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Asia, India—Himachal Pradesh, Kalidaha Peak and Spire

Kalidaha Peak and Spire. I was the leader of an Anglo-American expedition to the Kalidaha Spires. Our Base Camp was in the Dharlang Nala, a five-day walk from Kishtwar. From September 3 to 9, Britons Carl Schaschke and Jeff Knight made the first ascent of Kalidaha Peak (c 6000 meters, 19,685 feet) via the west ridge. The alpine-style climb was mainly on ice. Descent was by the same route. From September 3 to 11, Americans Conrad Anker and Kevin Gheen climbed the north ridge of Kalidaha Spire (c 5600 meters, 18,373 feet). The spire dominates the valley. The route followed the snow couloir to the col and then a 15-pitch crackline to the summit (VI, 5.10, A3). Meanwhile, Tom Nonis and I attempted the bigger northwest face of Kalidaha Spire. Having climbed 22 pitches, we retired because of a sea of expanding flakes and some near rockfall misses. From September 20 to 26, Nonis and Gheen repeated the west ridge of Kalidaha but descended the south side, thereby making a traverse. We had remarkably good weather.

Geoffrey Hornby, Alpine Climbing Group