American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India—Kashmir and Ladakh, Peaks in Barnaj and Chiring Valleys

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1979

Peaks in Barnaj and Chiring Valleys. The North of England Kishtwar Expedition made several first ascents in August and September. We had initially hoped to attempt Barnaj II from the north but inspection showed an impossible river crossing and so we switched to a southern approach. Porters were unavailable to cover the last section to a suitable base camp and we operated from the small village of Hangoo, 10,000 feet, too low for sufficient accilmatization. From the Barnaj valley Rob Crawshaw and Jean-Louis Hourcadette attempted Barnaj II from the southwest, reaching the south ridge before retreating due to acclimatization problems. At the same time Phil Bartlett and I made the first ascent via the northwest ridge of P 5750 (18,865 feet), which lies just southwest of Barnaj III. Crawshaw and I attempted Puita (19,685 feet) by the west face and south ridge but retreated some 400 feet from the summit because of insufficient time and very rotten rock. We did discover an extremely easy pass which crosses the main range and does not appear on any of the existing maps. This could be useful to future parties. After everyone else had departed, I made an eight-day foray into previously untouched Chiring valley, just to the east, exploring the upper glacier and climbing three peaks of about 18,500 feet on September 5 and 6. These are the fourth, fifth and sixth peaks south of P 5750 on the ridge between the Barnaj and Chiring valleys.

Lindsay Griffin, Alpine Climbing Group

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