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Asia, India, Garhwal, Kumaun, Burphu Dhura, South Summit, Second Ascent, and Main Summit


Burphu Dhura, South Summit, Second Ascent, and Main Summit, First Ascent. The Indian Mountaineering Foundation, which had organized one expedition in 1999 to Burphu Dhura (6210m), organized two more in 2000. The first expedition followed the route pioneered by the 1999 expedition and climbed the South Summit. The second expedition reached the main summit—a worthy first ascent in eastern Kumaun.

The first expedition, led by R.C. Bhardwaj, consisted of eight members: Roshan Ghatraj, Amresh Jha, Sadique Ali Khan, Rushad Nanavatty, Naresh Bhardwaj, Nagendra Sahi, and Balwant Singh Kapkoti. They left Delhi on June 8 and traveled via Munsiary to a base camp on the Sankalpa Glacier at 3630 meters on June 16. Advance Base Camp was established on the Kalabaland Glacier on June 18 at 4565 meters. From ABC, 150 meters of rope was fixed to reach the foot of the southern side of Burphu Main. Camp I was established here at 5430 meters on June 23. Passing through several crevasses, the team fixed a further 450 meters of rope along the rocky route and established Camp II on June 26 at 5760 meters on a snow plateau.

On the same day, a four-member team started from Camp I at 5:45 a.m. and made the second ascent of Burphu South via the 1999 Northeast Ridge route. Summiters were R.C. Bhardwaj, Amresh Jha, and Nagendra Sahi.

The other team occupied Camp II on June 27 and fixed 150 meters of rope toward the Main Summit. However, the weather remained bad for the next three days and, on June 30, they were forced to retreat. Roshan Ghatrsaj, Sadique Ali, and Nagender Sahi reached the highest point. On July 1, the team returned to BC and then Munsiari.

The second expedition to Burphu Dhura’s Main Summit, which was successful in making the first ascent of the peak, was led by Wing Commander S.S. Puri. It followed the same route to ABC as had the first two expeditions. Base Camp (3830m) was established on September 22 at the junction of the Kalabaland and Sankalpa glaciers; ABC (4400m) was at foot of the Kalabaland Icefall. Two further camps were established at 5200 and 5800 meters by September 26. The next day a party of three occupied the last camp. The summit was reached on September 27 by Loveraj Dharmashaktu, Balwant Singh Kapkoti, and Ramesh. They left camp at 5 a.m. and proceeded along the route, which had been fixed a day earlier. They reached the “Shark’s Fin,” a prominent feature on the ridge, at 6 a.m. Proceeding carefully ahead, they reached the two-humped summit, climbing both the humps to make sure there was no mistake. The summit was reached at 9:50 a.m.

Harish Kapadia, Honorary Editor, The Himalayan Journal