American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India, Kumaon and Garhwal Himalaya, Kamet Ascent and Tragedy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1996

Kamet Ascent and Tragedy. A Gorkha Regiment team of the Indian Army, led by Major H.S. Sahi, climbed the Normal Route of Kamet (7756 meters) via Meade’s Col. The expedition consisted of 21 members. Base Camp was established on August 21 but they waited for other expeditions to vacate the mountain. By September 19 they were ready to climb the summit from C6, established above the Meade’s Col. The first summit team reached the top of Kamet at 10:30 a.m. While returning from the summit, 30 meters below the top, the party was caught in an avalanche. The next two summit teams, which were moving up simultaneously, reached them by 11:30 and started the rescue. The injured were brought down to C6. One member descended to the Pass to inform others about the accident. On September 21 all the injured, except Capt. Sanjiv Singh who was unable to move, were carried down. On the same day Hav. Iliyas was carried down, suffering from edema. He was carried out by a helicopter the next day. On September 22, 2Lt. S.K. Chhetri died in C5. That night all the injured were carried to C3. At 2 a.m. Lnk. Gopal Tamang died in C3. Next day the remaining persons were taken down to the Base Camp along with bodies of the dead. All were carried out by helicopters. Both victims were from the team of rescuers; they died of exhaustion.

Harish Kapadia, Editor, The Himalayan Journal

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