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Asia, India—Kashmir and Jammu, Kun Ascent and Tragedy

Kun Ascent and Tragedy. Our expedition was composed of sixteen members, including four women, two guides and four high-altitude porters. After a difficult crossing of the flooding Suru River at Ringdom Gompa, we headed up the Shafat valley to Base Camp at 4400 meters. There we divided into three groups. The first moved up to Camps I, II and III on July 16,18 and 19 at 5400, 6000 and 6300 meters. July 20 was summit day for the first group. Directly above Camp III was a steep, knife-edged ridge which led to a great plateau. From the plateau we were separated from the summit by some 400 meters. We unroped and each climber headed to the summit at his own pace. The members of this first group were Ernest Bersier, Mlle Colette Bühler, André Demartin, Charles Eichenberger, Yan Kocher, Jean Nicklès, Mlle Odile Nydegger, Maxime Zürcher and I. The descent required all our attention. We in the first group had to descend to Camp II to allow the second group, which was following us by one day, to occupy Camp III. On July 21, the second group set out for the summit with fairly good weather, but it deteriorated during the climb and they turned back. During the descent, the accident happened. The snow and fog made it more difficult. We do not know the cause of the slip, but tragically Mile Gritli Bosch and Ulrich Nicklès fell to their deaths.

Nicole Bangerter, Club Alpin Suisse