Asia, India—Garhwal, Kedarnath, Nilkantha, Shivling

Publication Year: 1975.

Kedarnath, Nilkantha, Shivling. These three very difficult peaks were climbed by teams from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. Commander Y.C. Khanna, B.T. Lama, Mingur, Lhakpa and Pritiman climbed Kedarnath (22,770 feet) on May 19. The climb was repeated two days later by Parmanand, Rabgias, Ang Phutar, Buddiman and Prem Singh. Nilkantha (21,640 feet) was climbed by a group led by S.P. Chamoli. Those reaching the summit were Sonam Pulzor, Kanhiya Lal, Dilip Singh and Nima Dorje. Base Camp was set up on May 11 at 15,200 feet and Camp I on the west ridge col at 17,900 feet on May 17. The west ridge was abandoned because of a 200-foot chimney and glazed vertical rock. They then turned to the north face, famous for its avalanches. Camps II and III were set up at 18,000 and 19,500 feet on May 22 and 30. The four reached the summit on June 3. The famous Shivling (21,466 feet), which has been compared to the Matterhorn, was finally climbed by Laxman Singh, Dorje, Pemba Tharkey, Pasang Tsering and Ang Tharkey on June 3. Three camps were established. From Camp I at 18,000 feet to the summit it was sheer rock and in places overhanging. In the final pitches there was a steep ice wall and a hanging glacier which called for the highest rock and ice technique. Over 7000 feet of rope were fixed. Two previous summits bids, on May 26 and 30, were beaten back by bad weather.

Kamal K. Guha, Himalayan Club