American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India—Garhwal, Nanda Devi East Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1990

Nanda Devi East Attempt. After a lapse of seven years, our joint Indo-Polish expedition was the first to climb on the Nanda Devi massif since the Nanda Devi Sanctuary was declared a Bio-Sphere Reserve and closed for all expeditions. We were permitted to attempt Nanda Devi East from outside the sanctuary via the Munshiyari and Lawan valleys to the east. The Polish Alpine Federation wanted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Nanda Devi East by Jakub Bujak and Janusz Klamer in 1939. We were Poles Jan Kwaiton, co-leader, Ryszard Kowalewski, Jerzy Tillak, Wojciech Jedlinski and Indians Thandup Sherpa, Fateh Singh, Attar Singh, Magan Bissa, Dr. Ling Raj, Bhoop Singh, Ratan Singh Bisht and I as co-leader. We established Base Camp at Shiama Kharak at 14,170 feet on September 4 despite blocked roads and heavy rains in the area. In a short spell of good weather, we placed Camps I and II on September 9 and 12 at 17,000 and 19,500 feet, the latter on Longstaff Col. Suddenly the weather turned bad. The team members still attempted to prepare the route up the south ridge, fixing rope over difficult gendarmes and knife edges, completely devoid of snow. The rock was rotten and dangerous. The winds were furious. Due to bad weather, the team was forced to withdraw three times to Base Camp. We prepared the route to Camp III at 21,000 feet. The weather did not improve and there was continuous snowfall. We were compelled to call off the attempt on September 30. The Poles joined with us in a real spirit of cooperation and international understanding.

S.P. Chamoli, Indo-Tibetan Border Police

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