American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India, Attempts on Tirsuli and Nanda Devi East, Garhwal

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1965

Attempts on Tirsuli and Nanda Devi East, Garhwal. Our seven-man team left Delhi on April 15, and with seven Sherpas and over 100 porters reached the Tirsuli Base Camp, at Rugus, whence the Poles had made their attempt in 1939. Strong winds and heavy snowfall hampered us, but we did establish Camp II at 18,500 feet during the first week of May. On the 10th we were ready to push off to Camp III, having already prepared the route, when a heavy snowfall forced us back to Base Camp. For seven days snow fell and fell and an avalanche swept down from 20,000 feet, moving about a mile and burying Camp II fifteen feet deep. Having lost half our equipment, we were forced to abandon our attempt on 23,210-foot Tirsuli. (The name for this peak has recently appeared as Trisuli. It should not be confused with Trisul which lies southwest of it. — Editor.) Though no longer fully equipped, we decided to continue and make our attempt on Nanda Devi East. On May 30 we established Base Camp at Bithal Gwar (14,000 feet). The next day we moved up to Camp I and finally three days later reached Longstaff’s Col but there was absolutely no place to pitch tents. It took us three more days to manage to pitch two tents — 600 feet apart. The gendarmes beyond had become terrible and two attempts revealed no decent route. On June 11, with half of the team and Sherpas lying sick, and with meagre equipment, we had to abandon the peak when the Sherpas pronounced the task impossible and refused to go up. On the retreat two ropes slipped and fell 2500 feet. Although most escaped with minor bruises, one Sherpa broke his leg and was evacuated by helicopter.

M. S. Kohli, Lieutenant Commander, Indian Navy, Himalayan Club

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.