for study. This work was carried out for the Royal Scottish Museum Edinburgh.

On 4 September the expedition arrived in the Kulu valley to find that the monsoon rains still affected the area and that Hanuman Tibba was out of condition. It was decided to divide the expedition stores and make an excursion to the Karcha Nala in the Spiti region with a view to attempting Peak 20,570 ft. This peak is the highest point on a clearly defined ridge which runs from the Kunzum Pass first in an easterly direction and then south-east towards the Gyundi Nala. In precise terms, the peak is situated at Lat. 32°22' and Long. 77° 43' ; it is clearly marked on the map prepared by Mr J. P. Lynam, who as a member of the Shelbourne-Spiti-Kulu expedition mapped the area in 1958.

Due to access problems the expedition had to content itself with an approach via the Karcha Nala. An attempt from the Losar valley had been recommended by Mr Lynam who had inspected the mountain from the north and east during his 1958 visit.

On 15 Sept., Base Camp was established at 14,400 ft on the left bank of the Kareha river just below its confluence with a glacial torrent flowing from the large basin due south of Peak 20,570 ft and termed by us Karcha Nala east. After a speedy inspection of the peak during the following day it was decided to make an attempt via the prominent west ridge. On the morning of the 17th four climbers, Mick Curran, John Forsythe, H. John Kerr-all members of the Irish Mountaineering Club-and our guide T'ara Chand of Manali, set out with heavy loads, intent on establishing a camp as high as possible on the west ridge and then returning to Base Camp. Our loads were dumped at about 17,300 ft after a five hour slog up unstable scree. The next day, the same team left B.C. with lighter loads and quickly regained the previous high ooint. At 17,500 ft on a small shelf we erected a tent and consolidated our position.

The alarm wert at 2 a.m. the following morning and by 3.30 a.m. We had breakfasted and geared up. Slowly we followed the crest of the ridge as it curved round and eventually rested against the bulk of the mountain itself. A rising traverse was made to the left (north) to gain the top of an isolated egg-shaped buttress at the bottom of the west face from where a further upward traverse to the right up a shallow couloir allowed us to gain the crest of the ridge. The climbing was generally easy with some rock steps providing the only difficulties. These steps were climbed either directly or on their left side and nowhere did the standard of difficulty rise above V.Diff. The rock itself was bad throughout.

The summit was reached at noon just as a heavy cloud bank rolled in from the south, A few photographs of neighbouring peaks and of the party, were hastily taken. John Kerr built a small cairn a few feet below the summit while M. Curran wrote out details of our ascent and inserted them in a plastic bag attached by a peg to the nearby rock. At 12.15 p.m. the descent began. Due to fatigue and soft snow conditions the descent was very slow and at 19,500 ft we bivouacked for a few hours to allow the snow to freeze. The descent was down the huge ice slope which forms the west face.

By 2 a.m. we reached our tiny tent for a long sleep. Base Camp was reached in time for lunch on the 20th and a few days later we struck camp to return to Manali on the night of the 25th.

A second Base Camp was set up at Beas Kund, about 12,000 ft, at the head of the Solang Nala on 5 October but bad weather and dangerous snow conditions frustrated an attempt on Hanuman Tibba.

On 8 October Mick, T'ara and John Kerr climbed the South Ridge of Shiti Dhar (White Ridge) 17,358 ft from Beans Kund, making the descent the same day.

Beas Kund Base was cleared on the 11th and the party descended to the Kulu valley. The next few days were spent in the valley resting, repacking and preparing the expedition minibus for the long homeward journey. With goodbyes said, the group drove back down to Delhi and then overland to the U.K. The large number of specimens collected for the Royal Scottish Museum were taken to Edinburgh and will be catalogued and studied over the next six months.

On 22 November, the expedition returned to Belfast.

Members: Mick Curran (leader) ; John Forsythe ; Foster Kelley; John Kerr ; Peter Lamont ; Terry mooney and Tara Chand.

ASCENT OF RUDUGAXRA II AND LAMKHAGA PASS, 1977

By G. R. Patbordhan

THE beautiful alp on Mian glacier was seen many a time whilst going to Gangotri and an unnamed peak looked very attractive. In 1948 Patbordhan was recalled when he was about to proceed towards Lamkhaga. An opportunity came this year to visit both.

The team made Rishikesh on 23 May and reached Uttarkashi the next day. Gangasingh, Gangal and the porters left for Lanka on 27 May and reached Gangotri the same day. After receiving the permits Patbordhan arrived at Gangotri on 28 May. All stayed under canvas near Swami Sunderanandjfs Ashram.

On 29 May a track was followed along the right of Ruduganga ; higher up a bridge was crossed and camp was made on the left bank. On 30 May the left bank was followed and camp was made near the river. On 31 May a reconnaissance was made to find a pass to enter Mian glacier but the pass could not be located and Base Camp was made on Rudugaira Kharak II (14,000 ft). On 1 June, Camp 1 was established on Kharak III (15,500 ft).

On 2 June Priti Bahadur, Gangal and Patbordhan reached the summit of Rudugaira II (c. 17,000 ft) at 11 a.m.

They returned to Gangotri on 5 June and Harsil was reached the next day. After making camps at Gangnani and Kiarkoti, on 10 June the Jalandri gad was crossed to its left with difficulty and after a long struggle Gangasingh and Durg Bahadur reached Lamkhaga Pass (17,330 ft) at 2.30 p.m. The weather was superb throughout. Due to a mild winter the flowers were very few. Even so, marsh marigold, wild strawberry, vetches, dog rose, primula clenticulala, iris kumaonsis (seen for the first time by Patbordhan in these parts), wild garlic and primroses were found scattered.

Common and jungle crows, vultures, golden eagle, blackbirds, Himalayan whistling thrushes, snow pigeons, Kashmir and white- capped redstarts, coughs, hill and brahminy mynas, were some of the birds seen.

Members: G. R. Patbordhan (leader), Negi Gangasingh, V. Y.

Gangal; Durg Bahadur and Priti Bahadur (H.A.Ps)


LATOK GROUP, 1977

By Prof. Arturo Bergamaschi

Introduction

THE maps in existence mark the three main summits of th