Himalayan Journal vol.48
The Himalayan Journal
Vol.48

Publication year:
1992

Editor:
Harish Kapadia
Index
  1. HJ VOLUME ONE, NUMBER ONE
    (AAMIR ALI)
  2. GORDON OSMASTON AND TENZING
    (HENRY OSMASTON)
  3. INDO-JAPANESE KANGCHENJUNGA EXPEDITION, 1991
    (YOSHIO OGATA)
  4. SLOVENE KANGCHENJUNGA EXPEDITION, 1991
    (TONE SKARJA)
  5. 1990 INTERNATIONAL DHAULAGIRI EXPEDITION
    (CARLOS BUHLER)
  6. NEW ROUTES ON CHO OYU AND SHISHAPANGMA
    (WOJTEK KURTYKA)
  7. ASCENTS OF PANCH CHULI II
    (Capt. N. B. GURUNG and Lt. Col. SURAJ DALAL)
  8. BURHA PINAT KUMAON'S LESSER MAJESTY
    (WILLIAM MCKAY AITKEN)
  9. CLIMBING BHRIGU'S STONE
    (MARTIN MORAN)
  10. ACROSS THE LAMKHAGA
    (JEAN AUDREY THOMAS)
  11. REO PURGYIL - BENEATH THE SHROUD
    (E. THEOPHILUS)
  12. A WINTER JOURNEY
    (CAROL ANKERS)
  13. HARISH KAPADIA
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  14. THE BRITISH TRINITY PEAK EXPEDITION
    (VICTOR RADVILS)
  15. THE AMERICAN K2 EXPEDITION TO ABRUZZI RIDGE
    (PHILIP C. POWERS)
  16. THE EV-K2-CNR EXPEDITIONS
    (ARDITO DESIO)
  17. KARAKORAM- THE EXPLORATION PERIOD
    (GIUSEPPE GARIMOLDI)
  18. LOTS IN A NAME
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  19. HIMALAYA - THE NEXT TWENTY-FIVE YEARS
    (TREVOR BRAHAM)
  20. WHY CLIMB? BECAUSE IT'S WITHIN
    (A. D. MODDIE)
  21. EXPEDITIONS AND NOTES
  22. BOOK REVIEWS
  23. IN MEMORIAM
  24. CORRESPONDENCE
  25. CLUB PROCEEDINGS, 1991

HARISH KAPADIA

HARISH KAPADIA

HAPPINESS, VERILY, is a relative concept. Some expeditions are born happy, some achieve it and some have happiness thrust upon them (with due apologies to the popular quote). There are few, like ours, which had all the three.

As for the birth, we had a good lineage. In 1985 we had climbed with Dave Wilkinson. Now he selected a British side which would understand all the problems and be most compatible. Paul and Lindsay were the experienced lot who had seen many grey areas like Ladakh. They formed such a natural pair that it was a surprise to learn that they were climbing together for the first time. John Porter had the grace and polish required to have taken on Changbang, K2 and Everest. Dr Bill Church was strong. He had a legendary appetite which put all porters to shame. The 'appetite' included peaks as he notched up 5 first ascents on the trip. Neil with his great sense of humour and agility had a correct approach for such areas, 'To climb, I would have gone to the Alps, f am here to experience'. And of course Dave was around to mix them .all well with his experience. 1 le arrived early at Bombay to purchase and pack and left last after polishing off dishes at all the local restaurants! On our side most of us had climbed together. Muslim, Bhupesh, Vijay and myself had the previous experience of the area and were attracted to Ladakh. Of Dhiren and Ajay, the new comers, the former had many trips to his credit but due to a leg injury could not make most of the trip, while the latter had good climbs.

It was important to have a happy team here for the East Karakoram area recently had been notorious for differences of opinions between the joint teams, to put it mildly. Various joint expeditions landed in problems caused by the delay due to permit problems and personality clashes. If one expedition was 'called-off too soon, the other had a language barrier. Some could not climb due to the war, some due to the delay In permission to the area. Finally one expedition to our area had almost a 'machine-gun' experience leading to furore. We were keen to avoid any such mishaps. If we had differences, we Indians settled it in vernacular and if the British had to survive on dal-bhat for a few days it never led to swinging of ice axes!

'Before mastering it, you have to mistress it', my Yoga teacher always said about the asanas. So after such a birth we started working to the next stage of 'achieving it'. With all the papers, instructions and contacts in place we still had some hiccups at Delhi. Muslim stayed behind to collect the papers while the main team left for Manali to join Dave and Lindsay. They had just conducted a course for the Indian" climbers in lieu of the expedition peak royalties. In a special bus we left on the luxurious ride along the most scenic, if rough, road to Leh. Going over high passes and spectacular view we reached Leh on 6 July 1991.

At Leh all the memories of our 1989 trip here came rushing back. Riots, bomb blasts and curfew had kept us in the hotel for 8 days. An unco-operative army and mules delayed us further 5 days. Finally nature also turned against us on Saser la and Aq Tash nala, to reduce us to 9 wickets down with only the slog overs to go! In the final available week we managed to climb 5 peaks to gather knowledge of the Chong Kumdan group and the glacier. We returned wiser but having lived a bad dream.1

With such an experience, one would not wish to return here. But we were drawn to it with all the possessiveness of Carmen. One would hate to see any other expedition preceding us here. We had to return, it would have been like being an infidel not to. But we always wondered about the outcome. Would we be defeated like Bizet's Carmen? Or finally possess that momentary satisfaction of climbing it? We had to take the bull by the horn.

1. See H.J. Vol. 46, p. 76, 'East of Saser La', for full details of the 1989 trip and the full history of the area.

Muslim was present at Leh having flown there with our permits for only three weeks ('Why do they need lopger permits - to build a house ?). A Delhi-babu could not appreciate the intricacies of time here. We applied for an extension and left Leh in just two days. Our liaison officer Capt Arun Pandey was a paragon of understanding and co-operation. He arranged all the army matters with great efficiency and carried the heaviest of loads - unlike the LO's breed who sometimes refuse to carry their own socks. He contributed a lot to the efforts and became a good friend.

After 158 km journey in two trucks provided by the army, we reached Sasoma. Unbelievable as it may sound but the mules were waiting (they actually charged us for waiting a day) and everything was set. We started on the 12th for the journey across Saser la (5395 m). It was a cake-walk this time and without much problem, we turned along the Shyok. If in 1989 we had the taste of Younghusband's and Shipton's problems on Saser la, this year we crossed it with an army-like ease. The weather had much influence on the terrain here, explaining our ease and the historical fear of the pass. Now with a motorable road being blasted till the foot of the pass, the skeletons of mules spread around will be the last ones seen.

Finally we were nearing the Kumdan plains. A half km wide rocky patch had to be made fit for the passage by mules. Next day, 18 July, the mules climbed up along the moraine of the Chong Kumdan glacier and deposited us about 2 km away from the proposed base camp. Dave quickly led the party across to establish us near a small grassy patch which was, as if waiting for years for us to camp on. For some of we had reached here in 1989. Our quick arrival contributed towards the climbs and happiness in no small measure. 'At this rate we will have tourists in bermudas here and we will be serving pakodis to them'; was the cryptic comment by Muslim recalling our previous experience.

We started to ferry the loads to BC from the dump. That done, we settled down to climbing, to what Paul called, 'till the mules come home',!

We had decided to climb as one wished and in any style and combination. Thus each had a base, a group and a wish to act on. After every few days, we returned to the base to delicious Gulab Jambun (eaten with great aplomb and noise!). The kitchen was in a huge parachute-tent and everyone gathered to savour Dave's Sphagetti-Bolognese. You had to be quick about it, for if you enter little late with an empty plate sure enough you would hear Bill's request, 'Any seconds going?' The talks revolved around many subjects like alpine-style vs. traditional, altimetres, British climbing scene, Indian politics, amidst shouts of Macau taught to all by John.

Chong Kumdan V (c. 6520 m) and IV (c. 6520 m)
Our first success came in the next two days. As a recce and acclimatization, a large party climbed Chong Kumdan V (c. 6520 m) on 22 July. It was a two-day affair going up the SE ridge. The route traversed ice-mixed ground and afforded a good recce of the south face of peak I. Immediately after this, Chong Kumdan IV (c. 6520 m) also received a first ascent. Dave and Bill left BC to enter Chogam 1 glacier. The same day they reached the foot of peak IV, which is situated on the NE ridge of peak I. Going up the east ridge they climbed up steep ice and mixed ground. At first they carried a tent up hoping to camp ahead to have a closer look at the> eastern and NE approaches of peak 1. But they found the ground too steep, so leaving the loads behind they climbed the peak on the 26th. Within a week we had two of the Chong Kumdans climbed.

While these peaks were being climbed, an Indian party was proceeding along the main glacier establishing camps in the traditional style. A camp at 5450 m after the entrance of Chogam glacier served as ABC, called 'Polu camp'.

Polu campsite was dominated by the wall of Mamostong Kangri (7516 m). It's north wall rose more than 2000 m from the glacier. Everyday it presented a spectacle of a giant avalanche near midday. It fell quite majestically. You hear it, rush-take out your camera, take a picture, wear a jacket and await the snowfall. Once the plumes rose up almost 500 m. But it never caused us any harm.

With porters ferrying loads it was intended to build up a chain of camps into the Chogam 3 glacier to try peaks around the cirque at its head. Variety of combinations and movements went on while we were establishing camps. Paul and Lindsay went ahead to Chogam 3 glacier followed by John and Neil. Muslim, Pasang and myself probed right into the main glacier towards Nup col (c. 6250 m). After the initial approach, we landed in a huge crevasse-field and no easy approach to climb to Nup col seemed possible. Morever even if reached, the Nup col or the Chogam 4 glacier, both did not offer any possible route to Chong Kumdan II (7004 m). Even after a look from the north, this peak offered us no easy route and was the only peak of the group not tried or climbed by us.

Kichik Kumdan (c. 6640 m)
As we regrouped and turned to Cl (c. 5900 m) at the entrance of the Chogam 3 glacier, Paul and Lindsay were climbing Kichik Kumdan (c. 6640 m). This deceptively easy-looking peak was tamed in style by them. The northern side fell precipitiously to the Central Kumdan glacier with cornices hanging out. The snowy south face contained hard ice underneath. They climbed the south face to the east ridge. Keeping few metres below the cornice they had to traverse on ice front-pointing on crampons. After the mixed ground, they reached the summit. Looking for an easier return they decided to traverse the peak along the west ridge. But after almost 6 hours of hard ice work, they managed to reach the west col and returned exhausted to their bivouac. Their experience had carried the day. It was not for nothing that they were called 'Lord Nunn' and 'Sir Griffin' by the Karakoramwalas.

Chong Kumdan III (6670 m) and Chang col (c. 6500 m)
Crossing Paul and Lindsay, we established our C2 (6300 m) on 31 .July. Muslim and myself were to stay for 5 days here participating in many events surrounding this camp. First with Pasang and Tikam Ram we reached Chang col (c. 6500 m) on the 2nd. Situated on the NW shoulder of peak I, it had a huge bergschrund at its foot. Above this was a steep ice-slope. Looking to the north, we saw the peaks and the Kumdan glaciers which we were to explore in the later half of our expedition. On 3 August Muslim, Pasang and Tikam attempted Chong Kumdan III (6670 m). Going up steeply they reached the west col with Kichik Kumdan. After failing on the north side, they went up the NE ridge. Higher up soon they landed in powdery snow and crevasses. Going ahead would have been risky. They returned to the camp by afternoon, having reached 70 m short of the summit.

As we sat in the afternoon heat, four tiny dots came up from the horizon. We knew it was time up for Chong Kumdan I (7071 m). Soon Dave, John, Neil and Bill joined us. I couldn't resist asking them questions on the tape-recorder, 'Why they were off to Chong Kumdan ?' John, 'It looks about as stupid as most of the mountains I've climbed. I am here only for the view'.! Bill; 'I hope the air is a bit better up there', Neil; 'Well 1 am hoping that our alpine style ascent will continue with tea stops from porters and fixed camps and if I am tired, may be you can send Pasang ahead to place ice-screws and make tea on the summit!' Dave; 'What can I say, I am not very good at these off-the-cuff interviews. I came to this remote place and there is a journalist wanting to know my opinion of things. I would sooner climb the peak to get away from it all'.

Soon four figures disappeared towards the bergschrund near the Chang col and bivouacked. As the evening turned Mamostong Kangri red, we were puzzled by another three figures coming from below. Soon Bhupesh came in view followed by Ajay and Arun. They had a story to tell. Having laid around too long they left Cl at 1 p.m. as they had the British route to follow through the crevasses. However, half way they changed the lead and the route. Soon after Ajay fell in a crevasse. Luckily Bhupesh arrested his fall with a quick reflex putting in only the tip of his iceaxe. Arun, who was third on the rope released himself and checked out Ajay who was dangling at the end. He pulled up his rucksack and Ajay then came out of the hole with the help of crampons, shivering in cold and badly shaken. Now the delayed party was safely up.

The night was cold, but we were up by 4 a.m. Sure enough four small head-lamps were going up the west face on a perfectly clear day. It was exciting to see them and we followed their progress to the summit, reached at 10 a.m. One of the major giant virgin peak of East Karakoram had been climbed in the alpine-style and we watched it all. Something to tell our grand children!

Chong Kumdan 1 (7071 m)
(Dave recorded the following on tape later on about the climb of Chong Kumdan 1)
We woke up at 2 a.m. and were on the climb soon. You must be seeing only three headlamps going up. That's because John's eyes are so good that he can see in the dark! It was a partly moonlit night and one could see better without the lamp. Bill led through the bergschrund followed by others. We unroped not to waste too much time and the ropes trailed on to save the trouble of coiling. We reached rock outcrops which we thought would give some steeper climbing but it didn't. Little ahead was a snow-slope, a sort of old wind-slab. Bill was ahead by 15 m from John. The slope made creaking noise, as if it was hollow underneath. We went to the left and then it was much secure. We roped up again and took a couple of belays on ice-screws little before the first light reached us. The ground eased up ahead and we unroped again. We then carried on diagonally to the ramp. 1 selected the longer ramp and led up. The ramp was about 60 m, very cold and it ended on the NW ridge on a ledge. John had persisted with the other ramp and led up on horribly loose ground and Neil had a worried time showered by stones. But luckily the rock was so rotten and broken that Neil was not hurt. 'Neil's Knocks' were not serious, just lots of them. They came out on another ledge ahead of ours.

After half an hour, we delightfully climbed up along the NW ridge. It varied in angles, little steepening, flat and steepening once again. Not very heavy exposure as it was not a single crest, it was between the rock-outcrops on the right and snow on the left. A gangway between the two and at varying angles and snow-conditions, with view of the summit looming ahead. A wisp of clouds blooming up was the summit. For the final short section Bill put on the rope just in case the summit was a big cornice, but it wasn't and was reached at 10 a.m.

We saw the party on the summit and were shouting to them. It was an exciting feeling to see them on that virgin top. 'What did you feel, Prof Wilkinson, when you reached the summit?'

How was one to get down from here? The view was absolutely superb with mountains all around. Depsang plains was about the only place where there were no peaks. 1 never imagined there were so many good peaks in the area, particularly towards the Siachen. 1 should have remembered having seen them from the top of Rimo 111 in 1985. We were aware of the fact that we have climbed a peak of one of the last of the unclimbed 7000 m group.

For the descent we said help send the fire-brigade. Till down to the ledge, it was straight forward. Wind had kept the snow better. We tied two ropes together and an abseil would take three people out of the ramp and the rock fall. The last one will have to descend. So muggins got the job and I climbed down the ice on the ramp. From the bottom we decided to come back by a different route, across the west face. The traverse was easy but tedious with knee-deep snow, there was no risk of it going down. We reached the tents at 3 p.m. completing 13 hours on the mountain.

Glad we managed to do it before anybody else littered it with fixed ropes. Our kind of style was the victor, how much can be put in practice on high mountains. Of course unfortunately we had to make our own tea half way up the mountain!

With the chief object fulfilled, there was an air of camaraderie at BC as we all gathered on 5 August. For the next two days everyone relaxed and talked. John and Dhiren left for home. But we still had two weeks before the mules came back. A fully acclimatized and relaxed party divided again in many sub-groups.

Chogam (6250 m) Stos (6005 m) and Skyang (5770 m)
The first scene of Act Two I remember is Captain Arun Pandey dancing. He had just climbed Chogam. He had worked hard for the expedition and always wanted to go above the 6000 m height. In fact this peak, which we had climbed in 1989, became popular with 5 ascents. Lindsay and Bhupesh climbed it solo on different days. On 15 August, Indian Independence Day, Dave joined me on the summit with the Indian flag. Stos (6005 m) was climbed twice and Skyang (5770 m) once.2

Laknis (6235 m)
But in between all these plethora of climbs, we had a week long exploration of two Kumdan glaciers towards the north. Proceeding along the Central Kumdan glacier, we had to sit out a two-day snowfall, the only touch of grey on our month long stay at BC. 'Laknis' (6235 m) was a fine peak in between the two glaciers.

Eight of us followed its never ending ridge. ('Fine Scottish hill walk') and the final rocky outcrop. From its summit both the glaciers and the Rimo group were seen to a great advantage. Most of us returned to BC while Bhupesh, Muslim and Pasang left towards the head of the Central Kumdan glacier.

Proceeding ahead with one camp on the glacier they reached a col at its head, 'Chong Ibex col' (c. 6000 m). It led down to the South Terong glacier. Muslim and Harsinh had reached below this col from the South Terong glacier in 1985. Thus he looked at the familiar terrain, linking the passage between both glaciers. To the north, the North Kumdan glacier led towards Terong col (c. 5720 m) reached by Dhiren Toolsidas and myself in 1985. Thus our knowledge of the area and exploration was now complete.

2- For route details of these peaks, see H.J. Vol. 46, p. 86.

Kumdan Terong (6456 m)
Bhupesh: We were very tired a day after the ascent of Laknis and left at 9.30 a.m. We decided to work in 'shifts', start early in the morning stop at noon and sleep after lunch, get up at 3 p.m. and be ready for the 'second shift'!

Muslim: On the second day we moved on the left of the glacier going on the crevasses. We had expected the col to be far a way but we reached it in an hour (Chong Ibex col). View was wonderful and brought back all the memories of my walk on the South Terong glacier. The descent was gentle and we were tempted to go down to Terong and Siachen.

Bhupesh: We were up by about 2 a.m. on 15 August and moved out soon. We got up a hump crossing the long snowfields. Great vista opened up. Initial part till a bergschrund was gentle and we gained height quite fast.

Muslim: Ahead was quite a steep ridge covered with steep scree and patches of hard ice. It was a case of one step up and two steps down. Bhupesh was not at ease and the going was very tiring. We turned the ridge and found the rotten rocks held on by ice, with great exposure, between the 3rd and 4th pinnacle a route led to the summit. On the return Bhupesh had a rock-knocking on his head and was held by a belay. That hurried us back to BC.

But back at BC Neil and Bill had reserved the last trombones. They decided to climb 'Landay' (6170 m). Entering an unnamed glacier full of deep crevasses opposite BC, they were established at the foot of this peak. Two of them left early in the night and followed a route of sustained difficulties climbing up the west face and the north ridge. We could see them all along while climbing Skyang opposite.

Landay (6170 m)
Neil: Originally I was in two moods, whether to wind down or climb, nothing bigger though. Anyway Bill had other ideas and in retropect these were the two best days of the whole trip. He tagged me along, I was relying on his enthusiasm.

Bill: In fact it was quite a problem getting a tent pitched on the glacier opposite. It was quite tricky to go across the crevasses, at one point we climbed in and out of a crevasse or through the mud on the edge of it. Next day, 16 August, we went up 60 m steep snow (about 40 degrees) across the bergschrund and followed the north ridge to the summit. There were many glaciers seen all around^ View was excellent towards Chong Kumdan I and Chogam. We thought that on the way down we could traverse across'.to have an easier descent. But there was no route across the bergschrund. So we came back and crossed it almost 10 m from where we went up.

The only taste of disappointment, as we neared the end was failure of an attempt on Chong Kumdan I by Paul and Lindsay. Braving out heavy snowfall Paul had taken ill.

Second Attempt on Chong Kumdan I
Paul: When everyone left for North Kumdan glaciers, we decided to go to Chong Kumdan I on our attempt. Weather turned bad and we sat out two days watching avalanches pouring from Mamostong Kangri. When the weather cleared, we went up to camp a little ahead. Finally we moved up to pitch tents near the peak only to find that the weather had became worse. We made a quick dash down to our last camp and BC where everything had flattended out.

After debating for a day or two, we decided to make a wild dash to the peak. So we went up to the last camp with everything once again conscious of the fact that we had been caught up by bad weather before and not much time was left. It was quite difficult snow-condition. I did not feel really steady enough to manage the final climb, which would have been almost solo climbing. And how much conditions on the mountain had changed. We would have been in for a dangerous climb, particularly on the return. Lindsay explored the approach from the NW ridge direct but found it tricky. With extreme reluctance, we returned and I suppose it is some comment on our state that we had been on the go for 20 hours out of 27. Its one of these lessons, you really never learn them!

Lindsay only said, 'A 7000 m peak route on a plate so to say, bul it did not work out. This was not a place to wander around on Your own, thW were too many holes up there and somebody was particularly nol feeling all that well, and I think those things are much more important!'

Team spirit at its best!

We all withdrew to the Kumdan plains. In fact if the mules were to Come a week later, we would have climbed a dozen more peaks or so Now we walked around the historic Kumdan dam site.3 Mules came in lime and very quickly and uneventfully (except a dash in the rain) we were back to Leh.

Everybody joined Paul, sans his famous beard, in laughter. Glasses of t and momoes saw to it that the final 'thrusting of happiness' on was total. On the final night we ordered Gushtaba and Tabakmas In the streets of Leh. In the dark deserted streets loud music was playing Ihrnuijh the car of our friends in typical 'Bombay style'. We too had played Fidelio to our mountain, and, like Beethoven's opera, not failed.

3. Full details about the dam site and its history with photographs are covered in II.J. Vol. 46, p. 85.

SUMMARY
(A) First ascents (7):
No. of persons who reached the
Date the summit was summit
reached/ attempted
1. Chong Kumdan I (7071 m) 4 August Wilkinson, Porter, Church, McAdie
14 August Attempted, Griffin, Nunn (reached 6640 m)
2. Chong Kumdan IV (c. 6520) 26 July Wilkinson, Church
3. Chong Kumdan V (c. 6520) 22 July All 6 British with Ashar, Tambe
4. Kichik Kumdan (c. 6640) 30 July Nunn, Griffin (traversed the peak)
4 August Attempted, Ashar, Pasang Tikam (reached 6600 m)
5. 'Laknis' (6235 m) 12 August Wilkinson, Church, McAdie, Ashar, Kapadia, Contractor, Tambe, Pasang
6. 'Kumdan Terong' (6456 m) 15 August Contractor, Ashar, Pasang
7. 'Landay' (6170 m) 16 August Church, McAdie
(B) Second ascents (3):
1. Chogam (6250 m) 4 August Kothari, Pania, Prakash, Yog Raj
7 August Pande, Tambe
7 August Solo (Ashar)
15 August Wilkinson, Kapadia, Tikam, Tikam Jr.
16 August Solo (Griffin)
2. Stos (6005 m) 7 August Solo (Ashar)
16 August Solo (Griffin)
3. Skyang (5770 m) 16 August Wilkinson, Griffin, Nunn, Kapadia, Prakash, Tikam
7 August Attempted Kothari, Pania (reached 5700 m)
(C) Attempts (1):
1. Chong Kumdan III (6670 m) 3 August Attempted, Contractor, Pasang, Tikam (reached 6600 m)
(D) New cols reached (2):
1. Chang col (c. 6500 m) 2 August Kapadia, Contractor, Pasang, Tikam
2. Chong Ibex col (c 6000 m) 14 August Contractor, Ashar, Pasang
The expedition generally explored the Chong Kumdan glacier and its Mibsidiary Chogam glaciers. Central Kumdan glacier was traversed fully uid North Kumdan glacier observed. The old glacier dam on the Shyok was also observed.

In all 15 different ascents were made with 49 man-ascents on different peaks.

Period: 29 June to 3 September 1991.

Members: Harish Kapadia (leader), M. H. Contractor, Bhupesh Ashar, Vijay Kothari, Dhiren Pania and Ajay Tambe. Dave Wilkinson (British Leader), Paul Nunn, Lindsay Griffin, John Porter, Neil McAdie and Dr. William Church.

Liaison officer: Capt. Arun Pandey.

H.A.Ps: Pasang Bodh, Tikamram Thakur.

History of Rimo Muztagh
Southern and eastern approaches before and across Saser la.

(1984-1991)

(There were no climbers here before 1984 though there were many travellers)
1984 Rimo IV (7169 m). first ascent by Indian HCNL 38, P. 17
"Army Sappers team led by Capt. K. S.
Sooch. They climbed six other peaks
around Central and South Rimo glaciers.
1984 Mamostong Kangri (7516 m), first ascent HJ 41, p. 93
by the Indo-Japanese team led by Col HCNL 38, p. 17
Balwant Sandhu and Yoshio Ogata. They
approached via Mamostong glacier,
across Mamostong col (5885 m) to
Thangman glacier and climbed the east
ridge.
1986 Rimo I (7383 m) was attempted from the HCNL 40, p .21 See book RIMO
eastern approaches by an Indo-Australian- (Peter Hillary)
New Zealand team led by Col. Prem Chand
and Terry Ryan.
1988 Mamostong Kangri I (7516 m) was climbed HJ 46, p. 70
by Ladakh Scouts team led by Major A. HCNL 42, 35
M. Sethi. They approached the east
from the Thangman glacier direct.
1989 Mamostong Kangri (7516 m), third ascent HJ 46, p. 195
by the Indian Army Sappers team led by HCNL 43, p. 32
Major M. P. Yadav (via the route of first
ascent).
1989 An Indian team led by Harish Kapadia HJ 46, p. 76
climbed five peaks in the Aq Tash glacier HCNL 43, p. 34
and the Chong Kumdan glacier.
1990 Mamostong Kangri (7516 m) climbed HCNL 45, p. 6
by the Border Security Force team led by
S. C. Negi. They also climbed peak 6448 m.
1991 An Indo-German team led by Col. I. HCNL 45, p. 24
S. Bhatia climbed unnamed peaks 6010 m
and 6335 m near Saser la.
1991 Chong Kumdan I (7071 m), first ascent by HJ 48, p. 97
the Indo-British team led by Harish HCNL 45, p. 23
Kapadia and Dave Wilkinson. They climbed
9 other peaks and explored Central and
North Kumdan glaciers.
History of Siachen Muztagh (continuation)

Western approach from Siachen

(1986-1991)

(For the record of visits and climbs between 1821-1985, see H.J. Vol. 42, p. 148, 'Eastern Karakoram: A historical review').
Year Expedition Reference
1986 Sia Kangri (7422 m) was climbed by the HJ 43, p. 80
Indo-American expedition led by Maj. K. V. HCNL 40, p. 21
Cherian and Leo Lebon. Seven Indians
reached the summit and Americans
reached Indira Col.
1988 Rimo I (7385 m), first ascent by the Indo- HJ 45, p. 104
Japanese team led by Hukam Singh and HCNL 42, p. 35
Yoshio Ogata. They approached from
the Terong valley and Ibex Col.
1988 Apsarasas I (7245 m) was climbed by the HCNL 42, p. 35
Indian Army Team.
1989 Rimo II (7373 m), first ascent, and Rimo HJ 46, p. 90
IV (7169 m) second ascent, were climbed by HJ 47, p. 108
an Indo-British team led by Sonam Palzor HCNL 43, p. 33
and Doug Scott. They approached from the
Terong glacier.
Chong Kumdan I (7071 m), route of first ascent via west face to northwest ridge. Chong Col (c. 6500 m) on left. Article13 						(Paul Nunn)

Chong Kumdan I (7071 m), route of first ascent via west face to northwest ridge. Chong Col (c. 6500 m) on left. Article13 (Paul Nunn)



View from the summit of Chong Kumdan glaciers on right. Article13 										(Neil McAdie)

View from the summit of Chong Kumdan glaciers on right. Article13 (Neil McAdie)



Chong Kumdan II (7004 m) seen enroute to peak I.  Article 13 	(Dave Wilkinson)

Chong Kumdan II (7004 m) seen enroute to peak I. Article 13 (Dave Wilkinson)



Chong Kumdan group from Landay (6180 m) . Chogam I glacier on left , Chong Kumdan glacier running across. North and Central glaciers on right. Article13 										(Neil McAdie)

Chong Kumdan group from Landay (6180 m) . Chogam I glacier on left , Chong Kumdan glacier running across. North and Central glaciers on right. Article13 (Neil McAdie)



Rimo group from Laknis (6235 m). Article 13 											(Bhupesh Ashar)

Rimo group from Laknis (6235 m). Article 13 (Bhupesh Ashar)



Landay  (6180  m),  route of first ascent. Chong  Kumdan glacier in foreground. Article 13

Landay (6180 m), route of first ascent. Chong Kumdan glacier in foreground. Article 13



Aq Tash (7016 m) two views: Southwest face from Skyangpoche. Article 13                                                                                        		(Harish Kapadia)

Aq Tash (7016 m) two views: Southwest face from Skyangpoche. Article 13 (Harish Kapadia)



Northwest face from the east ridge of Mamostong Kangri. (Yoshio Ogata)

Northwest face from the east ridge of Mamostong Kangri. (Yoshio Ogata)



North face of Mamostong Kangi (7518 m). Article13 											(Bhupesh Ashar)

North face of Mamostong Kangi (7518 m). Article13 (Bhupesh Ashar)



The Siachen glacier peaks from the summit of Chong Kumdan I (7071 m). Article 13										 (John Poter)

The Siachen glacier peaks from the summit of Chong Kumdan I (7071 m). Article 13 (John Poter)



High  unnamed peaks on the Siachen glacier viewed from Kumdan Terong (6456 m).  Article  13

High unnamed peaks on the Siachen glacier viewed from Kumdan Terong (6456 m). Article 13



Chong Kumdan I (7071 m), southeast face. Chogam 2 glacier in foreground. (Harish Kapadia)

Chong Kumdan I (7071 m), southeast face. Chogam 2 glacier in foreground. (Harish Kapadia)



Lindsay Griffin  traversing the east ridge to Kichik Kumdan  (c.   6640  m)  right, Chong Kumdan III (6670 m) on left. (Paul Nunn)

Lindsay Griffin traversing the east ridge to Kichik Kumdan (c. 6640 m) right, Chong Kumdan III (6670 m) on left. (Paul Nunn)



Climbing to the ramp on Chong Kumdan I(7071 m). (Dave Wilkinson)

Climbing to the ramp on Chong Kumdan I(7071 m). (Dave Wilkinson)



Route to Laknis (6235 m)  (centre behind).  Rimo peaks on  right horizon. (Harish Kapadia)

Route to Laknis (6235 m) (centre behind). Rimo peaks on right horizon. (Harish Kapadia)