AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, India, Lahaul, Ramjak, Attempt

Ramjak, attempt. This is a challenging 6318m unclimbed mountain with a sharp icy summit. The peak is located near the Shingo La (ca 5100m), which is crossed on a popular trekking route from Himachal Pradesh to Zanskar. Prior to 2001 there had been at least three attempts on the mountain and one Indian climber had died on its slopes. The first attempt took place in 1994, when a ladies team from Mumbai approached from the west. Another Mumbai team attempted the peak the following year and again in 1996, when Dinesh Shertate died at 5400m due to medical complications.

This year a nine-member expedition organised and sponsored by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation and led by Lt. Col. S. Upadhyay reached the area in early August and trekked along the well-known route from Darcha to Palamo. Base camp was established a little short of Chuminakpo at ca 4620m. After a reconnaissance, Camp 1 (4880m) was set up beside a glacial stream. The next three days were spent exploring a site for Camp 2, which was ultimately established on August 11. On the 12th the climbers reached a rock wall and fixed 400m of rope through a gully. After surmounting the wall and reaching a high point of 5800m, they saw a long ridge running up to the summit. Deterred by the terrain above and the length of ridge still to be climbed, they retreated.

Harish Kapadia, Honorary Editor, The Himalayan Journal