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Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, Parbati South, Kulu

Parbati South, Kulu. Six past or present members of Aston University and a doctor travelled overland in an ex-RAF ambulance to India. After three weeks of negotiations in Delhi, we received a permit to attempt Parbati South. This 20,101-foot unclimbed peak is forty miles east of Kulu. Our aims were twofold: 1. to climb Parbati South. We retreated 600 feet from the summit. Illness and technical difficulties forced us to withdraw after establishing five camps in three weeks in September. Climbing difficulties included a 2000-foot couloir at 50° to 60° and UIAA V+, A1 rock climbing. 2. to measure pollution in the western Himalaya. Samples were taken of glacier ice at Camp II (17,000 feet) up to 20 feet below the surface. Initial tests show that some of the samples contain 0.05 parts per million (ppm) of lead whilst a survey of the Greenland icecap showed 0.01 ppm. We believe that these results show cause for concern.

J.D. Prosser, University of Aston, Birmingham, England