Asia, India, Kumaon and Garhwal Himalaya, Nanda Kot, South Face

Publication Year: 1996.

Nanda Kot, South Face. A guided British expedition made the first ascent of the south face, approaching from the Pindari Glacier. The summit (6861 meters) was reached on October 2 by Richard Baskerville, Martin Moran, Andrew Nisbet, Jonathan Preston, and Brian Shackleton. This chisel-headed snow/ice face was first attempted by an Indo-British expedition that reached 6400 meters in 1987, and more recently by a Japanese team. The approach to the face crossed from the Pindari to Kafni Glacier basins by a col at 5350 meters, then skirted up the right side of a major icefall to establish a final camp on the upper Kafni plateau at 5950 meters. The 12-hour summit climb took the right edge of the 500-meter upper face at angles between 48° and 60°. Thanks to a good cover of snow from a late and heavy monsoon, few crevasses and little ice were encountered. Conditions could be much harder in a dry season. The party descended in the center of the upper face, then took a diagonal line through a serac band back to camp. As climbed, the route rated D+ on the Alpine scale of difficulty due to the long remote approach and the steep finish. Objective dangers, though not entirely absent, were neither serious nor prolonged. The south face is probably safer and a more elegant route than the north flank by which previous ascents of the mountain had been made.

Martin Moran, Alpine Climbing Group