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Asia, India, Eastern Garhwal, Kalanka, Attempt

Kalanka, attempt. We arrived in India on August 24 with permission to visit and climb the remote north side of this 6931m peak during the months of September and October. Although we had official permission from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation for the true north face, once in the region we came up against numerous and lengthy bureaucratic difficulties and delays instigated by the newly formed Uttaranchal State (particularly their Forestry Department). Kalanka lies on the border of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary and is thus a sensitive, environmentally protected mountain. There were some ongoing political power struggles between the federal and state governments in the administration of these lands. The delays cost us about four days in lost time waiting in the village of Joshimath. Given the situation in the region, our agents in New Delhi (Shikhar Travels) did everything they could to facilitate our expedition and succeeded in obtaining a safe passage for our small group. Our base camp was located at 4500m in the same place as the Russian-American 1998 north face of Changabang Expedition BC. Once situated at the foot of the face at our well-stocked advanced base camp (5100m), Jack experienced altitude-related health problems resulting in our only being able to make a detailed reconnaissance of our intended route and the north face. The site of our first planned camp on the face, a small bergshrund above the lower seracs, was at 5660m and stocked with climbing equipment and food. During our stay in the region we experienced exceptionally good weather. We left base camp on October 9 with high hopes of someday returning to our chosen objective. Our base camp cooks from Shikhar Travels, liason officer, and porters could not have been more helpful and friendly.

Jack Roberts and Carlos Buhler, AAC