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Asia, India—Garhwal, Kamet

Kamet. The name Kamet is more properly Kang-Med, Tibetan meaning “Glacier Fire.” This being the highest peak in the region, it catches the first rays of the rising sun and the last rays of the setting sun, lighting the ice on the top like a huge mass of fire. Our expedition followed the first-ascent route of 1931. We got to Base Camp at Vasudhara Lake at 15,500 feet on July 3. Camps I, II, III, IV, V and VI were placed at 17,500, 18,000, 18,500, 20,500, 23,000 and 24,500 feet on July 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 15. A Spark member N. Ravi Kumar and high-altitude porters Himalay Sherpa and Lopsang Tsering set out for the summit at 2:30 A.M. on July 16 from Camp VI on Meade’s Col along with leader S.K. Sheshadri and D.N.S. Murthy. Seshadri was uneasy and Murthy slow. The team returned to Camp VI for a fresh start. Only the first three set out again at 5:30 and reached the summit at 3:45 P.M. Other members of the team were Rama Chandra, H.R. Srinivas, seven high-altitude porters and I as deputy leader. High-altitude bio-medical studies to predict high-altitude sickness were carried out and doppler readings were taken up to 24,500 feet.

T. Venkatesh, Spark, Bangalore, India