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Asia, India—Garhwal, "P 6400" (P 5969)

“P 6400*” (P5969). Tapovan is a normally a beautiful Base Camp with grass and water. After we arrived on May 2, unusually heavy and continuous snowfall turned it into a torture from the start. The days went by and every morning we had to remove the snow which had fallen in the night. Our main objective, Shivling, was falling through our fingers. Our liaison officer pointed out an unclimbed 6400-meter mountain which rose above Tapovan opposite Shivling. We decided to make its ascent at night to avoid soft snow and possible avalanches. Xavi Metal González and I left Tapovan at seven P.M. on May 20. Crossing the glacier which separated us from the southwest face was arduous because the snow was still soft. As we got to the initial ramps, night had fallen and the snow had hardened. Progress was rapid on the 45° and then 50° slope in the light of a full moon. We reached a rock face a little above halfway. On leaving the rocks toward the right, the slope became steeper. For several hours, the slope was a consistent 60°. Suddenly we saw the crest 50 meters away, but the slope steepened to 65°. At 7:30 A.M. on May 21, we hugged each other on the summit. We thought of Conrado López waiting for us below, but we were happy with the ascent of a virgin peak. On May 26, we climbed Kedar Dome.

Josep Lluis Sasot, Escuela Catalana de Alta Montaña, Spain

*The editor, who has been in the region, finds it difficult to know what this peak can be. There is no indication on any map of a peak of this altitude where the Spaniards place it. A letter from Harish Kapadia, editor of the Himalayan Journal shows that he too has his doubts. Kapadia states, “From maps, their photos and other photos, it appears that they may have climbed P 6044. There is no peak of 6400 meters in that area or on that ridge.” As we go to press, Sr. López informs us that they were mistaken in the altitude and that in fact they climbed P 5969, which lies just north of P 6044.