American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India, Western Garhwal, Gangotri, Chaukhamba I (7138m), Attempts and Tragedy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2002

Chaukhamba I (7138m), attempts and tragedy. In May a 14-member team from Calcutta led by Brijes Dey attempted the north face of this high mountain, approaching from Badrinath and Mana. They found the huge face very avalanche prone, with many large crevasses barring their way The attempt was given up. In September another Indian team led by Ujjwal Ganguly also attempted the normal route on the north face. On the 14th four members made a summit attempt from Camp 3 at 6350m. This failed and two members returned down the mountain on the following day when the weather turned bad. Palash Mukherjee and Serabjit Sadhu remained and made a second attempt on the 16th, when the weather improved. However, once again they decided to retreat and began descending at around 10:30 a.m., when the sun had already softened the snow slopes. Within an hour they were engulfed by an avalanche, which was witnessed from Camp 1. Although the Indo-Tibet Border Police sent in helicopters on the 22nd to search for the missing climbers, the two bodies were never located.

Harish Kapadia, Honorary Editor, The Himalayan Journal

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