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Asia, India-Kashmir-Jammu, Sickle Moon, South Face and Southeast Ridge, Brammah Massif, Kishtwar

Sickle Moon, South Face and Southeast Ridge, Brammah Massif, Kishtwar. Our expedition consisted of Corinne Pesenti, Véronique LaPlante, Félix Brunod, Claude Yard, Bernard Teiller, Hervé Spuytte and me as leader. From the roadhead at Putimahal just above Palmar, we ascended the Nanth Nala through Sondar to Base Camp on the Brammah Glacier near the foot of the south face of Sickle Moon. Base Camp was established at 4084 meters on July 17. The next day we reconnoitered the icefall which would give access to the col at the foot of the southeast ridge. Camp I was at 4700 meters. We climbed in the icefall and then on the south face, fixing 200 meters of rope in the icefall and on the 50° to 60° ice slopes. Camp II was established at 5400 meters on July 24. After several days of bad weather, we returned to Camp II. It took two more days to get to the col at the foot of the southeast ridge at 5820 meters on July 29. On July 31 the seven members of the team all started up the ridge and bivouacked at 6230 meters. The following day, the slope was still steep, 60° to 70°, and we often had to traverse below the crest of the ridge, which was impassable. The bypassing of the 6415-meter foresummit took time as the rock was rotten. That evening we bivouacked at 6350 meters on the plateau below the summit. On August 2 we left camp at 8:30 A.M. and all seven reached the top (6574 meters, 21,568 feet) at noon. The two women made the first female ascent of the peak. It took three days to return to Base Camp. From 6350 to 5820 meters we rappelled down a great couloir to the left of the ridge to get to the col.

Jean-François Grandidier, Club Alpin Français