American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India—Garhwal, Kharchakund, North Ridge

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988

Kharchakund, North Ridge. Bobby Gilbert, Rob Tresidder, Pete Scott and I made the first ascent alpine-style of the north ridge of Kharchakund (6612 meters, 21,695 feet). It was the third ascent of the peak, which had previously been climbed twice by the west ridge, the route by which we descended. The summit was reached on September 18 after a one-day approach from Base Camp at Sundanban and a 5½ -day ascent. The first difficulties were to reach and traverse a group of five pinnacles, which had turned back previous unsuccessful attempts. The pinnacles provided excellent rock climbing. The route above there was of consistent high quality. Other pinnacles and towers proved significant obstacles between relatively easy snow-and-ice walls and arêtes. The hardest climbing was a bold rock pitch to gain the summit of the Great North Tower, where we made the sixth and highest bivouac at 6085 meters. Since some difficult diagonal and overhanging abseils were made, we left 120 meters of rope to facilitate retreat along the ridge if it had been necessary.

Robin Beadle, Oread Mountaineering Club, England

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