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Asia, India-Garhwal, Shivling

Shivling. A British Royal Air Force expedition made the second ascent of the southeast ridge of Shivling. The expedition, of which I was the leader, 22 strong and both climbers and trekkers, spent four weeks based on the Gangotri Glacier. The summit climbers were Nev Taylor, Nick Sharpe, Al McLeod, Andy Watkins, Jim Morning and Bill Batson. After finding a way through the cliffs guarding the southern flank of the mountain, we established a two-tent camp at the foot of the ridge at 5100 meters. The main obstacle on the lower part of the route, a huge gendarme, was turned on the right. The ridge became increasingly steep for 1000 meters on sound granite. A bivouac was made at 5600 meters and a second where the ridge abuts a steep, holdless headwall. A traverse left along a rising fault line provided a sensationally exposed pitch with good holds. This ended on the edge of the 50° snowfield that led to the main (northwest) summit of Shivling. The first pair reached the top on September 5, leaving ropes in place on the crux for the other four to follow the next day. They abseiled down the same route.

C. Michael Davidson, Squadron Leader, Royal Air Force