Meru North

India, Garhwal Himalaya
Author: Mandip Singh Soin. Climb Year: 1986. Publication Year: 1987.

Our light-weight Indo-Swedish expedition was composed of Swedes Ake Nilsson and Birger Andren and Indians Charu Sharma, Dr. Tejvir Singh Khurana and me. Andren had to leave shortly after reaching Base Camp due to high blood pressure. Base Camp was established on August 28 and Advance Base was at 5000 meters. After three load carries, we four set off to climb the 800-meter face and then the final snow slope. We used no porters above Advance Base and made the climb in a single continuous push. We made the first two bivouacs at 5500 and 5750 meters. Though we found fixed rope from previous expeditions, it could not be trusted as it was frayed by rockfall. The rock in the lower parts was poorer than above. The third bivouac was on snow at 5950 meters. Higher, the snow was poor and, due to sinking in, progress was slow. We made a forced fourth bivouac 200 meters below the summit without sleeping bags. We reached the summit (6460 meters, 21,162 feet) the next day, September 7. We were back in Base Camp on the 9th. We made studies on the interrelationship between retinal hemorrhages and high-altitude sickness. This was the fourth ascent of Meru North and the first Indian and Swedish ones. After this ascent, Dr. Khurana climbed Kedar Dome with Ajeet Bajaj. They left Base Camp at Tapovan on September 17 and set up Advance Base at 4900 meters on northwest ridge, the normal route. On the 19th they reached the summit (6831 meters, 22,410 feet). Though the climb is only an easy snow plod, it was a quick two-man ascent.

– Mandip Singh Soin, Himalayan Club