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Asia, India—Garhwal, Kedarnath South Face Attempt

Kedarnath South Face Attempt. James Garrett, David Pollari, Mel Brown and I spent the month of September envisioning a new route on the south face of Kedarnath to the western crest of the massif. We established Base Camp behind the southern lateral moraine of the Kedarnath Glacier and packed loads to a cache where the route begins at an avalanche-snow-laden couloir. From part way up the couloir, where one does not tarry, we traversed rightward onto a series of ledges, which by angling back and forth brought us to a spectacular campsite on the crest of the large lower rock buttress. A number of rock pitches, interspersed with heather scrambling, led to a second campsite, which proved to be our last. Three ropes were fixed on this long section. Pollari and Brown climbed moderately steep snow on slopes that again led to the buttress crest, but two weeks of poor weather followed. The high point was about 18,000 feet. Camps and equipment were cleared, a decision that tested us, for the new snow continued to fall daily.

Fred Beckey