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Asia, India–Garhwal, Bhagirthi III, West Face

Bhagirathi III, West Face. Our team was formed by Juan C. Aldeguer, Sergio Martínez, José L. Moreno and me. On April 26 we arrived at Base Camp at 4300 meters. The following day we began to ferry loads to Advance Base at 5000 meters at the foot of the west face of Bhagirathi III. This took us ten days. On May 5 we started to fix rope on the wall. The route was on the pillar to the left of the Scottish route of 1982. The rock is a magnificent white granite and the climb was vertical and difficult. Since the leader could climb only in rock-climbing shoes, we could not start before hours of sunlight, which began at 11:30. In eight days we fixed 350 feet of rope. Two climbed while the other two hauled 330 pounds of food and equipment. A first summit attempt was frustrated by snowfall. On May 16 we began the final attempt in capsule style, bivouacking in hammocks. Removing the lower ropes, we spent four nights in the first bivouac site. We climbed the central dihedral and moved up our hammocks on May 20. In three days more, we overcame an overhanging section and reached 6000 meters, where the granite ends and mixed schists begin. On May 24 we threw away most equipment and headed for the summit alpine-style, bivouacking at the beginning of the schist. The following day we crossed the schist, which was very difficult and dangerous. After an uncomfortable bivouac, on May 26 we climbed 60° ice to arrive at the arête and finally the summit at five P.M. We descended a short way on the southeast ridge in the direction of Bhagirathi I to bivouac. On the twelfth day on the wall we made eight rappels down the northeast face on bad rock. We joined ropes to descend snowfields and finally climbed down bad snow to the Chaturangi Glacier, which we followed to reach Base Camp at night.

Juan Tomás, Barcelona, Spain