Asia, India-Garhwal, Nanda Devi Attempt

Publication Year: 1983.

Nanda Devi Attempt. Our Australian expedition to Nanda Devi was unsuccessful. The team comprised Tom Miller, Gary Wills, Ed Neve, Hugh Foxcroft, Keith Egerton and me as leader. With 28 porters and 65 goats we departed Joshimath on August 23. Further five days of delay was caused by heavy rain at Lata Kharak and we finally reached Base Camp via the Dharansi Pass route on September 3. On September 7 Camp I was established on the 1981 Indian site at 18,500 feet. The position was relatively dangerous and at three A.M. on September 9 Neve was injured by rockfall while asleep in his tent. With difficulty we evacuated the concussed Neve to Base Camp and to Sarson Patal on September 16 to meet a helicopter. Tom Miller became unexpectedly ill and it was necessary to evacuate him too from Sarson Patal. Climbing resumed on September 18. Camp II at 20,500 feet was established on September 19 and, after heavy snow, Camp III below the rock face on September 25 at 21,750 feet. Egerton was suspecting retinal haemorrhaging while Foxcroft had not acclimatized well. Wills and I therefore prepared to establish Camp IV above the rock band. On September 27 throughout the day the weather worsened with increasing wind. We could not erect a tent and spent an open bivouac at 24,000 feet. On the 28th we dropped back to Camp III, where we discovered frostbitten fingers. We rejoined Foxcroft and Egerton on September 29 at Camp II and determined to give up the climb.

Michael Rheinberger, New Zealand Alpine Club, Southern Australian Section