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Asia, India—Garhwal, Shivling, 1989

Shivling, 1989. Our expedition from Italian Alpine Club’s Dueville Section was composed of leader Giacomo Albiero, Pierino Radin, Dr. Angelo Bogoni, Antonio Bortoli, Franco Brunello, Pierantonio Casagrande, Andrea Ercole, Sergio Grendene, Pietro Perdoncin, Gino Pellizzari, Paolo Sartori, Pietro Valente, Ruggero Zanini and me. Our objective was to climb the north-northeast spur of Shivling. We set up Base Camp at Tapovan at 4300 meters. During a period of acclimatization, we set up two tents on the north-northeast buttress at 5050 meters. On September 30, 1989, four climbers moved up to locate Camp II at 5400 meters. But the weather did not help us. The tail of the monsoon dumped heavy snow on the two camps and above. When the weather improved on October 5, Radin and Sartori returned to Camp II. Another snowfall rendered the mountain treacherous, but they decided to press on. In two days, however, they had gained only 200 meters and they returned to Base Camp. Obviously morale was at a low point, but we decided to attempt the north-northwest buttress. Previous reconnaissance had revealed an ice couloir that let us bypass the bottom of the buttress. On October 9, a tent was placed at the head of the couloir at 5100 meters. On the 10th, Camp I was moved up to 5420 meters in a place more protected from avalanches. On October 11, in beautiful weather, two ropes started out, but only Radin, Sartori and Grendene continued. They surmounted steep, snow-covered slopes to arrive at a rocky step still 200 meters from the summit. Because of the deep snow, they decided to return rather than to risk a bivouac. Grendene had the beginnings of frostbite. On October 12, 1989, Brunello, Bortoli and Casagrande set out before dawn and were aided by the tracks from the day before. At five P.M., the three reached the summit of Shivling (6543 meters, 21,467 feet).

Bruno Girardo, Club Alpino Italiano