American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India–Kashmir and Ladakh, Sickle Moon, Northwest Face Attempt, Kishtwar Himalaya

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1981

Sickle Moon, Northwest Face Attempt, Kishtwar Himalaya. The Cumbria Himalayan Expedition, comprising A1 Morgan, Dave Robbins, Mike Rafferty, Alan Deakin, Duncan Holdsworth, Lin Rutland and me as leader, attempted the northwest face of Sickle Moon (6663 meters, 21,870 feet). After a five-day walk-in, we established Base Camp at 11,500 feet on August 29. On the 30th Advanced Base Camp was established and stocked at the foot of the northwest face at 13,500 feet. We attempted a steep ice face leading directly to the summit. We found a route through the lower rock buttress and established a bivouac site at 17,000 feet, though interrupted by two spells of bad weather. On September 8 we left the bivouac for an alpine-style push for the summit. Deep snow slowed progress. A rapid deterioration in the weather caused a retreat from 19,000 feet to a snow hole. The next day we were left with no alternative but to retreat. It continued to snow for five days and the expedition was abandoned.

Ron Rutland, Lancashire Teachers Mountaineering Club, England

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