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Asia, Nepal, Mount Everest

Mount Everest. An Indian expedition under the leadership of Major John D. Dias nearly climbed Mount Everest at the end of May. They were driven back only 400 feet from the summit by frightful weather. In a letter to the editor, Hari Dang thus described the days they were highest on the peak: “Gurdial Singh fell ill en route to Camp VII (27,650 feet) from the South Col, and I had to take his place half way up to become a member of the summit party of three with Sonam Gyatso and Lieutenant M. S. Kohli. I had no spare socks, my boots already used for 26 days above 23,000 feet in making the route up the Lhotse Face were permeated with perspiration, and my boot-covers were tattered. Above this, I had fairly lowered my resistance by working hard on the route while the declared ‘summiters’ were resting at Base Camp. As a consequence of this and the fact that the weather forced us of the summit party to stay on at Camp VII for three days after our nigh fatal, benighted descent from 28,600 feet on the day of the attempt, I was severely frostbitten.” This modest statement tells us of an unusually gallant effort against great odds. Other members of the party were Captain Narinder Kumar, O. P. Sharma, K. P. Sharma, C. P. Vohra, Captain A. B. Jungalwala, Lieutenant A. K. Chowdhury, Suman Dubey, Dr. A. N. D. Nanavati and Major M. A. Soares.