American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India—Kashmir and Jammu, Nun Attempt and Tragedy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1989

Nun Attempt and Tragedy. Our expedition had as members Jed Meyer, William Ogbum, Mike Seavers and me as leader. Our original aim was to climb the difficult east ridge of Nun from Base Camp on the Shaffat Glacier and then to traverse the mountain by descending the west ridge. Due to excessive winter snowfall and unseasonable above-average springtime temperatures, the Suru River was exceptionally fast and deep. Getting loads across would have been impossible. Back in Tongul, we met the Indian Joint-Services Expedition which was attempting Nun from the west. Their leader, Squadron Leader Puri, invited us also to make an attempt from that side with the two teams operating separately. We established Base Camp, Advance Base, Camps I, II and III on May 30, June 2, 8, 12 and 16 at 13,500, 15,500, 17,700, 19,000 and 21,300 feet. Above Camp III it was mainly mixed rock and ice with some technical climbing. On June 17, Jed Meyer and I set out toward the summit. As we emerged from our tent, we met six of the Indians and all continued upward together. By six P.M., at 22,700 feet and some 400 feet from the top, it became apparent that we could not reach the summit because of worsening weather and impending darkness. As we prepared to descend the 50° to 55° snow slope we had just ascended, Jed slipped and fell to his death. His body was eventually located 1000 feet below where he had slipped. It took another five days to clear the mountain in which time it was ascertained that Jed’s body could not be safely retrieved. Both the Indians and we decided to call off our expeditions.

Peter Hudd, British Avon Nun Kun Expedition

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