Article 11 (Harish Kapadia)
Mani walls of Thugje monastery, Tso Kar lake in background.
Before he started for Haramosh, Paul Nunn had wondered whether the height of his peak, 6666 m, had any numerological significance. He was not superstitious but as events turned out, he was killed on the 6th of August on the peak. The death of Paul in his prime was a shock to many. Having shared two expeditions with him it was indeed a personal loss to me.
Another personal loss was that of H. Adams Carter, the senior-most editor of the mountaineering world. Having known him for several years it was difficult to believe that Ad was no more. Ad will always be part of the mountaineering history which he so faithfully recorded.
Though I did not know F.C.Badhwar personally, in his death the Himalayan Club has lost a dedicated supporter. He was the first Indian President of the Club, 1964-67, and was responsible for establishing true Indian roots for the Club. The HC owes a lot to all these members and the HJ pays a tribute to them.
From the mountaineering aspect the deaths of 13 Indian mountaineers of the Border Security Force team on Saser Kangri in 1995 was a tragedy of epic proportions. It was the worst tragedy after the tragic events on K2 in 1986. Unfortunately the organisers tried to keep the events under wraps and the accident was not much publicised. Despite best efforts we could not obtain an article.
Of the other major events covered here are four climbs by the Japanese teams; Nanga Parbat by a new route, completing the Northeast Ridge route on Everest, climbing Makalu by the East ridge and an expedition to the unknown area of Myanmar, to Hkakabo Razi. The first ascents of four 7000 m peaks are also covered here, Nyegi Kangsang in the Arunachal Pradesh, Chaukhamba II in Gangotri, Kabru North and Kabru South in Sikkim, with a spirited attempt on the last virgin 7000 m peak in Kumaon, Tirsuli West. Also covered in this issue are the ascents of Drangnag Ri, Nanda Kot by a new route, the first ascent of Panch Chuli IV, an attempt on the north face of Kumbhakarna and the west pillar of Gya.
My thanks are due to various supporters as usual for administrative and editorial help. Business Editor S.P. Mahadevia must be specially thanked for his efforts.
Coming back to the superstition and numerology, in this case with the number 6, in this same year and three weeks before the fatal accident to Paul I did my bit to restore faith. With a 6 member team I was climbing the summit of Lungser Kangri, in Ladakh on the 16th July. The height of Lungser Kangri, 6666 m! Thankfully for us all returned safely from this second highest peak of Ladakh.