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Asia, India, Ladakh, Pangong Range, Several Ascents

Pangong Range, several ascents. A young team of soldiers from the crack 8 Mountain Division of the Indian Army made several ascents in the remote Pangong Range. These peaks lie close to the border with Tibet and are sandwiched between the Military Road southeast of Leh and the huge Pangong Lake (135 kilometers in length) straddling the border to the north. The expedition was led by Lieutenant Colonel Ashok Abbey, an experienced mountaineer and current Principal of the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarkashi, Uttaranchal State.

Base camp was established on August 21 at Tatsang Lungpa (4900m), close to the drivable track between Thangtse and Chushul. The team then moved north to make an advanced camp at 5560m. Higher camps were established at various sites to attempt four peaks: Kangju Kangri (6725m), Unnamed Peak (6580m), Kastet Kangri (6461m), and Unnamed Peak (6134m). Details are as follows: Kangju Kangri via the south face on August 30 (summiteers: Lt. Col. A. Abbey, Sub Ram Lal, Hav Shurbir Singh, Nk Shashi Bhusan, L/Nk Manjeet Singh, L/Nk Anoop Singh, and L/Nk Upinder Singh); Unnamed Peak 6580m via the south face and southwest ridge on Sept 2 (summiteers; Lt. Col. A. Abbey, Sub Prem Singh, Hav Baljinder Singh, Nk RK Manahas, L/Nk Bhagat Singh, Hav Gulbar Singh, L/Nk Sudhir Kumar, Nk Vijay Kumar L/Nk Upinder Singh, and L/Nk Rakesh); Kastet Kangri via the southeast face and southwest ridge on September 3 (summiteers; Capt. R. Bhandari, Capt. PS Cheema, Lt. S. Charan, Sub Ram Lal, Nb Sub Gian Chand, L/Nk Manjeet Singh, L/Nk Bhagat Singh, L/Nk Anoop Singh, L/Nk Jagdeep Singh, L/Nk Dhyan Singh, and Rfn Satender Singh); Unnamed Peak 6134m via the northwest face on September 3 (summiteers; Lt. Col A. Abbey, Hav Shurbir Singh, Nk Shashi Bhusan, L/Nk Rakesh and Sepoy P Vellu).

Finally, 18 members, including the leader, crossed the 5630m high Shimdi La and recorded the first known traverse of the range, finishing at the southern bank of the Pangong Tso. The expedition accomplished its objectives in excellent shape and form, all in a timeframe of 15 days.

Lt. Col. Ashok Abbey, Utterkashi, India