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Asia, India—Garhwal, Mana

Mana. A team of 14 Indian climbers from the Army Adventure Foundation and 13 American Army climbers were the first joint team from the Indian and U.S. Armies. They put 26 climbers on the summit (7272 meters, 23,860 feet) by the southwest ridge, first climbed by Frank Smythe in 1937. However Smythe had made an easier approach from the south, while the army men made a new one from the west. The Indians were joint-leader Major H.S. Chauhan, Thakur Das, A.B. Goth, N.B. Gurung, R.P. Gurung, Ravindar Nath, Lalit Kumar Negi, Rattan Singh Rana, N.S. Roy, Baldev Singh, Devi Singh, Dhan Singh, Ramphal Singh and R.S. Tokas. The Americans were joint-leader Robert Wood, Timothy Brown, Buren Davis, Charles Roth, Tony Hale, Richard Heath, Jeffrey Holt, Eugene Iwanyk, Joseph Mattison, Michael North, Shane Shisler, David Strobel and William Pelkey. They began to trek from the roadhead at Mana village on August 27. Base Camp at 4575 meters was set up on August 20. They ascended the Uttar Nagthuni Glacier, which had a difficult icefall. Beyond Camp I, they followed the sharp and icy southwest ridge and set up Camps II and III at 6035 and 6705 meters. Five Indians gained the summit on September 13: R.R Gurung, Rattan Singh Rana, Devi Singh, Dhan Singh and Ramphal Singh. Finally, 26 climbers in all reached the summit, but the weather turned vicious after the 15th and they were all back in Base Camp on September 18.

Kamal K. Guha, Editor, Himavanta, India