American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India—Eastern Karakoram, Rimo I

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

Rimo I. Rimo I was first attempted by an Indo-British expedition in 1985 via the southwest spur (AAJ, 1986, pages 261-6, with photos). In 1986, an expedition with members from India, Australia, New Zealand, England and the United States attempted to climb the mountain from the east (AAJ, 1987, pages 268-9). In 1988, our Indo-Japanese expedition was composed of Japanese leader Yoshio Ogata, Japanese Nobuhiro Shingo, Hitoshi Watanabe, Masaki Aoka, Hideki Yoshida, Junichi Takahashi and Yuji Futamata and Indians Captain V.K. Vaid, Nb/Sub N.D. Sherpa, Kanhaiya Lal, Rattan Singh, Tsewang Smanla, Atanu Chatterjee, Sharap Chholden, D. Chand and me as overall leader. An acute shortage of porters in the Nubra valley poses problems. We solved this by enlisting 27 Nepalis and nine local Ladakhis. On June 26, we began trekking from the roadhead at the Siachen Glacier snout. We climbed the Siachen for six kilometers and turned right into the Terong Topko valley. The Terong Topko River, which issues from the joint snout of the North and South Terong Glaciers, was raging. Our efforts to improvise an aluminium-ladder bridge proved futile. Finally, N.D. Sherpa led four members up the Siachen Glacier and entered the Terong Topko valley west of a rocky hill. On July 4, they were across the river from us and by evening we had rigged a rope bridge over the river. We set up Base Camp at the junction of the Terong Glaciers. By the time we could pitch Advance Base at the head of the North Terong Glacier at 5040 meters on July 8, the weather had turned bad. Despite this, on July 9, Camp I was set up at the foot of Rimo I, just below Ibex Col at 5960 meters. We were on a new route not attempted by the other expeditions. From Camp I onward, every inch of the climb had fixed rope, 2000 meters of it. The weather was bad from July 13 to 17. Camp II was set up on the rock face below the hanging glacier at 6750 meters on July 19. After tackling the wall of the hanging glacier at 6900 meters, we set up Camp III, the Summit Camp, at 7000 meters on July 27. Beyond Summit Camp, only five ropes were fixed. On July 28, Smanla, N.D. Sherpa, Yoshida and Ogata waded through fresh snow and reached the summit (7385 meters, 24,230 feet) at two RM. An hour and a half later, Kanhaiya Lal and Rattan Singh got to the summit directly from Camp I. On July 29, Shingo and Futamata reached the summit at eight A.M. Later that day Chholden and Chatterjee got to the top, having set out from Camp I. That same day Watanabe got to the summit at five RM., while Takahashi climbed to Summit Camp. On July 30, the latter climbed to the top and he and Watanabe descended to Camp I. On July 31, all members were back in Base Camp after bringing down all equipment from the higher camps.

Hukam Singh, Indian Mountaineering Foundation

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