American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India–Kashmir and Jammu, Cerro Kishtwar Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1992

Cerro Kishtwar Attempt. Our team consisted of Andy Perkins, Brendan Murphy, David Cosford, Duncan Hornby, Jeremy Wilson, Kevin Dougherty and me. We managed the singular feat of never, before, during or after, actually being all in one place at the same time. We approached the Kishtwar from Leh via the Umasi La. Cosford, Wilson and Dougherty reached Base Camp at 4000 meters above the Haptal Glacier on September 15. Hornby, liaison officer Captain S.S. Mann and I followed a day later. Cosford had taken a fall on the walk in and Hornby had contracted hepetitis. Both left almost immediately. Perkins and Murphy arrived five days later. Murphy’s sack had been lost by the airline and never found. On the 21st, we established Advance Base at 4400 meters below the northwest face of Cerro Kishtwar (6220 meters, 20,407 feet; the peak appears on some maps as Hattal. It lies 20 kilometers due east of Agysol). Perkins and Murphy attacked a direct line on this very steep and difficult face, setting out capsule-style on October 1. They spent 17 days on ground of considerable difficulty and regular spindrift avalanches. At 6100 meters, they moved onto the northeast face, only to find more very hard climbing. They managed only half a pitch before bailing out. Their food had run out that morning. Having been deprived of my original partner Hornby, I had to give up my main objective: the big ramp line on the left side of the wall. Instead, Wilson and I tried the right buttress, spending a day on it. Progress was poor. Wilson had to leave on October 1. While Perkins and Murphy were on the wall, I made a circumambulation around Cerro Kishtwar via the Muni La and Chomochar Glaciers. The peak is hard on all sides and the northeast face will give a superb mixed climb.

Andrew Macnae, England

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