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Asia, India—Kashmir and Jammu, Nun and Kun, UIAA Training Camp

Nun and Kun, UIAA Training Camp.The training camp organized by the UIAA was a remarkable success. A team of 28 mountaineers between the ages of 18 and 56 represented nine countries, three continents and four major religions and spoke 18 different languages. They were led by Indian Hukam Singh and Greek Mike Tsoukias. They established Base Camp at 4400 meters at the eastern foot of the Nun and Kun massif. Camp I was set up at 5400 meters below the southern slope of the White Needle. On August 12, the body of Ashok Patel was found; he was the liaison officer of the Americans in 1988. From August 16 to 19, White Needle (6565 meters, 21,540 feet) was climbed by 25 climbers in five batches. Among them were 13 Indians, including Miss Santosh Yadev, the only lady member. On August 21, four Europeans and four Asians left Base Camp to climb Kun (7077 meters, 23,220 feet). German Walter Treibel, Netherlanders Frank van den Barselaar, Ray Comips, Frank Schmidt, Iranian Ebrahim Davood and Indians Tsewang Smanla, Rajeev Sharma and Shuyeb Omer reached the summit. One of the principles of the expedition was to leave the mountain clean. From Base Camp, six bags of garbage were removed. Spaniard Jordi Pons, the oldest of the party at 56 years, made a very interesting film showing the fraternity and international friendship on the exotic mountain background. All participants except for one ascended at least one summit. For many, this was their life-time altitude record. Experienced instructors gave valuable instruction and encouragement to the young mountaineers. Dr. Walter Treibel says, “In my opinion, the most important lesson from the entire project is the very good and informative companionship of alpinists with such different cultural backgrounds and ways of thinking. Complete strangers became rope partners and mountain comrades. Even real friendships developed around the globe. This is doubtless the greatest success of the expedition.” It was an excellent idea of the UIAA Expeditions Committee.

Józef Nyka, Editor, Taternik, Poland