American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India-Garhwal, Kalanka

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

Kalanka. We set out from Lata on September 11 and six days later reached Base Camp on a moraine lake north of the Uttari Rishi Gal. For three days we reconnoitered the approaches to Kalanka over the Uttari Rishi Gal but found it would have taken two days more up dangerous moraines, a tiring glacier and a difficult icefall. Moreover, the northeast face seemed too dangerous. The 4500-foot-high face has perpendicular rock sections and is overall very steep. The top ridge was guarded by giant cornices. We then set up an Advance Base below the south face at 16,750 feet. A first summit attempt on September 23 was stopped by bad weather. On September 26, Dr. Bernhard Lukas, Peter Färbiger, Manfred Hesse and Gerry Besl left Advance Base and climbed the steep hanging glacier of the south face directly up toward the summit. They bivouacked below the final summit wall at 20,350 feet, then they climbed the 55° to 65° wall, much of it bare, hard ice, and reached the summit (6931 meters, 22,740 feet) at five P.M. They descended the west ridge to the Changabang-Kalanka col to bivouac. On the third day they traversed back to their first bivouac and descended. On September 27 Erwin Praxenthaler and I climbed the 3500-foot-high glacier to the right of the summit which leads to a col in the east ridge. The slope was 60° to 65° and the ice bare and hard. To save time we climbed the first 1000 feet unroped and above, the second man jümared. We reached the ridge at four P.M. in time to hack out a bivouac in the ice. The next day we climbed the ridge on difficult mixed terrain, reaching the main ridge at 21,500 feet. In deteriorating weather we got to the summit at 4:30 P.M. and descended the west ridge to bivouac in the col at six P.M. On September 29 we descended the south face in four hours.

Karl Schrag, Deutscher Alpenverein

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