American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India—Garhwal, Trimukhi Parbat East and P 5794

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1991

Trimukhi Parbat East and P 5794, Northern Gangotri Region. Our expedition comprised Monesh Devjani and me supported by Pasang Bodh and Yograj Buruwa of Manali. We entered the unfrequented Jadh Ganga valley north of the Gangotri Glacier. The last recorded visit was made by J.B. Auden in 1939. After acclimatization which took us as far as Tapovan, we left Bhaironghati on May 17, traveled past Nelang and Naga and thence up the Mana Gad past Nilapani. Ahead of this we were in nearly unknown country. We continued upstream to the place known as Tridhara (4560 meters), where we turned south and on May 25 established our Base Camp two kilometers south of Tridhara. We placed Camp I at 5100 meters six kilometers to the west on the Trimukhi Glacier at 5100 meters on May 27. P 5794 (19,010 feet) lies northeast of Trimukhi Parbat and north of Camp I. All four of us climbed it on May 28 going up 600 meters on its southern slope. Trimukhi Parbat (6422 meters, 21,070 feet) was seen to be an imposing ice-and-rock pyramid, best approached from the south after skirting the long glacier. It seemed beyond the capacity of our small party, but Trimukhi Parbat East looked possible from the east. On May 29, we ferried loads to Camp II at 5720 meters at the eastern foot of Trimukhi Parbat East. Monesh Devjani and Pasang Bodh stayed at Camp II and left at six A.M. on May 30. After two steep pitches, they climbed the 130-meter crux, mixed snow and rock at 60°. With this, they reached the 40° southeast ridge, which though exposed was not complicated. They gained the summit (6280 meters, 20,604 feet) at 9:45 A.M. In 1939 Auden had penetrated the Mana Gad valley, wanting to find a col leading to Badrinath. Above the bifurcation of the two Mana Glaciers, he followed the southwest branch. He observed the possibility of an easy col at the head of the southeast branch. This was the col which we reached in three days and named “Saraswati Col” (5900 meters, 19,357 feet). After a 100-meter steep descent on the other side, it led very gently to the Saraswati valley in the east and to Badrinath. We withdrew as we had approached, getting to Bhaironghati on June 7. Nomenclature. Jadh Ganga: “The river of the Jadh people, earlier inhabitants who traded with Tibet;” Nilapani: “The river of blue water;” Tridhara: “Meeting place of three nalas;” Trimukhi Parbat: “Mountain of three faces;” Saraswati: “The goddess of learning.”

Harish Kapadia, Himalayan Club and Editor of Himalayan Journal

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