Asia, India—Himachal Pradesh, Shigri Parbat Ascent and Tragedy
Shigri Parbat Ascent and Tragedy. An 18-man expedition from the Indian Army Corps of Engineers was led by Major M.P. Yadev. They made the second ascent of Shigri Parbat (6526 meters, 21,410 feet). The only previous ascent was by a British team on August 27 and 28, 1961. The Indians could not cross the Rohtang Pass until May 15 due to blizzards and heavy snowfall. After wading through waist-deep snow, the advance group and a few porters reached Chhota Dhara on May 22. Since most of the porters had deserted the expedition, they decided to make an alpine-style ascent from Advance Base at 16,000 feet. On May 30, Captains Sudhir Mittal and G.K. Sharma set out. After a third bivouac, on June 2 they reached the summit. On that same day, a group was moving from Base Camp to Advance Base with supplies. While crossing the improvised bridge over the Chandra River, Captain Kishore Papola fell midstream into the river. He was entangled in ropes and died when his head hit a boulder. Captain B. Bhutani, who was standing on the bank, moved swiftly and tried to hold the rope. He slipped on the ice overhanging the river and was carried away by the current. His body was never found.
Kamal K. Guha, Editor, Himavanta, India