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Asia, India—Garhwal, Kedar Dome Ascents, Attempts and Tragedy

Kedar Dome Ascents, Attempts and Tragedy. Kedar Dome (6831 meters, 22,410 feet) was the scene of several ascents and a number of attempts in 1994. Spaniards led by Miguel Sanchez reached the top: Tomás Bravo and Jordi Giró on May 15, Xavier Lamas, Francesc Martínez and Jul Monserrat on May 17 and Juan Berens, Carles Bravo and Francesc Martínez (again) on May 22. All skied down from 6750 meters. Eleven Indian cadets of the Rashtriya Indian Military Academy, all between the ages of 15 and 17, were led by Lieutenant Colonel M.P. Yadav, Principal of the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. They also climbed the southwest ridge. On May 15, Yadav, Captain Y.S. Meitei and four cadets, Sourav Datta, Gourav Hamal, Sourav Naik and Gourav Saini climbed to the summit. Other Indian expeditions, led by Biswadeb Ghosh, Biplab Chatterjee, Ashutosh Kumar Sharma and Miss Suman Kutiyal, reached the top. Miss Kutiyal’s 12-member party put six climbers on the top on August 26 but they were caught in an avalanche. Miss Sunita Jhanki was buried in the snow and died. A helicopter search revealed no trace of her. A 12-member expedition led by Rajesh Mukherjee helped in the rescue. Mukherjee, Subhas Chandra Dey, Phoni Bhusan Mondal, Shravan Kumar and Pradhan got to the summit on August 31. John Cleare led a 4-man British party, whose attempt is described below. 4 Poles led by Jacek Fluder attempted the difficult 1800-meter-high east face in October. They climbed and fixed with rope the lower 350 meters. The leader fell sick at 5300 meters and the climb was given up. However, Janusz Golab climbed the normal route solo.

Kamal K. Guha, Editor, Himavanta, India