Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, East Kishtwar Himalaya
During September, Roger Everett and I, with our wives Christine Richardson and Dairena Gaffney, visited the Haptal Nalla. We approached Kishtwar via Galhar, Athole, Machail and Sumcham in five days and set up Base Camp at Bujwas at 3400 meters opposite Kishtwar Shivling on August 29. Our objective was Chomochior, the unofficial name of P 6322 (20,741 feet), which lies between the Haptal and Chomochior Glaciers about five kilometers south of the Muni La. We established Advance Base at 4100 meters up the Haptal Glacier. Everett and I originally planned to attempt the northwest spur but the approach was blocked by a steep, chaotic, 600-meter-high icefall. This lengthened our already long approach. By crossing the main Haptal Glacier, climbing two icefalls to reach the upper glacier and then taking the left branch, we reached an ice couloir which we climbed on September 6 for 700 meters to a bivouac at 5620 meters on the west ridge. A day was spent acclimatizing there before climbing the ridge via a mixture of rock-and-ice pitches to bivouac at 6030 meters. The weather turned bad in the night, but an early start let us take advantage of a brief clear period. Several mixed pitches and a diagonal abseil led to the final tower, which we turned on the south side. A snow ridge was followed to the summit, which we reached at ten A.M. on September 9. The descent to Base Camp took four days and was made by abseiling and downclimbing the ascent route. The climbing was sustained but never very difficult (UIAA IV and 60°). We climbed about 60 pitches on the 1400-meter-high route.
Simon Richardson, Alpine Climbing Group