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Asia, India, Spiti (Himachal Pradesh), Kang Yassay, West Peak

Kang Yassay, West Peak. The expedition (Mike Ratty, leader, Trevor Willis, John Shelley, John Lovett and Nick Fellowes) had planned an ascent and exploration of the unclimbed Thalda Kurmis, in the Rupshu region of Ladakh. Permission for the peak was withdrawn at the last moment by the Indian authorities, with no explanation given. (The restriction applies only to foreign climbing teams, as I have since learned that the peak was one of several climbed by Harish Kapadia during July, and the area is open to foreign trekkers.) Permission was granted instead for Kang Yassay, which is also in Lakakh, but in a popular trekking area near Leh. On August 17, Mike Ratty and Trevor Willis attempted a route on the northeast shoulder. Above the glacier we encountered steep snow overlying ice; the ridge was steep soft snow. At 5400 meters, exhaustion and a hailstorm ended the attempt. On August 19 Mike Ratty, Trevor Willis and John Shelley climbed to the subsidiary (west) summit (6100 meters) by the ordinary route, which offers no technical difficulty. The remainder of the time at basecamp was beset by bad weather. On August 25 the expedition trekked out eastward over the Lalung La to the Leh Manali road.

Mike Ratty, England