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Asia, India, Spiti

Spiti. The Cambridge University Expedition to Spiti comprised Mr. and Mrs. P. F. Holmes, Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Lamb, Dr. R. W. Hey, geologist,

and me. We left Manali on August 10, 1955, and crossed the Rohtang Pass (13,050 feet) to the Chandra valley and then the Kanzam pass (14,932 feet) and entered Spiti. On August 22 from a 14,000-foot camp below the Kanzam pass, we climbed a peak of about 18,500 feet which provided an excellent view of the mountains of the main Kulu-Spiti divide. A base camp was established on August 27 near Kangring village in the main Spiti valley by the Ratang gorge. Holmes and I with three Ladakhi porters managed in four days of difficult going to reach the headwaters of the Ratang gorge, about 16 miles from Base. From a camp up a subsidiary glacier at 17,800 feet we climbed, on September 5, a peak of 20,050 feet, which provided superb views of the unknown country north of the main watershed. We hope shortly to produce a sketch map showing the main peaks and glaciers of this area, which is now left a blank on the existing map, and also a possible pass leading to the country to the South. Thereafter, we entered Shilla Nalla and on September 10 climbed Peak 20,680 overlooking Shilla. Our observations revealed that Shilla Peak, situated at the head of the Shilla Nalla, attains a height of no more than 20,000 feet.1 We returned to Manali by the 14,027-foot Hampta pass. Leaving Manali on September 23, three members of the party traveled up the Jagatsukh valley to attempt Indrasan (20,410 feet) near Deo Tibba. A severe three-day storm ruled out these plans before a base could be established. The geologist did some interesting work in the area of the Spiti shales, around Kibar, Rangring and Kaze, returning with a collection of valuable specimens.

T. H. Braham, Himalayan Club