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Asia, India—Garhwal, Ascents of Khamengar and Parahio and Exploration in Kulu, Spiti and Lahul

Ascents of Khamengar and Parahio and Exploration in Kulu, Spiti and Lahul. Our expedition of Kaivan Mistry and me and Kumaoni porters Har Singh Sr, Har Singh Jr and Kesar Singh and Manali porters Yog Raj Thakur and Surat Ram was joined in the first part by Vijay Kothari, Kekoo Colah and Saif Bijiwala. Northern India had experienced one of the heaviest monsoons ever this year. Roads and tracks were destroyed. We were often delayed and daily afternoon rain was a common occurrence. We began on July 17. We trekked from Kulu up the Parvati valley over the Pin Parvati Pass on July 25 to Spiti and descended the Pin valley. We replenished supplies at Sagnam Village. Turning west and then north, we ascended the Khamengar River, the major branch of the Parahio River. On August 2, Kesar Singh and I made the second ascent of Khamengar (5760 meters, 18,898 feet) while Mistry, Yog Raj and Surat Ram made the second ascent of Parahio (5920 meters, 19,423 feet). Both had been climbed by P.F. Holmes and G.W. Walker in 1956. On August 3, we crossed the South Ratang Pass to the Ratang valley. In the Ratang valley, not visited by climbers in 37 years, I explored the head of the valley and saw the snow pass leading to the Bara Shigri Glacier. Mistry climbed to the North Ratang col on the eastern shoulder of 6170-meter Ratang Tower but saw no descent to the Gyundi valley with our laden porters. We moved down the Ratang valley to ascend the Sanugba Nadi valley. On August 8, we reached the Sanugba col, but no crossing was possible. We then decided to return along the Ratang River. For two days, we passed through the spectacular high walls of the Ratang Gorge. Finally, we were at Kaja on the Spiti River, where we ended our 222-kilometer, 28-day trek.

Harish Kapadia, Himalayan Club