Asia, India–Garhwal, Shivling, North Ridge

Publication Year: 1981.

Shivling, North Ridge. Masayuki Fujita, Masayoshi Yamamoto, Isao Kubo, Takayuki Akasu and I as leader visited the Gangotri area to climb Shivling by a new route. Indians had climbed the west ridge in 1974 but no other route had been done on the mountain. Although delayed by monsoon rains, we arrived at Uttarkashi on July 13. On the 16th we left there with 42 porters. On July 20 our advance party reached Tapoban, east of Shivling’s north ridge, where we set up Base Camp. Although we could not see the ridge because of bad weather, we set out for our objective. On July 28 we established Advanced Base Camp on a green hill at 15,525 feet, below “Baby” Shivling, a small peak of about 18,000 feet on the north ridge. From Advanced Base we had to climb up the side of the north ridge on rotten rock to the col between “Baby” Shivling and Shivling, where on August 4 we set up Camp I at 17,550 feet. From there we followed the north ridge to some big pinnacles. We climbed over the first one and traversed under the rest on the left to reach a snow gully on the east, which led us back to the ridge crest. There was some direct aid in this part. We fixed rope from Camp I to II, which was just beyond the pinnacles and before the gully. We found a flat place on the north ridge for Camp III, which we pitched on August 22. The weather continued bad. We climbed the steep ice face and then a very steep, thin, unsound snow ridge. At the end of the ridge, at 20,350 feet, just below where the north ridge is of overhanging rock, we established Camp IV. The northwest face was almost vertical but we found a snow band that traversed up across the rock of the face. We prepared the route slowly. On September 4 Fujita, Yamamoto and Kubo left Camp IV at 7:30 A.M. and after ten hours reached the summit. They were back in camp at eight P.M. We were all back in Base Camp on September 6 and left there on the 9th.

Norio Yasuda, Tokyo University Ski Alpine Club, Japan