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Asia, India, Garhwal, Mukut Parvat East, Correction, and First Ascent

Mukut Parvat East, Correction, and First Ascent. The 1998 expedition from South Korea led by Oksun Hong (see 1999 AAJ, p. 355) claimed the first ascent of Mukut Parvat East (7130m) in the Garhwal. The expedition claimed to have reached the summit and provided photographs and details that were published in various journals. In 1999, an Indian team from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering led by Col. Ajit Dutt attempted the same peak by an almost similar route in June and July. They found a Korean snow stake on a dome below the summit. The Indian team proceeded further and climbed another higher snowy point which was at least 80 meters higher; it took them almost one hour. From this higher snowy peak they could view the main peak of Mukut Parvat I and the Korean high point below them. Thus, they concluded that the point they climbed was the true main summit of Mukut Parvat East and the Korean team had reached a subsidiary point 80 meters below.

The photographs, route details and timings from the Korean ascent and the Indian team were compared by J. C. Nanavati, adviser to the IMF. All the pictures, reports and details were sent to the Korean leader for their studies and comments. The Korean leader in a letter confirmed that they were on a lower summit and had mistaken the true summit as Mukut Parvat I and not proceeded to it. Thus the Koreans had not climbed the main summit of Mukut Parvat East. Hence it is now placed on record that the first ascent was made by NIM-Indian team in 1999, while the Korean made the first ascent of Mukut Parvat East II.

Dr. M. S. Gill, President, The Indian Mountaineering Foundation