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Asia, India—Kashmir and Ladakh, Saser Kangri, Second Ascent

Saser Kangri, Second Ascent. Saser Kangri (25,170 feet) was first climbed in 1973 by an Indian expedition led by Jogindar Singh. It was climbed again in 1979 by 13 of the 50-member Army team led by Colonel Jagjit Singh. Major Prem Chand was deputy leader. He reconnoitered in July 1978 hoping to find new routes from the west. An approach from the west or northwest appeared to be technically difficult. Later Colonel Jagjit Singh also made a survey and decided to repeat the first-ascent route from the east via the Shyok valley, North Shupka Kunchang Glacier and south ridge. The expedition left Delhi on April 7 to avoid problems created by melt-water in the Shyok River, which had to be crossed and recrossed forty times. They returned by a different route via the Changla Pass. Reaching Base Camp via Darbuk was in itself a miniexpedition, though they used mules. From Base Camp onwards the members carried everything themselves. Base Camp was set up at 15,000 feet at the snout of the glacier on April 19. Five more camps were placed at 16,500, 17,800, 20,900, 21,800 and 23,800 feet, the last on the south ridge. Most hazardous were icefalls between Camps II and III and Camps IV and V, where over 10,000 feet of rope were fixed. Major Prem Chand, Captain R.C. Patial, Havildar N.D. Sherpa and Sepoy Dhandup reached the summit on May 22. Major S.P. Sharma and eight jawans summited on May 24.

Kamal K. Guha, Himalayan Club