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Asia, India–Garhwal, Kamet West Face and West Ridge

Kamet, West Face and West Ridge. Our joint Indian Army and French Army expedition climbed a new route on Kamet. We left the roadhead at Mana on August 27. After many porterage problems, we set up Base Camp on the Pachham Kamet Glacier at 5300 meters on September 8. After reconnaissance, we made Advance Base at 5600 meters. We climbed a direttissima line up the west face on the left side and fixed 3500 meters of rope on rock and ice of UIAA Grade V to VI. There were ice grooves of 70° to 75° and an average of 50°. We set up Camp I on the narrow west ridge at 6900 meters. We then fixed another 500 meters of rope to Camp II at 7200 meters, higher on the ridge. The southwesterly winds interfered with the work on the mountain. When a party of seven was at Camp II on the night of September 27, two of the three tents were tom away during the night. By morning the winds subsided. The party at Camp II started late due to the disturbed night and another party of seven from Camp I joined them. Deputy leader Colonel Jean-Claude Marmier, Adjutants P. Boyer and H. Sachetat, Sergeants L. Mailly and E. Gramond, Corporal E. Bellin and U. Flematti, French, and Captain P. Awasthi, Havildars Som Nath, Umed Singh, T. Tashi and Ram Phal, Rajiv Sharma and Nima Norbu, Indians reached the summit (7756 meters, 25,447 feet) between 12:15 and 1:30. Clear views on a windless day rewarded them. Other members of the expedition were Chef de Bataillon F. Leray, Major H.S. Chauham, Captain Surendra Kumar, Swaran Singh, Lance Havildar T.B. Pradhan, Majors W.J.B. Sturgeon, R.J.S. Dhillon and Pushkar Singh, Naik Palwinder and I as leader.

Balwant Sandhu, Colonel, Indian Army