Himalayan Journal vol.43
The Himalayan Journal
Vol.43

Publication year:
1987

Editor:
Soli S. Mehta
Index
  1. THE ASCENT OF KULA KANGRI FROM TIBET
    (PROF KAZUMASA HIRAI)
  2. EDITORIAL
  3. KANGCHENJUNGA CLIMBED IN WINTER
    (ANDRZEJ MACHNIK)
  4. GYACHUNGKANG, 1986
    (LT COL JEAN-CLAUDE MARMIER)
  5. THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MERA
    (MAL DUFF)
  6. DHAULAGIRI 1984-85
    (ADAM BILCZEWSKI)
  7. DHAULAGIRI I EAST FACE
    (STANE BELAK AND MARJAN KREGAR)
  8. FIRST ASCENT OF SULI TOP
    (RAMAKANT S. MAHADIK)
  9. AN INDO-FRENCH MOUNTAIN ROUND-UP
    (COLONEL BALWANT S. SANDHU)
  10. POLICEMEN IN KEDAR BAMAK
    (P. M. DAS)
  11. INDO -SWEDISH EXPEDITION TO MERU 1986
    (MANDIP SINGH SOIN)
  12. A VERY MODEST MOUNTAIN
    (EMLYN THOMAS)
  13. BASPA AND ROPA, 1986
    (M. H. CONTRACTOR)
  14. A NOTE ON KINNAUR
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  15. MENTHOSA; ALMOST
    (ALOKE SURIN)
  16. SIA KANGRI, 1986
    (MAJOR K. V. CHERIAN)
  17. SASER KANGRI III 1986
    (S. P. CHAMOLI)
  18. THE SOSBUN GLACIER BASIN
    (LINDSAY GRIFFIN)
  19. 1986 BRITISH K2 EXPEDITION
    (DAVE WILKINSON)
  20. AN ATTEMPT ON GASHERBRUM III, 1985
    (GEOFF COHEN)
  21. EXPEDITIONS AND NOTES
  22. IN MEMORIAM
  23. BOOK REVIEWS
  24. CORRESPONDENCE
  25. CLUB PROCEEDINGS, 1986

EXPEDITIONS AND NOTES

KIRAT CHULI, 1985

The Joint British Services and Royal Nepal Army Expedition
MAJOR M. KEFFORD

THE 28 PERSON TEAM assembled in Kathmandu at the end of August 1985. The team included climbers from all three services of the British Forces, including 2 women, plus 4 officers from the Royal Nepal Army and 3 civilians. The team was built around 8 very experienced Himalayan climbers and was deliberately a large one as it was intended to complete several projects.

The main aim of the expedition was to climb Kirat Chuli 24,165 ft (7365 m) (formerly Tent Peak) in the Kangchenjunga Himal and to use the expedition to train young climbers and give them as much Himalayan experience as possible. The team also undertook a project in the last inhabited village near the mountains which would be of benefit to the local people. In addition to this they also carried out a botanical survey of the area on behalf of the Botanical Gardens at Kew in London. It was to be a very busy and ambitious programme to try and complete in only two and a half months.

The team left Kathmandu at the beginning of September and: drove in a hired truck and bus to the British Gurkha Depot at Dharan in East Nepal. Here 2 days were spent amongst the crates of food and equipment sorting them into porterable loads. The expedition then moved again by road to Hille where they arranged some 270 porters for the 11 day trek to the village and Ghusa at 11,500 ft. Because of the large numbers involved, the expedition and porters were divided into 2 groups and kept 24 hours apart along the track.

At Ghunsa the team took a 2 day rest in order to re-sort the loads for the different groups and to sort out who would initially go with each party. On 21 September the main climbing party left to complete the 5 day journey to the mountain, the first botany trek set out and work began on the project.

In all, three botanical treks were run by Dr Peter Curzon from New Zealand who was accompanied on each trek by 3 different team members. The three treks each lasted for 7 days and each covered a different series of side valleys around Ghunsa ranging in height from 11,000 ft to 15,000 ft. They collected, documented and photographed some 220 specimens all of which have now been handed over to Kew.

The project was to bring the village water supply 1 km into the village of Ghunsa itself using plastic piping buried in the ground and to erect 3 stand pipes or taps within the village. The project was overseen by Major Duncan Briggs and constructed in 2 separate stages. This was to allow the first group, who constructed the reservoir tank and laid the first 400 m of pipe, to go up to base camp to take part in the climbing. They were later replaced by a second group at the end of the expedition who erected the stand pipes and laid the remaining pipe. Finally on 28 October the whole thing was completed and the water turned on, to the delight of the village women.

The main climbing group set up an acclimatization camp at Pangpema at 16,800 ft and spent the first few days on a reconnaissance of the mountain. As expected the north col/north ridge route appeared too steep for the purpose of the expedition, so the leader decided to climb the mountain from the south, via the Nepal Gap/ Kangchenjunga glacier, the south ridge of Nepal Peak and the long ridge leading from Nepal Peak to Kirat Chuli This offered a good general mountaineering route and a chance for everyone in the team to be involved high on the mountain,

Base camp was established at 18,000 ft on the glacier below Nepal Peak and Camp 1 at 19,500 ft in the snow-basin below the ridge which joins the mountain to Nepal Gap. During the next 2 weeks the route up the headwall and along the ridge was completed but persistent bad weather, high winds and driving snow delayed the occupation of Camp 2 at 21,000 ft. The route was not technically difficult but the poor condition of the snow on very steep slopes made progress slow, tiring and often quite dangerous.

Eventually on 14 October, climbers were able to occupy Camp 2 and began work immediately on finding a route up the south ridge to the summit of Nepal Peak. The route was steep, very exposed and constantly subjected to strong cold winds. The snow was in very poor condition which made belaying extremely difficult. On 15 October the 3 lead climbers reached a point about 500 ft below the summit of Nepal Peak but due to the cold winds decided to withdraw and return the next day with the equipment to establish Camp 3 from where they would be able to climb Nepal Peak and begin work on the route along the ridge to the summit of Kirat Chuli.

However, the next day another violent storm struck during which Camp 1 had to be abandoned and the occupants of Camp 2 were cut off for 2 days and nights with no sleep, in freezing conditions and hurricane winds. Eventually during a break in the storm they decided to risk a descent on the ridge rather than freeze to death and survived 2 avalanches before reaching base camp two days later.

By now the mountain was in an extremely dangerous condition and two camps had been lost during the storm. With time running out the leader took the decision to abandon the climb and the team withdrew to Kathmandu.

Although the team did not reach the summit, it completed all its other aims. The young climbers gained a great deal of experience in a season during which 36 out of 49 expeditions were abandoned because of the extreme weather, caused by two cyclones, and in which 21 mountaineers died on various other expeditions. Despite being a large team the expedition was marked by team work and good humoured friendship.

Photos 30-31

Nepal Peak (left) and Kirat Chuli (far right).

Nepal Peak (left) and Kirat Chuli (far right).



Kirat Chuli (left) and Nepal Peak

Kirat Chuli (left) and Nepal Peak



COWBOYS ON CHO OYU, 1986

JIM FRUSH

THE COWBOYS were an international team from the Seattle area of Washington State, United States of America. The leader, Jim Frush, and four other American members were Michael Bacon, Alan Jennings, Charlie Schertz and Ed Yoshida. Michael Clarke, (an Englishman but has acquired United States citizenship), David Hambly, is British and Davind McClung, is Canadian.

The eight-man team arrived in Kathmandu by mid-March. We attempted to fly to Lukla with all of our baggage on 21 March, but the Royal Nepal Airlines made it impossible. We did fly to Lukla on 21 March, but our baggage came overland through Jiri.

We took the standard approach to base camp, travelling through Thame, Marlung, and Lunak. The weather on the approach was poor, with heavy snows. One yak died in the heavy drifts, for which we compensated the owner. On 7 April we established BC at Kangchung at about 5200 m. The Schneider map is mismarked at this place and BC was placed at the area called Dzasampa on the Schneider map. In fact, Dzasampa is located further up the Nangpa glacier at the base of the icefall.

During the next ten days, we used a dozen porters to help us transport our high altitude baggage to the site of Camp 1. To accomplish this task, we moved our kitchen and established temporary camps at Dzasampa and at a site above the icefall. On 17 April, all the members established and occupied Camp 1 on the moraine of the Gyabrag glacier at an altitude of about 5920 m. This camp served as our Advance BC. One difficulty in fixing altitudes is that the Schneider map fixes the altitude of Cho Oyu as 8153 m but the height has been reset and accepted as 8201 m. It is unknown where on the Schneider map this adjustment needs to be made other than at the summit.

Camps 2 and 3 were established and occupied in the next week. On 20 April, Frush and Schertz occupied Camp 2 at 6350 m on the northwest ridge. On 23 April, Hambly and Bacon occupied Camp 3 at 6720 m on the ridge at the base of the icefall. At this point all the members returned to BC for our only rest period.

It was our intention to return to the upper camps, stock them, fix portions of the icefall, then make an alpine or semi-alpine style attempt on the summit. Eventually, all members did reach and carry to Camp 3.

On 7 May a four man party attempted to leave Camp 3 to establish our high camp, Camp 4, at about 7500 m, and thereafter make a summit attempt. However, high winds and intense cold resulted in the group turning back a few yards from Camp 3.

On 10 May, we again attempted to establish our high camp and make a summit attempt. Bacon, Frush, Hambly and Schertz left Camp 3 with Frush and Hambly (the summit party) carrying their personal gear and with Bacon and Schertz carrying a tent, climbing hardware, and food. Using lines we had previously fixed in the icefall, which had ice up to and over 80 degrees, the group broke new ground and late in the afternoon, in a snowy white-out, reached the base of the first rock band on the west face of Cho Oyu. Bacon and Schertz dropped their loads and Frush and Hambly found and established a site for Camp 4 some 100 m higher at an elevation of about 7500 m. The summit party carried up the loads that had been dropped below and finally pitched a tent on the frozen 45 degree rock and ice-slope and crawled in to occupy it at about 7.30 p.m.

The next morning Frush and Hambly began brewing up at about 3 a.m. They left the tent at about 6.30 a.m. and started through the first rock band. They bore to the right and joined the west ridge at about 7800 m and progressed up the ridge (a series of moderate ice-pitches) to the fiat snow area below the second rock band. They took a direct line through the second rock band, exiting on the right side. The broad and long summit area was before them. After a long traverse, Frush and Hambly reached the summit at about 2.30 p.m. on 11 May. During the half-hour they stayed at the summit, they took photos and displayed the flags of Nepal, the United States and Great Britain. The thermometer read - 2Q°C and the wind was estimated at about 30 km an hour with gusts up to 60 km an hour. At the summit was a metal flag pole with a metal Chinese flag attached. The true summit should not be confused with the lower false summit which is closer to the second rock bank and is reached much easier and sooner than the true summit. At the false summit is a pole with odd bits of prayer flags. They descended the same route and arrived back at the high camp at about 6.30 p.m.

No other summit attempts were made. Supplementary oxygen and high altitude porters were not used. The route was cleaned and the group returned to Kathmandu without incident.

NEW ZEALAND LANGSHISHA RI EXPEDITION, 1986

MARTIN HUNTER

The decision to climb Langshisha Ri (6427 m) came in the final hectic week before I left New Zealand in November 1985. Arriving in Nepal several months before the others, gave me the opportunity to do the necessary paperwork but more importantly to gain a feel for Nepal and its people.

March soon arrived and I met Simon Coz, John Goulstone, Steve Upton and Kirsten Sorenson on the 19th in Kathmandu. The following two weeks saw the piles of food and equipment building up in our hotel bedrooms amidst the usual pre-expedition chaos.

We finally made our escape for Dhuche, the starting point for the walk in, on 29 March. Seven anxious days followed during which there was a heavy snowfall and by 8 April we had established our base camp, high up on the side of the Langshisha glacier at around 4500 m.

From base camp we made a carry of equipment and food, dumping it at the site of Camp 1 and then returning to rest. We moved up to our high camp or Camp 1 on 12 April. The route between these two camps is relatively straight forward but can be somewhat dangerous if the mountain is holding a lot of snow. It was like this during early April.

The route between camps ascends 1000 m of snow-slope to gain a small col. From here another 200 m must be climbed to gain a large plateau below the final 727 m of face. This can be gained in two ways either by traversing west and then up around the edge of an icefall to gain the plateau, or by climbing directly up to the crest of a ridge and gaining the plateau from here. We used the latter for descent only.

From the plateau the remaining part of the face is quite spectacular. 400 m of sfeep snow-gully brought us to the final summit icefield. It was between 45°-60° and in perfect condition. Nine pitches of superb climbing on good ice bought us to the summit (14 April). We had left Camp 1 at 3.00 a.m. and reached the summit at midday being considerably slowed up by deep snow in the gully. After spending two hours on the summit enjoying the views, especially into Tibet and across to the Dorje Lakhpa group we descended. Five 50 m abseils brought us to the top of the snow-gully and then an unroped descent brought us back to the plateau. We returned to base camp the next day. Martin Hunter, Simon Cox, John Goulstone and $teve Upton all went to the summit. Kirsten remained at Camp 1, it not being her intention to go any further.

The expedition was very low budget, financed solely through our personal funds and as lightweight as we could make it. We were fortunate in that there were no accidents either amongst ourselves or our porters. A good time was had by all.

Langshisa Glacier

Langshisa Glacier



THE NORTHEAST FACE OF AMA DABLAM, 1985

CARLOS BUHLER

AMA DABLAM is among the most striking peaks on earth; a sheer, glistening tooth reaching 6812 m (22,350 ft). My first view of the mountain was in April, 1980, as I struggled to the summit of nearby Baruntse. Of all the peaks I could see on the jagged Himalayan skyline, Ama Dablam stood out. Its modest size, by Himalayan standards, was more than compensated for by its matchless profile. In the spring of 1984, I submitted an application to Nepal's Ministry of Tourism for permission to climb the northeast face of Ama Dablam in the winter of 1985. I had no photographs of the face, nor any concrete evidence that a route could be pioneered between the north and east ridges, knowing only that the north ridge was a possible alternative if the face proved to be unclimbable. Deep down, what I really wanted was to explore a new winter route up this awe-inspiring mountain.

In October, 1984, Michael Kennedy agreed to join me on this two-person adventure. Within his comprehensive slide collection, we came up with our first and only photograph of the face. It was a view from five miles away and did not show the bottom third of the mountain. But with this photograph, and a tremendous spirit of adventure, we departed on 24 October 1985 for Kathmandu.

Accompanying us on the 120-mile approach march were Michael's wife, Julie, my mother, Julie Dougherty, and my brother, Roman. With such a closely-knit group, there could hardly have been a better way to prepare for the unknown.

Well looked after by our Sherpa staff, we arrived in base camp (14,500 ft) on 20 November. Our first view of the face was one we will never forget. We were sure there was a possible route to the summit; the paramount question, however, was whether the winter weather and snow conditions would allow for a safe ascent. We acclimatized as fully as possible by ascending Kala Pathar (18,100 ft) with all the family members and Island Peak (20,300 ft) accompanied by Michael's wife, Julie, before wishing them a safe return journey to Kathmandu. After two days, of rest, we moved up to an advanced camp at 16,400 ft beneath the north ridge of Ama Dablam.

Photo 32
JAPAN EVEREST EXPEDITION, 1985

KUNIAKI YAGIHARA

Our exploration of the northeast face's lower gullies and slopes during the next two days convinced us that a route was, indeed, feasible. On 30 November we set off with seven days of food and fuel and bivouacked at a small cache we had left the day before, at the start of the steepening wall.

Over the next seven days we enjoyed only about four hours of sun each morning. The temperature dropped well below 0°F during the shaded afternoons, and we found ourselves straining to keep our body core temperatures high enough to climb.

The terrain was predominantly snow and ice, interspersed with short bands of thin, delicate ice over rock. Each afternoon we cut bivouac ledges into the steep snow ribs we followed in the center of the face. Good bivouacs were essential, allowing us to consume enough fluids and calories to ward off frostbite, high altitude illness, and general exhaustion.

At 10.30 a.m. 7 December, we reached the summit of Ama Dablam. Despite some scary winds early in the morning, it turned into a perfectly clear, calm day. We photographed the spectacular peaks surrounding us for 45 minutes, and then began our descent of the southwest ridge. Utilizing some fixed ropes that had been left in place during the fall season, as well as those of a New Zealand team attempting a winter ascent of that route, we reached 17,000 ft on the same day. The next morning, Ang Jangbu and his father, Norbu, met us with prayer scarves, food and walking shoes for the hike down to their home in the Sherpa village of Pangboche.

That night, sheltered in the cocoon of a warm Sherpa household, exhaustion from the past week's mental and physical pressure was overshadowed by an immense inner feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. Slowly, the realization of our dreams began to dawn on us. We had done it: we had explored a new route, in winter, to the summit of Ama Dablam.

Photo 32

Ama Dablam NE face. 	(C. Buhler)

Ama Dablam NE face. (C. Buhler)



JAPAN EVEREST EXPEDITION, 1985

KUNIAKI YAGIHARA

OUR EXPEDITION belonged to the 'Naomi Uemura Story' Film Unit, which was permitted to enter Everest by the Indian Army Everest Expedition. We were 11 members including one cameraman and his assistant, both of them had good experience of high mountains.

We set up BC at 5350 m on 16 September and started climbing on the 25th. Shooting many spectacular scenes on the route, we sited CI at 6100 m, C2 at 6400 m and C3 at 7400 m. We reached South Col on 18 October. However, as the Indian team did not allow us to go ahead of them, all of us had to come down to BC and wait for their accomplishment.

After the unfortunate outcome of the Indian team, three of us rushed to South Col and set up C4 on 28 October.

We, including the cameraman and assistant and two Sherpas, left C4 at 1.30 a.m. on 30 October. However, on the way to the foot of South Summit, Yasuhira Saito, the assistant, and two Sherpas who carried camera equipment were compelled to turn back by some trouble with their oxygen cylinders. 7 members, therefore, Noboru Yamada, Hideji Nazuka, Teruo Saegusa, Mitsuyo-shi Sato, Satoshi Kimoto, Etsuo Akutsu (cameraman) and myself K. Yagihara, leader), pushed on without the movie camera and reached the summit between 9.50 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. Except for Yamada (who had also gained the summit of K2 without oxygen in July) the other 6 members made use of oxygen.

Unfortunately, Akutsu became snow-blind when he reached the summit and his oxygen was finished. Saegusa and Kimoto, therefore, supported him and were forced to bivouac at 8600 m. Tsutomu Miyazaki, the deputy leader who had remained at C2, declared a state of emergency. Kazunari Murakami, who had been compelled to abandon attempt by the trouble with his oxygen equipment waiting for them at C4, left the camp by himself carrying oxygen cylinders for the patient. Murakami reached them at 3.00 a.m. on next day. Akutsu was rescued from death. However, Kimoto was frostbitten and lost all ten toes of his feet.

WINTER EXPEDITION TO DHAULAGIRI I, 1985

JEAN TROILLET

AFTER OUR SUCCESS on K2 last spring, I spent a month at home to prepare the two next projects. At the end of August, I left for new Himalayan adventures with Pierre-Alain Steiner.

The post monsoon weather was a disaster - a lot of rain and snow; so we could’nt realize our first project of our beautiful route on the West Face of Annapurna I. In autumn 1984, we had climbed this face till the shoulder at 7600 m from where we had escaped down the north face in a storm.

Erhard Loretan and Pierre Morand joined us for Dhaulagiri I in winter.

From the last town of Larjung, we reached base camp at 4100 m in one day with 18 porters.

After a couple of days of acclimatization, Pierre had to give up because of bad health.

At midnight of 6 December, Erhard, Pierre-Alain and myself left the base camp for 'the igloo' at 5700 m. We spent that day at 'the igloo' relaxing. The following midnight we traversed the big plateau to reach the bottom of the East Face. We climbed the English-French-Polish route; we had only one very difficult pitch of ten meters, then followed a long slope of 50° with hard snow and ice.

At 4.00 p.m. we reached the NE ridge at the top of the face at 7700 m where we looked for a place for an igloo, but we could excavate only a small platform - our legs were dangling out onto the face!

The night was very difficult with a temperature of -45°. Pierre-Alain and Erhard had only one over-bag of Goretex each and I was in a good sleeping bag. The poor boys froze all night.

The next morning at 9.00 a.m. with the sun up, we left for the summit. We were on the north face, it was very cold with gusty winds.

At 1.30 p.m. we reached the summit, the wind had calmed down and the view was fantastic and unbelievable! We had to go back down; we used the NE ridge. At mid-night we reached 'the igloo’ and the next day we enjoyed the comforts of our base camp, grass, sun, and the good food of our cook Nima.

1986 AMERICAN ANNAPURNA II EXPEDITION

SHARI KEARNEY

OUR EXPEDITION to the west ridge of Annapurna II in the spring of 1986 met with many frustrations. Deep winter snows and high winds seemed to be the rule for the Annapurna region this spring. This long route (6 miles and 14,000 ft gain from base camp) begins by following the northwest buttress of Annapurna IV to the west ridge. Once on the west ridge it traverses nearly a mile and a half at 24,000 ft to the final 2000 ft to the summit. The mountain has now been attempted 28 times with only 4 successful climbs among them. These ascents were: west ridge 1960 (British, Nepalese, Indian), 1969 (Yugoslav); north face 1973 (Japanese), south face 1983 (Australian).

We encountered 6 ft of snow at 12,000 ft and were thus forced to base camp 3000 ft short of our intended site. We fought through deep, sometimes unstable snow until 20,000 ft where we topped out on the dome. The dome sits on the Himalayan crest separating Mustang from the Indian Plains, predictably there were high winds. The winds were severe most of the three weeks we were high and as severe as those we encountered on Everest in October of 1983. After a month and a half of effort above base camp we abandoned the climb and returned to Kathmandu. Vansickle and Trainor reached a height of 24,000 ft on the west ridge.

We requested permission from the ministry via radio and through* our liaison officer to climb Annapurna IV when it became clear we would not summit Annapurna II. Unfortunately, our request was denied five days later. Historically expeditions climbed both peaks or at least Annapurna IV when turned back from Annapurna II. The two peaks are best described as separate high points of the same mountain. The ministry of tourism Nepal now permits them separately and imposes severe penalty for illegal ascents. In addition to forbidden temptation, expeditions to Annapurna II via the west ridge may find themselves sharing the route with an Annapurna IV expedition. A Nepal Police team (40) attempting Annapurna IV joined us 2 weeks after we began. Additionally, a Spanish (Basque) team of six shared the routes due to a misunderstanding during the permit process. Unusual circumstances, but it is quite possible similar events may be repeated given the nature of the routes and proximity of the two peaks.

Our camps were as follows: BC 12,400 ft 24 March; CI 15,500 ft 28 March; C2 17,200 ft 7 April; C3 19,300 ft 18 April, C4 21,200 ft 24 April; C5 22,200 ft 3 May.

Members: Lucy Smith and Shari Kearney (co-leaders), Sue Giller, George Vansickle, Julie Brugger, John Trainor, Kevin McGowen, Polly Fabion, and Craig Seasholes.


ANNAPURNA SOUTH: EAST FACE, 1985

MIKE TSOUKIAS

THE HELLENIC HIMALAYA Expedition 1985 to Annapurna South comprised of: D. Karagianis, K. Tsatsaragos, C. Lahbris, D. Boun-tolas, D. Sotirakis, N. Brokos, G. Katrivanos, A. Tsilogiorgis, L. Gianakuus, D. Clorocostas (doctor) and M. Tsoukias (leader).

We set up BC on 19 September after a 6 day march from Pokhara during which time an accident occurred near Kuldi. D. Sotirakis slipped over an overhanging rock and as he broke his back he had to be evacuated by helicopter.

Camp 1 was placed at 4700 m at the end of a grassy ridge on the right side of the east face. We then traversed a very broken glacier to Camp 2 at 5400 m at the left end of the east face on the top of a big rock. In the icefall we had to place about 200 m of fixed rope.

Between the establishment of Camp 2 (3 October) and Camp 3 we had 8 days of very bad weather with heavy snowfall, that put 70 cm of snow at BC and more than 2 m at Camp 2. A big avalanche swept the vicinity of the BC (almost 10 m from the tents) and Camp 1 was completely buried by the snow.

From 13 October (end of bad weather) we started to re-fix the route and the camps. We decided to place Camp 3 and continue for the summit in alpine-style.

Camp 3 was established on 21 October at 6400 m on the SE face in the middle of the camp that leads to the summit ridge, after climbing a rock couloir and snow pitches of 50°. At this point we were joined by 6 Germans (led by Walter Fichter) that had abandoned the south face route because of avalanche danger.

On 22 October, 4 Greek and 4 Germans, after a rest at Camp 3, were making the summit attempt. Bountolas and Rufus were preparing the route (fixing rope) just above the camp. At noon the snow-slab on which the pair were working, broke and fell on the camp, carrying it away. Near the tents were Tsoukias, Lambris, Tsatsaragos and some metres to the left, were Walter, Martin and Thomas digging a tent platform. The three Germans were not even touched by the avalanche, but the others were swept down.

Tsoukias had a lucky escape after sliding 100 m, but the rest were carried way down. Walter, Martin and Thomas helped Tsoukias to get down (he had no shoes) and at the base of the camp they found Rufus dead, due to severe injuries. There was no sign of the other people. The 3 Germans continued their descent to the lower camp but Tsoukias remained, looking in the avalanche for his shoes and for signs of his companions. He found Bountolas alive, on the right side of the couloir at 6100 m and managed to get him into a sleeping bag. He then found Lambris about 100 m lower down on the left side of the couloir. He was also alive, so Tsoukias helped him into another sleeping bag and then into a tent and administered some medical treatment and food. He then went back to Bountolas to also put him in a tent. By that time it was dark (about 7 p.m.). Tragically a new avalanche swept the couloir carrying away Bountolas in the tent. Tsoukias escaped by jumping away in time. He then tried to get (to Camp 2 but he was forced to bivouac at 6100 m in a snow-cave. He arrived at Camp 2 at 6 a.m. next day where he found Karagianis, Clorocostas and Brokos who had come up after climbing all night. They had seen the accident from BC but they waited till the Germans came down to give them the full details. They immediately left Camp 2 and went into the avalanche zone where they found Bountolas dead, then Tsatsaragos was also found, dead. Fortunately Lambris was still alive and was promptly carried down to Camp 2, where in the meanwhile the Germans had come again to help.

Next day everybody rested, as they were all exhausted. On 24 October the rescue operation started again. We had to transport Lambris from Camp 2, through the icefall to the BC where the helicopter could land. This operation involved the five of us, the five Germans and 4 Spaniards who had arrived at BC the day before to climb Hiunchuli. It took us 17 hours of continuous work, but finally at 2 a.m. on 25 October, Lambris was brought to BC. The next day he was evacuated by helicopter to Kathmandu. We left BC on 28 October.

GANGAPURNA NORTH FACE, 1985

SANDY ALLAN

Objective
To try and ascend the unclimbed north face of Gangapurna (7455 m) in alpine style.

Because of the avalanche conditions, this was not feasible and the expedition attempted a line on the NE ridge.

Calendar of Events
4 October 1985: Base camp established at 4800 m. Allan and Spirig reconnoitre part of the glacier, leaving a cache at Moraine Bank.

Scott Woolums descended to Manang with altitude sickness.

6 October: Allan, Spirig, Morris reconnoitre glacier and route to near Camp 1. Left cache of equipment at 5000 m.

7 October: Dave Morris and Daria depart base camp for Kathmandu. Snow begins to fall.

8 October: Woolums returns to base camp, but still ill so descends again to Manang. Because of the large snowfall, he decides to return to Kathmandu.

Until 22 October: An accumulation of 5 m of snow. Days spent clearing snow from tents etc. and breaking trail in order to make some progress and maintain fitness.

On two separate occasions members had to be dug from their buried tents. First cache avalanched. Several days spent searching for the equipment to no avail. Harnesses, rope, ice axe/ hammer and some photographic equipment lost.

Became very obvious that the north face route would not be feasible so requested alternative route from liaison officer. Our Nepalese staff descended with this message to our LO and were not able to return for several days.

Ran short on kesosene.

22 October: Allan, Spirig and Teare break trail to near Camp 1.

23 October: Allan, Spirig and Teare break trail and carry to Camp 1 (5200 m). Return to base camp.

24October: Allan, Spirig and Teare up to Camp 1; spend night there.

25October: Allan, Spirig and Teare up to Camp 2 (5700 m) - a day of mostly strenuous trail breaking.

26October: Remain at Camp 2, check conditions above Camp 2 and return to camp.

27October: Allan, Spirig and Teare up to Camp 3 (6600 m). Roped up and moving together, pitching occasionally.

Pitched tent and proceeded to cook from 4.00 p.m. until 8.00 p.m.

Sleep, to be woken up by gale force winds battering the tent. While two of us supported the tent from the inside, the other dressed in full gear. Once we were all clothed, we all supported the tent.

By 11 p.m. the poles broke. Spirig evacuated, but could not stand in the strong wind, so we decided to remain within the tent as it was also difficult to dig a snow-cave.

We spent the remainder of the night lying on our backs on the ground sheet, holding the tent material around us as tightly as possible.

By 5 a.m. the seams of the tent had come apart and the zip door was damaged.

It was decided to climb down to Camp 1, where we had left a spare tent, but on arrival this tent was also damaged so we returned to Base Camp, arriving late on the night of the 28th.

1 November: Waiting at base camp. Intentions of returning to the ridge utilising snow-caves but clouds of spindrift indicated high winds still at 6000 m.

We made the decision to abandon.

Members: Sandy Allan and Scott Woolums (leaders), T. Spirig, P. Teare and D. Morris.

CLIMBING ABOVE CLOUDS

W. PANEJKO

THE POLISH Himalaya Expedition, from Wroclaw, had as its aim the first ascent of the unclimbed peak of Himalchuli North (7371 m), in the Manaslu group in Nepal, during the post-monsoon season of 1985. Twelve members of the expedition, after 8 days of trek, established base camp near Meme Pokhari lakes (4200 m) on 30 September. The advance base camp was set up at 4600 m on 3 October and Camp 1 the next day at 5100 m. We spent 51 days in the mountains and during this time the weather was very bad. We started to climb, from the southwest side in alpine style (without camps) in three-man teams: Wieslaw Panejko - leader of the expedition, Jacek EUincewick and Tadeusz Brys. On 29 October we had our first bivuoac at 5850 m. Next day Zdzislaw Jaku* bowski exchanged places with T. Brys and after passing the first and second serac barrier (difficult climbing on vertical ice -80 m) we bivuoacked for the second time, at 6600 m. From here we started our summit attempt on 1 November, but after 3 hours I had to turn back because of frozen feet. At 10.25 a.m. J. Klincewicz and Z. Jakubowski reached the summit of Himalchuli N, but they didn't find any signs of the S. Korean Expedition on the top. Two days later we heard on Nepal radio that this Korean team climbed Himalchuli N from northeast side on 26 October (5 days before us), and therefore ours was the second ascent of Himalchuli North.

Photos 33 to 36

Himalchuli group south face. 1 to r: North, West and Main.

Himalchuli group south face. 1 to r: North, West and Main.



Unlimited 3.5 km west wall of Nagdi Chuli (Peak 29).

Unlimited 3.5 km west wall of Nagdi Chuli (Peak 29).



Panorama from ABC looking west. 1 to r: Machhapuchhare, Annapurna massif,           Lamjung and Ngadi Chuli.

Panorama from ABC looking west. 1 to r: Machhapuchhare, Annapurna massif, Lamjung and Ngadi Chuli.



West face of Annapurna group.

West face of Annapurna group.




TILICHO PEAK, 7132 m

North face, NE Ridge
J. L. G. SANCHEZ

WE ARRIVED at Kathmandu on 14 September, and after two days of procedures, we were ready for our departure. After the expedition and once back at Kathmandu, we complained to the Ministry of Tourism, regarding the behaviour of our liaison officer who having collected his equipment and obtained part of his salary just disappeared!

On the 17th, we left Kathmandu for Dumre in a hired bus with 37 porters, a Sirdar, a cook and a mail-runner. We arrived at Manang (3500 m) after 7 days.

Photos 33-36
On the 26th, we left the Marsyandi khola and started up the Khansgar valley. There were some difficult slopes and rather dangerous terrain for the porters. Some of them, threw their loads and ran away when we arrived at the Tilicho pass (5150 m). On 27 September, we set up a provisional base camp on the east shore of Tilicho lake (4950 m). One more day was required to reach the place where we wanted to establish the BC but the remaining porters refused to go ahead, due to the heavy snow.

One week was required for setting up the BC, by ourselves, being obliged to carry the loads through a pass of 5350 m. The weather was fine and the BC was finally occupied on 5 October.

On 6 October, the weather changes and starts snowing intensely. Within three days, the snow level in the BC reached 1.5 m, and avalanches are continuously falling from the Grand Barrier. One of them, reaches the BC destroying a tent and some equipment.

On the 20th, the weather changed and we started equiping the NE spur of Tilicho. We were planning to equip only one high camp on the top part of the spur (6200 m). We began to climb to the summit on the 22nd in alpine-style. The four summiters abandoned the attempt at 6000 m, due to deep snow and strong winds. On 24 October we reach the top of the spur having equiped it in its more difficult parts and dumped a storage of materials and food at 6000 m. The following day, 6 of them, make the second attempt to the summit, but when they reach the site of the dump they find all the food being attacked by ravens. Some of the equipment is also damaged, amongst which were our precious gas burners. Two of the members descend to BC and the rest stay all night under very bad conditions since they cannot eat or drink anything hot.

At 3 a.m. on 26 October, with the temperature at - 25°C and a strong wind, two members are indisposed, but the rest two decide to try for the top. The wind had cleared the snow off the higher part of the mountain, leaving a very hard surface of ice that required more attention and effort. They reached upto 6750 m, but, due to their poor physical condition and strong wind, they had to give up the attempt.

On 28 October we packed BC and decided to return via Messo Kanto pass. It's 5200 m high with a lot of snow. After reaching Jomosom on the 30th, we came down the Kali Gandaki valley to Pokhara in only 3 days.

Members: J. Sanchez, (leader), J. Santamaria, J. Gasco, G. Egea, J. Maldonado, D. Coll. J. Riu and J. Maroto.

Photo 37

Tilicho Peak, route of Spanish ascent.

Tilicho Peak, route of Spanish ascent.




EASTERN KUMAON EXPEDITION, 1985

ARUN GUPTA

OUR CHIEF AIM was to scale the two peaks, Rajrambha (21,446 ft) and Chaudhara (21,360 ft). This was our third venture in the Kumaon region. We recruited two Sherpas from Darjeeling; Pasang Sherpa and Karma Sherpa. We also recruited three high altitude porters from the Nainital Mountaineering Club.

As far as we know Rajrambha has been climbed once; by the I.T.B.P. on 11 June 1971, led by J. C. Ojha, Chaudhara was climbed on 2 June 1973 by the west face, by a Bombay team led by A. R. Chandekar.

12September: The start was delayed by rain and poor weather. We crossed Ghori Ganga over a wooden bridge and about two hours later we reached a beautiful little village, Paton.
13September: The rain continued, but we pressed on to Pilthi which in fact was the previous day's destination. We arrived there in 2 hours and rested awhile. All our bags and rucksacks were soaking wet. We finally reached our goal at 5.30 p.m. - the Sapo Cave which can accommodate about 25 persons for the night.
14th: We were immobilized by heavy wind and rain compounded by fevers and injuries amongst the porters.

15th: From Sapo Cave we took the path to the right along the Rambha glacier (leaving the left fork which leads to Ralam village). It started to rain again and after much effort managed to persuade the porters to carry on to our base camp (14 km from Sapo) at a height of 13,500 ft.

16th: We released our porters and sorted our equipment and food. Since the special weather bulletins predicted continuing bad weather, we decided to take advantage of the current dry spell in pushing towards Camp 1. This was established on the Rambha glacier at 15,500 ft (by which time it had started to rain). Ray, Ramaswamy, Dhenki, and an HAP stayed in Camp 1 that night whilst the rest of the members returned to BC.

17th: The weather was terrible, some of us at Camp 1 tried to recce for Camp 2, but with poor visibility and worsening conditions returned to the camp. Ganguly with Sherpas Karma and Pasang joined us in Camp 1, from base camp.

18th: The terrible weather conditions had us bound to our tents in the camps. There was no climbing activity.

19th: It was cloudy and windy, but at least there was no precipitation, so we moved northwestwards towards Chaudhara. Soon there was a white-out and snow started to fall. We established Camp 2 at about 17,000 ft.

20th: The weather was still bad with some snowfall. Debasis along with Sherpas Karma and Pasang recceed for a site for Camp 3, but after several hours found themselves making slow progress through an icefall. They returned to Camp 2.

21st: Continuous snowfall throughout the night and this day had us stuck in our tents.

22nd: The weather was less bad than the previous day. Time was running short and both Rajrambha and Chaudhara were beyond the possibilities of ascent in the period we had left on the mountain. So we attempted and reached a subsidiary (unnamed) summit (c. 18,300 ft) on a ridge coming down Chaudhara, at 11.30 a.m. Having spent about 20 minutes on the summit we returned to Camp 2 by 2.00 p.m.

We were back in Calcutta on 30 September.

Members: Arun Gupta (leader), Chitta Kundu (deputy leader), Debasis Ray, Pratapaditya Ganguly, G. Ramaswamy, Arindam Chatterjee, Bijay Chakraborty, Ranjan Mukherjee, Manju Bikash Biswas, Pratap Dhenki and Sanjay Ghosh (doctor).

NANDA KHAT-BAULJURI EXPEDITION, 1986

PRAJAPATI BODHANE

WE SELECTED NANDA KHAT (21,690 ft) and Bauljuri (19,543 ft) as our objective for 1986. An advanced party of two members Dixit and Phatak left for Almora for liaison work and preparatory work like transport, porters, mules, etc. Ten days afterwards on 28 July, seven other members and myself, with 2.5 tons of load left Bombay for Almora. We reached Bharadi on 1 August, the last place on the motorable road. The load was distributed on thirty mules and our caravan proceeded to Song and then to Khati village on 5 August.

We then experienced our first uncertainty in the mountains. The bridge on the Pindari river had been washed out by heavy rainfall. We had to take a longer route, marching along the right bank of Pindari. We left the mules of Khati and added eighty porters for the next 25 kms.

We crossed the Kafni river, tributary to Pindari near Dwali and crossed Pindari river 6 kms away from Phurkia. Thus on 8 August we were at our base camp, 13,80.0 ft with all members and loads. This route had given us a pleasant experience of trekking. All members, six HAPs and 1 cook were in cheerful mood. We could see Bauljuri, Changuch, Nanda Kot, Nandakhani, Nandabhanar around the BC.

We were forced to take ten days to establish Camp 1 due to heavy rain and murky weather. However 15 August gave us lot of hopes. We were able to set up Camp 1 on 20 August on a grassy field to the south of Traill's pass. These 8 km were again enchanting for us. We were at a height of 15,780 ft. The vegetation was showing it's last traces.

Sanghi and myself occupied Camp 2 on 23 August at an attitude of 18,100 ft on a rocky ridge north of the Camp 1. Dr Kulkarni (deputy leader), Phatak, Chavan and four HAPs did the load ferry for two days. We could see Nanda Devi to our north. The thundering sound of avalanches accompanied us in the nights.

Our climb proceeded as Sanghi and myself opened the route to Camp 3 at a height of 19,300 ft just below the ice-wall; we selected our route avoiding dangerous avalanche zones. Camp 3 was occupied by Phatak, Tashi, Sanghi and myself on 28 August.

On 30 August morning we were anxiously waiting for the moment to leave the campsite for the summit. The sky was absolutely clear. I looked at my watch. It was 4.00 a.m. I called Sanghi, Phatak and Tashi. They were ready. We set out for the summit. After half an hour's walk we were at the base of the ice-wall. We had 1100 ft of rope and climbing gear. We divided ourselves into two groups.

Sanghi and myself took the lead and climbed up 800 ft. The route was again going through avalanche-prone zone and 5 to 7 inch deep snow. Now it was 11.00 a1m., we were 700 ft below the summit. Now, on our left hand the route was going below an ice-bulge and there was an overhanging patch of about 150 ft. On the right side of the route was a straight wall which appeared to be avalanche-ridden. It was best to take the left route. After climbing the overhanging part, we reached a snow-plateau just below the summit. We had to climb another 200 ft. The next 50 ft climb was in knee deep snow. We were now under a rectangular part of the summit. We pushed further ahead and we found some typical ice formation. One was of oval shape and another was like a pyramid. The summit was still a 100 ft away. The route was between a pyramid-shaped formation and rectangular looking summit. There were also some crevices but not so dangerous. The summit was like a long knife-edge ridge of about 250 ft. The four of us stepped on this at 2.40 p-m.1
The return journey upto Camp 3 took us nine hours. We had to rappel down the wall. As the sun was going down very fast we hurried to the camp. A signaling fire at Camp 3 was a great help in finding the route while descending. We returned to Camp

1. The party reached this high point on the summit ridge. The true summit which was about 150 ft higher was not climbed, as evident from their photographs. -Ed.

3 at 9.50 p.m. A second attempt was made by Dr Kulkarni but he had to retreat due to avalanche and bad weather. We returned to CI on 3 September.

On 5 September we pushed up Bauljuri in order to establish Camp 1, Dr Mate, Dr Rokade and Chavan took the lead for opening the route to a height of 16,020 ft. Chavan, Kunte, Kelkar and Dixit established Camp 2. Then on 7th, 10 members and 6 HAPs occupied Camp 2. On 8th we were ready early in the morning by 3.30 a.m. However tremendous wind forced us to postpone our attempt. The temperature dropped to -10°C. At 4.45 a.m. the weather improved. The final summit climb was on easier gradient. We reached the peak at 7.40 a.m. All except Jambot-kar, who was suffering from headache were on the summit of Bauljuri.

Jambotkar stayed at Camp 2 with Dr Kulkarni and Dixit. We all returned to the base camp the same day. On 9th Dr Kulkarni and Jambotkar attempted to reach the summit but couldn't succeed and returned safely the same day to the base camp late in the night.

On 12 September we left base camp with porters and reached Song. We took the bus to Bageshwar and then to Delhi.

Members: Prajapati Bodhane (leader), Dr Deepak Kulkarni (deputy leader), Milind Phatak, Dr Suhas Mate, Dr Deepak Rokade, Vishwas Kune, Anil Chavan, Vishwash Dixit, Ulhas Kelkar and Shyam Jambotkar.

Editor's Note: Nanda Khat has had a long history which was far from clear. After studying the various photographs and reports of the past attempts and climbs the following records are made:
  1. 1932 H. Ruttledge recceed the east ridge. H.J. V, p. 28
    1. 1961 Attempt by P. Chaudhury. The H.J. XXVII, p. 136
claim of 'ascent' was widely disbelieved.

(Indian)

3. 1970 Indian team led by Prof. A. R. HCNL 28, p. 2
Chandekar lost two members in an

avalanche. (Indian)

4.1972 First ascent by 'Nainital

Mountaineering Club', led by Girish Sah - Slides and report

They reached the summit en 13 October. (Indian)

5. 1981 Second ascent by 'Diganta', led by HCNL 35, p. 2

A. Mazumdar, on 13 June. (Indian) Photos and report

6. 1981 Japanese team led by S. Ojima HCNL 35, p. 33
attempted. 7 members died in an ava

lanche on 27 September.
  1. 1982 Japanese team led by S. Sadamura HCNL 37,P. 4
attempted the peak.
  1. 1983 Japanese team led by HCNL 37, P.29
Ogata attempted the peak.
  1. 1986 Indian team led by P. B. Bodhane HCNL 40
attempted the peak, reaching a high

point on the summit ridge.

H.J. - Himalayan Journal.
HCNL- The Himalayan Club Newsletter.

Nanda Khat.

Nanda Khat.



On way to Bauljuri: Changuch, Nanda Kot, Nandabhanar, Laspa Dhura and Dangthal.

On way to Bauljuri: Changuch, Nanda Kot, Nandabhanar, Laspa Dhura and Dangthal.



View from upper slopes of Nanda Khat: Pindari glacier, Chauguch, Nanda Kot and Nandabhanar. (I to r).  (P. Bodhane)

View from upper slopes of Nanda Khat: Pindari glacier, Chauguch, Nanda Kot and Nandabhanar. (I to r). (P. Bodhane)



View from Bauljuri. Ito r: Cream Roll, Panwali Dwar and Nanda Khat. Nanda Devi peaks in the background.

View from Bauljuri. Ito r: Cream Roll, Panwali Dwar and Nanda Khat. Nanda Devi peaks in the background.



A MOUNTAIN FOR GREENHORNS

MRIDUL BOSE and A. K. CHATTOPADHYAY

IN 1984, success on Chandra Parbat (6739 m)1 was followed by disaster on Matri (6721 m). It had been a mixed year. Most of our experienced climbers were not available for a mountaineering venture in 1985 - two were indisposed, some had personal commitments, while others did not have the inclination. Circumstances dictated that we attempt pk 6181 m on the Kalindi-Arwa divide of Garhwal Himalaya. The peak appeared to present no technical hurdle but there was a long and arduous approach to and beyond Kalindi Khal. We had a tough but feasible prospect before us.

We know of at least two occasions when Pk 6181 m has been climbed - once by a team from Calcutta in 1975 and again in 1978 by the advance training course of NIM, Uttarkashi.

The team comprising Satyajit Kanjilal, Sankar Makhal, 3umit Saha, Asit Chakraborty, Gautam Sengupta, Provas Adak, Sankar Chatterjee, Dr Arijit Sarkar and Mridul Bose as leader left Calcutta on 15 September 1985 and reached Rishikesh two days later. The following day we took the morning bus to Uttarkashi and after transhipment en route (due to a landslide at Bachrati) reached there in the late afternoon.
  1. See H.J. Vol. 42, p. 35.-Ed.
September: A local bandh in Uttarkashi made shopping difficult. We obtained the inner line and photographic permission.
September: The team with sixteen porters boarded the bus for Gangotri. A landslide near Sukhi necessitated load carrying and then another truck took us to Gangotri (c. 3000 m) in the evening.
September: Reached Bhujbas (c. 3750 m) after a five hour trek.
September: We were on the Gangotri glacier amidst spectacular mountain surroundings. We crossed the Raktvarn nala and the Chaturangi glacier and set up a camp at Nandanban (c. 4350 m).
September: We walked east along the left lateral moraine of the Chaturangi glacier. Towards mid day it started snowing, at times quite heavily. This caused delays and at 4.00 p.m. we reached the southwest shore of Vasuki Tal (c. 4900 m) where base camp was established.
24 September: It was a day of rest. Snowfall continued
throughout the morning but the weather improved later. We re
arranged loads for upper camps and discussed plans.

25 September: Provas who had been ailing for the past 2 days went down to a lower altitude as per doctor's advice. Satyajit, Sankar Chatterjee, Sumit Sana, Gautam, two HAFvs and Bose started for the Suralaya glacier. We traversed the lower northern slope of Vasuki Parbat and crossed the Sunder glacier from west to east. We chose a camp site below Pk 5801 m and on the left lateral moraine of Suralaya glacier near its confluence with Chaturangi glacier. We dumped loads and went back to base camp.
26 September: Sankar Makhal, Satyajit, Naginder, Dham, Bipin and Bose established the Suralaya camp (c. 5200 m). It had taken four hours from base camp. We could see the Khalipet glacier across the Chaturangi glacier. Avalanche Peak (6443 m) was seen to the northeast. Naginder and Dham returned to BC.
27 September: Bipin ferried loads to a spot near the Seta glacier. Sumit, Naginder and Dham joined us at the Suralaya camp.
28 September: We had a steep and tough trek across the Suralaya glacier and the northern flank of Chandra Parbat. Advance base camp (c. 5400 m) was sited on the true left lateral moraine of Seta glacier near its junction with Chaturangi glacier. Water was not easily available at this camp.
29 September: We decided on a day of rest. Dham and Naginder were sent to base camp to bring up more supplies. We could see Kalindi (6102 m) in the northeast and to its north was our goal pk 6181 m.
30 September: We traversed the Seta glacier and gradually
ascended the extreme left lateral moraine of Kalindi glacier, Many
snow-clad peaks were seen in the north. Camp 1 (c. 5600 m) was
established on this moraine below Avalanche Peak.

1 October: Dham joined us at Camp 1. He had brought vital provisions. We set off along the Kalindi glacier. It was a strenuous snow plod. We carefully skirted the open crevasses. After quite some time we had before us a steep crevassed slope which led to Kalindi Khal (5947 m). It was very nearly sunset when we completed the exhausting ascent to Kalindi Khal. Camp 2 (5947 m) was set up on the northern limit of the pass. Kalindi Khal is a depression between Kalindi Peak (6102 m) in the north and Avalanche Peak (6443 m) in the south. It is the most accessible west-east link between the glacial upper reaches of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda valleys. Thus from the pass we saw Kamet and its surroundings peaks in the far east. More close to us was the Arwa valley with many snow peaks. We saw the eastern aspect of the ridge connecting Kalindi Peak (6102 m) and Pk 6181 m.

2 October: We started for the summit in perfect weather. To descend towards the Arwa valley there are two ways. The easier approach is close to Avalanche Peak while the alternate path is a very steep descent but would shorten our journey by quite a disance. As we had envisaged a return to Camp 2 the same after noon, we chose the difficult but direct route. After getting down to less steep ground we traversed the eastern face of Kalindi Peak; we were now below Pk 6181 m and to its southeast. We gained a col between the southeast slope of Pk 6181 m and the northwest ridge of Pk 5817 m. We then started on the southeast slope. It was moderately steep and most of it was snow-covered with scattered rocks. We did not encounter any difficult obstacle. At 1.05 p.m. we reached the summit of Pk 6181 m, grateful to Nature for tolerating our intrusion. As we overcame the initial spell of awe and amazement, we looked around. To our south-southwest was Kalindi Khal and Avalanche Peak. From our summit Kalindi Peak was dwarfed in the southwest foreground. The Kalindi glacier looked like a vast unmetalled road. Chandra Parbat was majestic in the southwest and beyond it towered JSatopanth (7075 m). To our
west were the snow peaks of the Chaturangi - Raktavarn divide. To the near northwest was Pk 6236 m beyond which were the twin peaks of Mana Parbat (6794 m and 6770 m). The Arwa glacier was to our immediate north flowing northwest to southeast. Many unnamed snow peaks stood on the northern horizon, the near peaks forming the northern limit of Arwa glacier. Of the many summits to the east, Kamet was dominant. In the distant southeast we could identify Nanda Devi. We stayed on the summit for about an hour and took photographs all around. We retraced our steps and reached Camp 2 at 5.00 p.m.

3 October: We went down to advance base camp.
4 October: We reached base camp.
5-12 October: The retreat continued over the next couple of days and we were home on the 12th. It had been a memorable experience.

Panorama F

KALINDI KHAL EXPEDITION, 1985

BIDYUT ROY

THE TEAM of eight members from the Botany department, Burdwan University left Burdwan on 2 May and reached Uttar-kashi on 5 May. Having made the final arrangements there they pressed on and reached Gangotri on the 7th, Bhujbas on the 8th, from where they trekked to and established base camp at Nandan-ban (13,200 ft) on 9 May.

After organising the stores and acclimatizing, Bidyut, Golam and Ajoy left to establish Camp 1 at Vasuki Tal (16,100 ft). Though the initial plan was to form a four-member team to attempt two unnamed peaks on Seta glacier supported by three HAPs, and the remaining four to trek to Kalindi Khal, four members got high altitude sickness and another was recalled home by an urgent telegram. So the three fit members moved forward, leaving the others to recover and to move up as and when fit.

Camp 1 was established at Vasuki Tal (16,100 ft) on 11 May. Next day Ajoy and Bidyut made a ferry to the proposed site of Camp 2 in a basin across the Sunder glacier. On the 13th Bidyut, Ajoy, Golam and two Haps established Camp 2 leaving Dilip at Camp 1 to look after the supply line. {Snow started to fall as soon as they reached Camp 2, and after a few minutes visibility became minimum. This spell of snowfall persisted upto the afternoon of the 15th with a total deposit of 18 inches of snow.

Dilip, along with two HAPs, reached Camp 2 in the evening of 15th. One of the HAPs was seriously ill and had to be sent back to Uttarkashi and the doctor Soumitra fell on the Vasuki Tal slope while coming up to Camp 1. He was also back at base camp though his injury was not serious.

On 16 May four members and four HAPs started for Camp 3 on the Seta glacier but freshly accumulated snow which was knee to thigh deep, even sometimes waist deep, made their progress very slow. After seven hours of exhausting walk through such conditions, they decided that their destination was still two kilometres further and since by now a blizzard had developed they thought it best to camp where they were in the middle of the Chaturangi glacier just by the side of the satellite peak of Chandra Parbat. Next day they were able to establish Camp 3 (18,000 ft) on Seta glacier between the satellite peak of Chandra Parbat (6739 m) and Pk 6035 m.

The two proposed peaks now became visible at the head of Seta glacier. These two peaks were first attempted by a Ladies Expedition from West Bengal in the pre-monsoon period of 1984, and pk 6166 m was climbed by Dola Sarkar and one HAP. Our expedition was the second attempt on those peaks.

On 18 May Bidyut, Ajoy, Dilip and two HAPs established Camp 4 (18,500 ft).

19 May dawned fine, an ideal dawn for a summit bid. But it was a bad morning for Dilip who woke up with a severe headache and nausea. After a short discussion Bidyut and Ajoy left for the Pk 20,840 ft (6352 m) with two HAPs at 5.30 a.m. They negotiated the hump ahead in intense cold weather and surprisingly the two HAPs, who were eager to make a summit bid before, now declined to go any higher. The weather become warmer and they climbed the slopes through the broken hanging ice-blocks barring the view to the top. They reached just below the N face to see the snow deposited on it was not at all easy and an attempt to climb could result in an avalanche of the slope. So they continued to traverse towards the NW face. They reached the NW shoulder at about noon. A clear assessment was possible. It seemed that the bergschrund could be negotiated but the NW face which was at 70°-75° needed fixed rope right up to the summit because of its bluish-green coloured hard ice. They did not have enough time to do so. They decided to traverse through the lower part of the NW face covered with packed snow to reach the West col and to try the west ridge. They reached the west col at about 2.00 p.m. From there the west ridge looked straight-forward but the condition of the route and the insufficient time required to reach the top, was enough to force them to give up the attempt, rather than face benightment.

Meanwhile, Golam Mustafa along with two other HAPs had joined the summit camp from Cam