The Himalayan Club Newsletter No. 66 (2013-2014)


(Founded on 17th February 1928)

President Brigadier Ashok Abbey
Vice President Tanil Kilachand,
Ravi Singh
Pradeep Sahoo
Hon. Treasurer Deepak Bhimani
Hon. Secretary Nandini Purandare
Shailesh Mahadevia
Rishad Naoroji
Dr. Raghunath Godbole
Priyadarshi Gupta
Rajendra Wani
Divyesh Muni
Rajesh Gadgil
Mr. Motup Chewang
Dr. Ravi Mariwala
Vijay Puri
Additional Members of the Balloting Committee
Monesh Devjani
Manik Banerjee
Ravindra Apte
Gp. Capt. V. K. Sashidaran
Hon. Local Secretaries
Almora Himanshu Pandey
Bangalore Kamlesh Venugopal
Darjeeling Dorjee Lhatoo
Delhi Maninder Kohli
Jammu & Kashmir Sat Paul Sahni
Kolkata Dr. Rupamanjari Biswas
Leh Motup Chewang
Manali Mahavir Thakur
Mussoorie Krishnan Kutty
Mumbai Rajendra Wani
Pune Dr. Raghunath Godbole
Shimla Deepak Sanan
Australia Garry Weare
France Claude Gardien
Japan Yoshio Ogata
Korea Bae Seung Youl
New Zealand John Nankervis
Pakistan Nazir Sabir
Spain Jose Paytubi
South Africa Dr. S. A Craven
Sweden Ake Nilsson
Switzerland Eric Bernhardt
U.K. Martin Scott
U.S.A. Donald Goodman
Nicholas Clinch
Paddy Iyer
Our very active HLS in the UK, Mr. Martin Scott had passed away last year. The Himalayan Club is looking for an able and active member to represent it in the UK.
Hon. Editor Rajesh Gadgil, Nandini Purandare
Hon. Librarian Group Capt V K Sashindran
Hon. Asst. Librarians
Mumbai Rajeev Das
Kolkata Debraj Dutta
Hon. Equipment Officer Rajendra Wani
Hon. Asst. Equipment Officer
Kolkata Subhashis Roy
Hon. Asst. Treasurer
Kolkata Rajarshi Roy
Web Master Rajan Rikame
E-Letter Editor Dr. Ravi Mariwala
E-Group Moderator Cdr. K. B. Singh
Divyesh Muni
Patrons of The Himalayan Club
Chief of Army Staff
Anil Ambani
Niraj Bajaj
Adi Godrej
Jamsheyd Godrej
Naveen Jindal
Anand Mahendra
Vijay Mallya
Pawan Munjal
Kunj Trivedi
President Emeritus Dr. M. S. Gill
Editor Emeritus Harish Kapadia
Honorary Members of the Himalayan Club
Bill Aitken
Aamir Ali
Eric Bernhardt
Sir Christian Bonington, C.B.E.
T. H. Braham
Kurt Diemberger
Lhatoo Dorjee
Lindsay Griffin
Kamal Kumar Guha
Thomas Hornbein
Sadashige Inada
Capt. M. S. Kohli
Yuichi Matsuda
Bernadette McDonald
Tamotsu Nakamura
Dr. Tsering Norbu
Jozef Nyka
Yoshio Ogata
Hiroyoshi Otsuka
Robert Pettigrew
Gulab Ramchandani
Mark Richey
George Schaller
Doug Scott
Gurdial Singh
Stephen Venables



Expeditions to the Indian Himalaya in 2013

In the year 2013, there were 31 expeditions from foreign countries and 67 Indian expeditions to the Indian Himalaya. Though majority of them aimed for the peaks routinely climbed, few attempted new peaks or routes. Unfortunately, many pre-monsoon expeditions to Garhwal and Kumaun suffered due to unprecedented heavy rains and after effects thereof. These floods in the upper reaches of the Kedarnath valley trapped more than 50,000 pilgrims lower down. It is reported that at least 15,000 pilgrim died. The area is not yet returned to normal.

Select expeditions to new areas, new peaks and routes are mentioned below.



Chaukan Pass (2419 m)

Chaukan pass, located on the India-Burma border was reached by team from Mumbai, led by Harish Kapadia. Trekking on the muddy Miao-Vijaynagar road (157 km) they reached the Noa Dihing river. For several crossings of the river they had to construct small bridges and cut across thick forest. Finally a steep climb led them to the pass, not visited by a civilian party for decades. During the World War II a British party crossing this pass from Putao to Miao was trapped due to monsoon floods river and barely managed to survive.

The team also crossed into Burma from Pangsu pass and viewed the historic ‘Lake of No Return’.

(Article HJ 69)



Tingchenkhang (6010 m)

Expedition / Organisers: Assam Mountaineering Association, Guwahati
Leader and (Members): Manash Brooah (15)
Period: May 2013

After establishing base camp near Lamuney, the team established one high camp on the western slopes of the mountain. On 14 May, the team attempted to reach the summit but had to stop at about 5580 m as the ropes fixed earlier were either damaged or were carried away by an avalanche. One more attempt was made on 15 May but again the summit proved elusive.



Trisul (7120 m)

An Indian Army team, under the leadership of Brigadier Ashok Abbey (President, The Himalayan Club), approached this high mountain from the Raunthi glacier. They climbed the west ridge of and established three high camps. On 30 May 2013, a team comprising of Naib Subedar Madan Singh, Hav Matwar Singh, Lance Naik Min Bahadur Tamang, Rifleman Yashpal and Paratrooper Ashok Kumar left Camp 3 at 02.30 a.m. and after crossing the col between Trisul I and II reached the summit at 09.20 a.m. The team also had planned to traverse all the three summits of Trisul massif but due to unstable snow conditions, the traverse was called off. On 31 May, Nk Bishnu Bahadur developed major symptoms of high altitude sickness at Camp 3. An excellent team work resulted in a successful evacuation and he was safely brought down to base camp by his fellow members. On 03 June, another team comprising of Subedar Kunwar Singh, Capt Brijesh Kumar, Rifleman Pratap Singh and Rifleman Sunil Rai also reached the summit of Trisul I.

(Article HJ 69)


Kuchela Dhura (6250 m)

In the post monsoon season of 2013, an expedition to this unclimbed peak was sponsored by Indian Mountaineering Foundation and led by Dhruv Joshi. After crossing Martoli village, base camp was established at 4173 m on the right bank of Lwan gad. They placed two higher camps and the summit camp was placed at 6064 m. On 6 September 2013, the leader with Vijay, Chitramohan and Wallambok reached the summit and achieved the first ascent of Kuchela Dhura.

(Note HJ 69)


Nanda Devi East (7434 m)

In early May 2013, the team under the leadership of Anindya Mukherjee, established base camp at Bidalgwar (4300 m) and fixed ropes to Longstaff col. After establishing Camp 2 on the narrow south ridge at 6200 m, the team attempted to reach the summit in semi-alpine style but had to abort the climb due to high winds and technical difficulties.

(Note HJ 69)


Manda II (6568 m)

Expedition / Organisers: Nilkantha Abhijatri Sangh, WB.
Leader and (Members): Shekhar Ghosh (10)
Period: May June 2013

The team established base camp on 30 May on the right bank of Kedar ganga river opposite Kedar Kharak at 4400 m. They established three higher camps on the western side of the mountain. Their fixed ropes exhausted after reaching at 6120 m. They decided the climb further without fixed ropes was risky and hence decided to call off the attempt 9 June 2013. On 11 June one of the members, Biswajit Bose, suffered respiratory problems at base camp. The team evacuated him and took him to Gangotri on 13 June but at the local health centre he was declared dead.


Mana (7274 m)

Expedition / Organisers: Indian
Leader and (Members): Cyrus Shroff (4)
Period: May 2013

The team established base camp (4120 m) at the confluence of Uttar and Dakkhni Nakthani gad on the right bank of the river on 18 May. The team entered the Uttar Nakthani glacier and established three high camps, fixing few ropes on difficult portions. First they tried to reach Gupta khal but then shifted to a gully leading to the upper ice fields. They established their highest camp (Camp 2) at 5600 m on 26 May. Unfortunately, the weather turned bad and gale force winds made movement dangerous and tricky. Therefore, after reaching 5900 m, they decided to abandon the climb.


Chaukhamba IV (6854 m)

Expedition / Organisers: American
Leader and (Members): James Ryrie Norton (2)
Period: September 2013

Brief Details: On 15 September, the team established base camp at Sundervan in the Gangotri glacier and attempted the mountain from the western / southwestern side. After ABC, they established Camp 1 at 5180 m but had to call of the attempt because of heavy snow fall in the area.


First Crossing of Chaukhamba col (6053 m)

In July 1912, C. F. Meade reached the col between Chaukhamba I and Januhut, hiking from a high camp on Bhagirath Kharak glacier. He did not cross the col. He stood there for a while, got a glimpse of the Gangotri glacier on the other side, and then returned the way he came. In May 2013, Debabrata Mukherjee and his team of four climbers and two high altitude supporters climbed up the Bhagirath Kharak glacier to the Chaukhamba col and descended to the Gangotri glacier, thus linking Badrinath with Gangotri.

The team was awarded the Second Jagdish C Nanavati Award for Excellence in Mountaineering.

(Article HJ 69)



Khhang Shiling (6360 m)

Cosmin Andron and his friends from Romania joined ‘Climbathon 2013’ organised by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation in the Bara Shigri glacier in July August 2013. During the event Cosmin with eight others including his friends and a few trainees climbed Khhang Shilling (6360 m) by a new route from northwest face from a high camp on Bara Shigri glacier. They also attempted Kullu Makalu (6349 m) but had to turn back due to an accident occurred due to rock fall.

(Note HJ 69)


KR - IV (6340 m) and V (6258 m)

  1. Expedition / Organisers: Coalfield Nature Lovers, WB.
    Leader and (Members): Paresh Chandra Nath (5)
    Period: June 2013
    On 12 June, the team established base camp (4700 m) near Baralacha la. After establishing two more camps, on 19 June, Leader with Subrata Roy and two Sherpas reached the summit of KR – V.
  2. Expedition / Organisers: Bhadrakali Pathfinders Adventurers, WB
    Leader and (Members): Debabrata Mukherjee (9)
    Period: September 2013
    On 30 August the team began approach march from Baralacha la towards Chandratal and reached Transit Camp (4718 m) and on 31 August their base camp (4955 m) beyond Topko Gongma. After continuing on the Koa Rong glacier skirting below the hanging glaciers of KR – VII they established Camp 1 (5304 m) on 3 November. The summit camp was established on 5 November at 5705 m below the east face of KR – V. On 6 September, by 3.15 p.m., they had climbed up to 6089 m by a new route on the east face towards the summit but had to turn back because of the lateness of the hour and lack of proper protection. They feel that most of the earlier teams have not identified KR – V properly and thus have made wrong claims. (The HC mountain climbing authentication team led by Divyesh Muni prima facie agrees with this statement, their details analysis will be published in HJ 70.)


KR – II (6187 m)

Expedition / Organisers: Kolkata Trekkers Youth, WB.
Leader and (Members): Spandan Kumar Malik (7)
Period: August September 2013

After establishing base camp at 4650 m, they established three high camps and climbed the east ridge of the mountain. From the summit camp at 5630 m, on 30 August, Mohene and Indranil with three high altitude supporters reached the summit at 7.50 a.m. in whiteout conditions. Though they did not have any clear views, they could locate and photograph the snow picket left by a team from West Bengal (Sonarpur Arohi Club) in 2011 at the summit.


P. 6080 m, Miyar valley

Expedition / Organisers: British
Leader and (Members): Andrew Nisbet (4)
Period: June 2013

In 2012 the Scottish Zanskar Expedition attempted a couple of unclimbed 6000 m peaks in the Namkha Tokpo. They had climbed one peak and attempted P. 6080 m. However, a potential route up the south face was spotted, and in June 2013 Rob Adams, Bob Hamilton, Steve Kennedy, Andy Nisbet and Susan Jenson returned to attempt an ascent from the Himachal Pradesh (as opposed to Zanskar) side of the range. After establishing base camp (4500 m) and ABC (5400 m) in the Miyar valley, all the team members climbed the southwest face of the mountain to reach the summit on 20 June. Many smaller summits were also attempted by them.



Zanskar and Kishtwar

Hagshu (6515 m)

In July 2013, a team consisting of Bryan Hylenski, Jake Preston, Jonn Jeannerret, Gabe Thomas and Dan Kopperud aimed for Haghshu, P. 6055 m and P. 6035 m located in the Hagshu glacier. They approached the area starting from Akshow village near Ringdom and placed three high camps above ABC. They could reach 6440 m on Haghshu before turning back due to bad weather conditions. They achieved two first ascents during the expedition. P. 6035 m was climbed on 19 July and P. 6055 m (their altimeter registered 6191 m at the summit) was climbed on 28 July.

(Article HJ 69)


P. 5700 m (Kange glacier)

Expedition / Organisers: French
Leader and (Members): Chance Emmanuel (3)
Period: September 2013

They began their trek from Akshow village and on 8 September established base camp at 3800 m near the snout of the Kange glacier. They established one more camp at 4500 m. From this camp the leader with Donadey Nicolas climbed the north face to reach the summit on 25 September in an alpine style push.


P. 5802 m and P. 5825 m (Pensilungpa glacier)

In September – October 2013, a British team from the Alpine Club of Derek Buckle (leader), Mike Pinney, Chris Storie and Tony Westcott visited the Pensilungpa glacier in the Zanskar region. In addition to general exploration of the area, they successfully made the first ascents of two summits on the Pensilungpa - Durung Drung divide; P. 5802 m (proposed name Hidden Peak) and P. 5825 m (proposed name Twin Peak).

(Note HJ 69)


Kishtwar Kailash (6451 m)

Mick Fowler and Paul Ramsden completed the first ascent of Kishtwar Kailash (6451 m) in alpine style from 4 to 10 October 2013 climbing 1500 m on the southwest face. They were supported by Mike Morrison and Rob Smith. This British team approached the mountain from Machail village and entered Dharlang nala. The base camp was established at 4000 m and after acclimatisation and reconnaissance; the peak was climbed in an alpine style push spread over a week.

(Article HJ 69)



Jungdung Kangri (6060 m)

James Monypenny (U.K.) and Cory Hall (Canada) made the first ascent of Jungdung Kangri (6060 m) that lies hidden in the Palzampiu valley of Ladakh. The team first tried to gain access from the south through Likir, however, the pass could not be crossed by mules. Instead, they headed north by road to the Nubra valley. After a two-day walk with a couple of mules, the team reached base camp at 5090 m in a pristine alpine meadow. A high camp at 5522 m was established, below the west side of Jungdung Kangri. From there they reached the summit by a route which they named as 'the Monypenny Hall of Fame’ (650 m, ED1 90° A2++) in an alpine style ascent.


P. 6046 m, Kang Yabat range

A small British team under the leadership of Douglas Briton climbed P. 6046 m in the Kang Yabat range in the Gya area of Ladakh. From Salsal on Manali - Leh highway, the team followed Yabat river to approach the mountain. After establishing three camps and a bivouac above base camp Caroline McCann and Matt Jones reached the summit via south face of the mountain. They proposed the name, Cha Ri, meaning a mountain looking like a large bird.

(Note HJ 69)

East Karakoram


Chamshen (7017 m), North Shukpa Kunchang glacier

An Indian British joint team led by Divyesh Muni and Victor Saunders, entered Sakang Lungpa and achieved first crossing of the Sakang col (6150 m) to reach North Shukpa Kunchang glacier. On the night of 14 August a wind blast of an avalanche from the slopes of Saser Kangri II struck the camp on the glacier and Andy Parkin suffered major injuries as he was thrown in a crevasse while he was sleeping in his tent. He was rescued by Indian Air Force helicopters in very unfavourable weather conditions. On 21 August, all remaining five members of the expedition with six supporting Sherpas reached the summit of Chamshen by the west ridge of the peak.

(Article HJ 69)


Plateau Peak (7300 m)

The Himalayan Club Kolkata section team, under the leadership of Debraj Dutta and consisting of eight members and 10 high altitude supporters achieved the first ascent of this giant of the East Karakoram. This peak was attempted for many times during last few years by various Indian and joint expeditions without success. The Himalayan Club team approached the mountain from the western approaches via the Phukpoche glacier. After establishing three high camps, four members and five high altitude supporters reached the summit on 31 July 2013.

(Article HJ 69)


Rongdo Valley Explorations and Climb

An Indian Air Force team of 12 members under the leadership of Gp. Capt. V. K. Sashindran explored the Rongdo valley and climbed seven peaks during a 35 day long expedition in May June 2013. This was only the third expedition in the valley. After establishing base camp at 4790 m, they established few high camps and climbed Sa’i Lhamo (6030 m), Khyung Kangri (6183 m), Chu Skeyes Kangri (6053 m), Langpoche (5968 m), Odgsal I (6234 m), Odgsal II (6028 m) and Charok (6123 m). They also attempted Lung Khor (6160 m) previously climbed and named as Gazgazri by a Canadian team in 2012.

(Article HJ 69)

(Full details and list of expeditions to the Indian Himalaya (2013) are available on the website of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (


Other News


Dr. M.S. Gill, Past President of The Himalayan Club has had a long, abiding and continued interest in the Himalaya on a personal as well as professional level. A career bureaucrat, among other prestigious posts, he was Chief Election Commissioner who was awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his tireless work to bring in electronic voting machines and thus reduce malpractice. Later he was Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs for two terms. He is now a Member of the Rajya Sabha.

Over all these years he has always been involved in the Club’s activities – his six years of HC presidency was a landmark in that he played a very important role – that of raising funds to acquire a permanent home for the Himalayan Club – the first ever since 1928 when it was established.

As a fitting tribute, the Himalayan Club has conferred upon Dr. M.S. Gill the title of President Emeritus.

For the last 35 years at least, there has been a personality so closely associated with the Club, that fitting into his shoes is a marathon job for us editors. He has been editor of the Journal for over three decades, is the Human Wikipedia of the Indian Himalaya and has authored several books on areas and aspects of the Himalaya. An honorary member of most alpine clubs the world over, recipient of many honours, Harish continues to roam the mountains without a care.

If there is any worldly attachment that Harish has, it is to the Himalayan Journal. In recognition of his tireless contribution, the Himalayan Club has conferred upon Harish Kapadia, the title of Editor Emeritus.

The Second Jagdish C Nanavati Award for Excellence in Mountaineering was awarded to Debabrata Mukherjee for exploration over the sources of the Ganga to Chaukhamba col, a high risk but wonderful maiden exploration of a very difficult route. This exploration linked the Bhagirath Kharak glacier with the Gangotri glacier, a most direct route. The Jury had made special mention of the Jadung Valley exploration by Ashutosh Mishra and his team, not only for a laudable exploration but also for a perfectly presented report that was to be used as a model example for applicants in the future.

The Garud Medal for outstanding support staff was awarded to a Darjeeling Sherpa, an unassuming man of few words but immense strength and pride in his work, Pemba Norbu, a.k.a King Kong.

Jim Perrin received the Kekoo Naoroji Award for his book Shipton and Tilman – a rare and wry insight into the lives of these iterant adventurers.

There were several deaths of friends on the Club. Aspi Moddie was more than that. He was an active family member, rather a father and a patron of the HC since 1949. He held posts of Vice President and President, he shifted the head quarters to Mumbai, broadened and widened membership, networked with international clubs - in fact he conducted overviews and financial projections long before the recent Strategic Review – exercises that held the Club in good stead for decades. He did this for 65 years! We at the Himalayan Club salute this great personality and mourn his passing.

Richard Martin Scott, our Honorary Secretary in the UK passed away in May 2013. One of the very few active overseas members, his loss is being felt very greatly.

The tragedy on Everest on April 18, 2014 when 16 Sherpas died while load ferrying and route opening, early in the season, left the world in shock. The business of climbing was temporarily shut down and Sherpas demanded better conditions and compensations. The debate on how to climb high mountains has begun again. Earlier, in the 2013 season, there were ugly fights, traffic jams on Everest and nine climbers were gunned down by the Taliban in the northern region of Pakistan.

The Himalayan Club Obituary:

Name Class and Year of Election
Richard Martin Scott M 2005
Ian McNaught Davis H 2005
Nawang Topgay Sherpa HC Tiger Sherpa
Michael Westmacott H 1953


The Himalayan Club continues to move forward despite losses and setbacks. The year 2012 – 2013 and 2013 – 14 were eventful years for the Club in many ways. All sections were pro active in organizing interesting presentations. As always, Himalayan Club sponsored significant expeditions and climbers from the Club made great summits. Scholarships were awarded to many deserving candidates. Within the Club, the process of introspection and changes continued. A Strategic Review was conducted under Chairmanship of Mr. Ravi Singh and the report, ‘Scaling Up’ was presented for consideration and implementation.

HC E Letters Volume 27 was presented in June 2013, Volume 28 January 2014 and Volume 29 July 2014. Membership is being streamlined and in recent times, social media forums such as Face Book are being used widely to promote the Club’s activities among younger enthusiasts. Membership of the HC page on FB is over 20,000. The Himalayan Club website has also been revamped.

(Details of Club activities are available on the website and relevant E letters)


Full details and forms are available from Hon. Secretary, and on the
Himalayan Club Website


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Himalayan Journal Volume 68. Please note corrections as below:

  1. Frozen Lake - Photo Feature by Sankar Sridhar (not Sankar Shridhar)
  2. Photo Credits for the article ‘The Irish in Himachal Pradesh’
    • Gramang Bal (page 109) - Sé Ó Hanlon
    • Kangla Tarbo and Shigri Parvat (page 111), Ramabang (page 112) and Bauli Khad col (page 113) by Gerry Galligan. (All four images were wrongly credited to Paddy O’Leary)



Printed in India by Parkar Arts, 1st floor, India Printing House, G.D. Ambekar Road, Wadala, Mumbai 400 031, Designed by Reflections and published by Nandini Purandare, Hon. Secretary for the Himalayan Club, 314, Turf Estate, Shakti Mills Lane, off E. Moses Road, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai 400 011, India.

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