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Asia, India—Garhwal, Kamet and Abi Gamin

Kamet and Abi Gamin. In the pre-monsoon period, I led an expedition to Kamet. We left Joshimath on May 28 in two separate groups. One, led by Captain S.B. Dalai, went to the virgin west face. Captain Dalai, Naik Dhan Singh and Naik Rajinder Singh made a route along an icefall and up very steep rock where they reached 23,000 feet. A blizzard forced them to cling to the rocks throughout the night. They turned back, convinced that there is a route but a hazardous one. The other group, led by Captain B.B. Thapa, set up Base Camp at Vasundhara Tal at 15,500 feet and Advance Base at 16,800 feet. Camps I and II were on the East Kamet Glacier. There was a steep gully between Camps III and IV and the route was dangerous there. Camp V at 23,500 feet was close to Abi Gamin. Captain Thapa, Lieutenants R.S. Bakshi and R.K. Singh, Havildar-Major Rajpal, Havildar Lalit Mohan and Recruit Khem Singh, climbed the east face and reached the summit of Kamet (7756 meters, 25,447 feet) on July 1. Rajpal and Lalit Mohan skied down to Base Camp. A week later Abi Gamin (7355 meters, 24,130 feet) was climbed by Kaviraj Singh and Lieutenant Bakshi.

Narindar Kumar, Colonel, Indian Army