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Asia, India–Himuachal Pradesh, Sentinel, Devachan, Papsura, Ascents and Tragedy

Sentinel, Devachan, Papsura Ascents and Tragedy. Base Camp was established by 17 New Zealanders on the west bank of the Tos Glacier at Sara on September 2. Over the next ten days, two camps were placed on the névé beneath the two principal objectives, Devachan (6200 meters, 20,342 feet) and Papsura (6451 meters, 21,560 feet). On September 9, Nick Brown and I bivouacked below the Sara Umga Pass. We climbed the impressive west ridge of Sentinel in 27 pitches. We spent a cold night on the summit before descending the eastern flank. We had believed the peak virgin but found a piton just below the summit. Roger Redmayne, Mike Peat, Chris Johnson and Robin Gurr left Camp I to attempt Papsura on September 12. They made good progress up the prominent gully to the northwest ridge. With good conditions, they moved unroped. At 6000 meters, Redmayne lost his footing and fell 400 meters to his death. He was aged 55 and an experienced climber. September 13 saw Rob McBrearty and Clinton Wadesworth ascend Devachan via a gully on its southern flank and the east ridge. All members withdrew from the mountain for two weeks while formalities were completed. Weather was unstable during a week of this time. On September 28, three parties left Camp I. Two were unsuccessful. Mike Peat, Nick Brown and I climbed the west face directly to Papsura’s summit.

Donald C. French, New Zealand Alpine Club