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Asia, India, Eastern Garhwal, Tirsuli West (7035m), First Ascent

Tirsuli West (7035 m), first ascent. A team from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, led by its vice principal, Maj. Kulwant S. Dhami, attempted this virgin peak in June. Located ca 45 km from Jumma, the road head on the Joshimath-Malari road, it was the only remaining unclimbed 7000m+ peak in both the Garhwal and Kumaun Himalaya. NIM is a premier training institute in India and many of its instructors are famed mountaineers, who participate in such ventures.

The team established several camps, the first at the village Dunagiri on June 27, base camp at Bagini on the 28th, Camp 1 on the lateral moraine, and Camp 2 on the Bagini Glacier near the base of the mountain. The team then fixed ca 1300 meters of rope on the rock face of the southwest ridge, and established Camp 3. Climbers then stayed at Camp 2 for five days and fixed more rope, but due to hostile conditions returned to Camp 2 on July 11 and waited for the weather to clear. On July 13 they again reached Camp 3. On the 14th the route was opened to the site of Camp 4 and tents, etc., established the following day. The weather remained bad but the climbers continued to open the route and on the 17th reached the top. The summit was gained at 11:20 a.m. by seven members: the leader, Dhami, SS Bhandari, Deputy Leader Rattan Singh, Amrik Singh, Jagmohan Singh, Karamjit Singh, and Laxman Singh. A total of 3000 meters of rope was fixed. For the first time this virgin mountain unveiled glimpses of its hidden treasures to summiteers from the NIM, who live by the motto of the Institute, “Success lies in Courage.”

Harish Kapadia, Honorary Editor, The Himalayan Journal