AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, India—Garhwal, Shivling

Shivling. Larry Stanier, Rob Orvig, Alison Andrews and I were settled into Base Camp at Topovan on September 22. We had intended to climb a direct finish on the north ridge of Shivling. However, recent heavy snowfalls and the huge overhanging summit prow caused us to look for alternatives. We decided on the south buttress of the east peak, the major ridge between the east ridge and the Bonington-Fotheringham route. This had been the scene of a fixed-rope ascent in the early 1980s and we thought it a good project for an alpine-style ascent. On September 28, we gained access to the buttress via a glacial basin on the east side of the ridge. We found wonderful moderate mixed climbing on superb granite. We bivouacked at 5640, 5880, 6035 and 6100 meters. On October 7, two of our team displayed symptoms of altitude sickness and so we abandoned the route at 6250 meters. On October 11, we decided on the westernmost rib of the east summit, the first-ascent route. By gaining the rib via a rolling sérac barrier, we hoped to save a day, though this proved exposed to séracs higher on the mountain. Once on the ridge, the climbing was again lots of fun and generally fourth and fifth class, although again there was much exposure. We had three bivouacs at 5580, 5640 and 5790 meters. On October 15, we left for the summit. An 80-meter-high sérac wall yielded after much bashing through a wild chimney through the ice wall. From there, walking on a glacier and a small ice face led to the summit (6543 meters, 21,467 feet).

James Blench, Alpine Club of Canada