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Asia, India, Sikkim, Kedarnath Dome

Kedarnath Dome. The Gangotri Glacier Exploration Committee, of which I am the President, organized an expedition to Kedarnath Parbat (22,770 feet).* The members were Amulya Sen leader, Pranesh Chakraborty, Biren Sarkar, Asit Bose, Sujal Mukherjee, Himadri Bhattacharya, Dr. Swapan Roy Chowdhury, Barenya Mukherjee and Kurunamoy Das. I accompanied the team as reporter. We trekked via Gangotri and Gomuk to Base Camp, set up at Tapovan (15,542 feet) on September 23. We established Advance Base Camp (16,500 feet) on the Kirti Bamak on September 25, Camp I (18,750 feet) below the west ridge of Kedarnath Parbat on the 27th and Camp II (20,600 feet) on the northwest face of Kedarnath Dome on the 29th. The next day Amulya Sen, Karunamoy Das, Havildar Ramnath, an instructor at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi, and three Sherpas left Camp II in bright weather. After climbing several humps, they reached the top of Kedarnath Dome (22,410 feet) at 4:30 p.m. On October 3 Pranesh and Sujal established Camp III (21,800 feet) below the west hump of Kedarnath Dome with a view to climb the main peak. When the weather deteriorated suddenly, they had to come down hurriedly. The Botanical Survey of India sent B. D. Naithani and three assistants to join us to study this region for the first time, and they collected 225 specimens, some rare. The Geological Survey of India sent A. P. Tewari to conduct the first geological and glaciological survey of the region since 1935. It was found out that the snout of the Gangotri Glacier is receding at an increasingly faster rate.

Kamal K. Guha, Himalayan Club

* Kedarnath was first climbed by the Swiss in 1947. They doubtless also climbed the foresummit climbed by this expedition. Gomuk is spelled on the maps as “Gaumukh”. Ronti, which appears in the next note lies north of Nanda Ghunti.