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Asia, Nepal, Lidanda Peak, on the Northeast Ridge of Himalchuli

Lidanda Peak, on the Northeast Ridge of Himalchuli. The expedition of the Royal Netherlands Alpine Club consisted of a trekking group and a mountaineering party. Its original aim was to climb P III (“Dakura”), the last elevation of the long east ridge of Peak 29. This plan however had to be abandoned because of the religious objections of the people of the villages of Lho and Sama, the same which in 1955 prevented a Japanese expedition from climbing Manaslu. At the end of the Lidanda valley (a side-valley of the Buri Gandaki) another fine mountain was seen, which was marked on a small sketch map as P 6550. We received a new permit for this mountain from the Nepalese authorities, who called it “Himalchuli Northeast Peak”. Because the local population would not even let us enter the Lidanda Khola, we decided to try an approach from the Chhuling Khola, a valley which runs parallel to the Buri Gandaki some miles to the south. This valley ends at Himalchuli and in April it is one of the most beautiful Himalayan valleys, a veritable garden of rhododendrons in bloom. It has moreover another advantage, it is uninhabited and where there are no people, there are also no gods! The approach to the mountain, which may not be seen from this side, proved not difficult, and after having established four camps, the top was reached on May 5 by Herman Tollenaar, with sirdar Nima Dorje, Ang Lhakpa I, and Ang Phurba. During the next days the weather remained good, and the following reached the top: EP.A. Hopster, J. Ozinga, and Mingma, May 6; J.R. Wouters and Ang Lhakpa II, May 7; C.J. van Tooren, Dr. Chr. Korthals-Altes, H. van Harreveld and Ang Tsering III, May 8. A Japanese survey, done in 1960 by the Himalchuli expedition and published in Sangaku, 1964, gives an altitude of 6770 meters (22,212 feet), but our altimeters read only 6550 meters (21,490 feet). The name “Himalchuli Northeast Peak” is confusing, because there is already a North Peak and the distance to the main summit is rather long. Therefore Professor Dyhrenfurth proposed the name “LIDANDA PEAK”, which is certainly more appropriate. The leader of the climbing party was Dr. J. F. Saltet. The trekking party had as participants: Dr. J. A. Noordyk, leader, O. E. H. Baron Bentinck, Prof. Dr. J. de Graeff, his wife and two sons, H. Hovinga and C. F. de Stoppelaar. Sherpas were: Phu Dorje sirdar, Penuri, Nawang Gyaltso, Ang Tandi, Ang Kami and Ang Chumbi. I should like to add that my old friend and sirdar from our 1967 expedition, Phu Dorje, who suffered a mental breakdown after the disaster with the American Dhaulagiri Expedition in 1969, had recovered completely and was again a trustworthy and excellent sirdar.

J. A. NOORDIJK, Koninklijke Nederlandsche Alpenvereniging