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Asia, India, Mrigthuni, Garhwal

Mrigthuni, Garhwal. The members who organized and took part in the Bharat Scouts and Guides Expedition were all Indian women Guide leaders who had attended courses at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling. Though there was enthusiasm in plenty, experience was lacking and so I, a British Guide Commissioner and climber, was invited to lead the expedition. After a three-day journey by bus with seven Sherpas and all the equipment, we reached Joshimath, where we had great difficulty in recruiting porters, but eventually we set off with fifty. The seven- day approach march through wild country followed at first the route to Nanda Devi but diverged from it at Deodi, where we crossed the Rishi Ganga. Base Camp was established on the moraine of the Trisul Glacier and Camp I at 18,000 feet above a heavily crevassed icefall. From Camp II at 19,500 feet the first assault was made by Kurshid Unrigar and Rani Baghwandas. Rani reached the summit of Mrigthuni (22,490 feet) on October 10. Two days later, the second party of Durga Durung and Usha Sarpeshkar was successful, while all the remaining members went to over 20,000 feet.

Joyce Dunsheath, Ladies’ Climbing Club