American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India-Sikkim, Kabru Dome

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1983

Kabru Dome, Sikkim. The Indian Mountaineering Foundation sponsored an expedition to Kabru Dome (6600 meters, 21,654 feet) through the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute of Darjeeling. It was one of the selection camps for the members, both men and women, to be chosen for the Indian Everest Expedition in 1984. Kabru Dome had been attempted three times in the past: by two British expeditions, the first led by N.A. Tombazi in 1925 from the Alukthang Glacier and the second led by C.R. Cooke in 1935; and by an Indian expedition led by B. Biswas in 1964 whose claim of ascent is not accepted as valid. The 30-member IMF expedition, under the leadership of Colonel D.K. Khullar, Principal of the HMI, set up Base Camp near the snout of the East Rathong Glacier on September 14 at 14,500 feet. Advance Base was established on the true left medial moraine, where the Kabru Dome icefall meets the glacier at 15,800 feet. The icefall was the biggest obstacle. Up to Camp I at 18,000 feet, we skirted the icefall mostly via a rock gully to the true right of it. Three days were spent finding a route through the upper icefall above Camp I. We were finally divided into three groups. The first group worked on the route while the other two stocked Advance Base and Camp I. The first group occupied Camp II at 20,000 feet above the icefall on September 20. Unfortunately due to whiteout and weather, they were unable the following day to make the summit. The second group occupied Camp II on September 23. Climbing on the southwestern flanks and finally gaining the south ridge, Mahabir Thakur, T. Lobsang, K.N. Singh, Gautam Dutta, Umeshwari Devi (the only woman) and P. Bhotia reached the summit at 12:30 on September 24. The third summit party managed to put Captains R.S. Sandhu and B.S. Rai, Manik Banerjee, P.P. Gautam and Ki Kami Sherpa on the peak on September 26.

Yousuf Zaheer, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, India

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