Stok Kangri Region, Ladakh Himalaya. In 1976 Gretel Johnson and I spent the summer in the Ladakh Himalaya, exploring route possibilities in the Thadjiwas valley south of Sonamarg and in the Stok Kangri region near Leh. We both climbed Katzim Pahalin (16,400 feet) from the east to the center peak, a second ascent, the first having been done in the early 1940?s by John Jackson. In September, 1976 Gretel and I returned to Katzim with Ken Dyleski and Richard Brower. We spent six days on the mountain with Base Camp on Glacier 3. Dyleski, Brower and I made a new route, the 1500-foot north face of Katzim. The rock of the 10 pitches was largely rotten up to F9 difficulty. I soloed the 1000-foot south face of steep rock and ice of the neighboring 15,900-foot peak. In 1978 Gretel and I returned to the same areas. We ascended Son Sar Bal (16,800 feet), a magnificent peak on the Amarnath trek, probably a first ascent. We climbed on June 26 the 50° to 70° snow northwest face up to the rock band on the summit, which was turned on the west. In early July we made a rapid attempt on Stok Kangri. We tried the north face via a prominent ice couloir on the right side. Just short of the summit we were forced back by a storm and terrible conditions on the face.
Michael Tobias, Dartmouth College