American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India—Sikkim, Siniolchu

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1995

Siniolchu. Siniolchu (6887 meters, 22,595 feet) is probably the most beautiful peak in Sikkim. It was first climbed by Germans in 1936 and again in 1937. In 1979, about 20 Indians from the Sonam Gyatso Mountaineering Institute, climbing on three different days, reached the summit, with four high camps and much fixed rope. Our Slovene expedition was composed of Marko Car, Vanja Furlan, Luka Karnicar, Uroš Rupar and me as leader. Approaching via Lachen, we established Base Camp at 4570 meters on May 17. Fog and low visibility kept us there for two days. On May 19, we established Camp I at 5350 meters at the bottom of the north face, just below the big plateau at the foot of the face. On May 21 Rupar and Furlan climbed the broken icefall at the western end of the plateau. This icefall forms the lower part of the glacier which descends from the col between Siniolchu and Little Siniolchu. High temperatures made this objectively the most dangerous part of the route. It was difficult to find a way through. Karnicar and Car established Camp II on the Siniolchu side of the col at 6250 meters on May 22. Furlan and Rupar left Base Camp on May 25 and spent two nights at Camp I. They reached Camp II on May 27 and left it at eleven RM. that same night. Climbing all night, they reached the summit on May 28 at 4:30 RM. During these 17½ hours, they belayed 26 pitches, but they went unroped wherever they could on this long, exposed ridge. They descended until seven RM. and bivouacked at 6450 meters. They resumed the descent at 6:30 A.M. and after getting to Camp II at noon, they rested there for the rest of the day. Setting out at three A.M. on May 30, they evacuated Camp II and descended to Camp I at seven A.M. and to Base Camp at ten A.M. Camp I was evacuated on May 31 and Base Camp on June I. We got to Lachen on June 2. We used no fixed ropes. We had four 8mm ropes only (two for each party) and so the ascent was semi-alpine-style. Our route was the same as that of the previous parties.

Tone Škarja, Planinska zveza Slovenije

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