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Asia, India, Ladakh-Rupshu, Bhujang, First Ascent

Bhujang, First Ascent. When the main team of the Indian Siachen Glacier Expedition left for the Indira Col (see above), we descended to CIII to attempt a 6560-meter peak. From July 10 to 14, we established a Base Camp on the eastern bank of the main Siachen Glacier. On July 15, we climbed steeply over loose scree and mud slopes to the steep ridge coming down from the peak, reaching a suitable site for a camp at ca. 5570 meters.

From July 15 to 19, we had to wait as the weather was poor. Sherpas ferried loads one day and on the 18th we two also moved up. But again a day of poor weather intervened. On July 20, we started early and moved fast up the mountain. Cyrus Shroff and I front-pointed up the initial 500 meters of the climb to the point where the ropes and equipment had been left earlier. The sherpas moved up the rock route along the ridge. From this point we studied the route ahead and found a safe passage to traverse onto the col. The route from the col to the top was an easy-angled climb over snow with a few patches of ice in between. We were at the summit by 11:30 a.m. We started down by 12:15 p.m. On the return, we took a long time, carefully making our way down the loose rocky ridge back to the summit camp. We reached the camp by 4 p.m. with all our ropes and equipment. Two lengths of fixed ropes had to be left behind on the mountain.

This was the first ascent on the Siachen Glacier, and the first peak climbed on the Teram Shehr Plateau. As this peak rose like a serpent, we decided to christen it Bhujang, the legendary serpent associated with Lord Vishnu.

We moved down the mountain and reached the foot of the Siachen Glacier by July 24 and traveled to Leh. While waiting for the others to return, we climbed the ever-popular Stok Kangri on July 29.

Divyesh Muni, India