American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India, Ladakh, Gya, Mistaken Attempt, and Other Ascents

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1999

Gya, Mistaken Attempt, and Other Ascents. It was reported that three expeditions attempted this unclimbed peak in 1997. In April, Arum Samant led a three-man team (Anil Chavan and Vinod Bodh) from Bombay that also included High-Altitude Porters Pasang and Prakash Bodh. Base Camp was reached in near-winter conditions before the climbers embarked on a route that Samant, Pasang and Prakash Bodh and Dhanajay Ingalkar had tried in 1996 up the east face of the south-southwest spur. The 1997 team veered right on prominent snow ramps to a col at the foot of the southeast ridge. Gya’s final crest looked too difficult, so Pasang and Prakash Bodh and Arum Samant turned right and climbed the previously virgin Gya East (6680m) instead.

The team descended to BC, where members broke into small groups to make the first ascents of Drisa (6275m), Cheama (6230m) and Namkha Ding (5665m).

Yousuf Zaheer, who had tried Gya twice before including its first serious attempt, returned in July to make another attempt on the west pillar, this time with Chaman Singh. They were forced to retreat, then moved north, where they established three camps on the west spur, which leads to the second summit north of Gya. From their third camp, they moved right to the northeast ridge, reaching Gya’s subsidiary summit (6520m), which they called Gya North. Time constraints prevented them from continuing on to the main summit.

In August, the Principal of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling led an expedition comprising members from seven Asian countries that included many strong Indian climbers. They attempted two lines simultaneously: the west spur and the north ridge. The technical terrain was extensively fixed in achieving the summit, which 32 climbers reached. Problematically, when authorities reviewed photos of the ascent, it was determined that the team had climbed Gyasumpa, a peak very close to where Zaheer’s team had placed their Camp III a month earlier. Zaheer and company had navigated the same terrain with relative ease. (High Mountain Sports 187)

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.