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Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, Gangotri, Thalay Sagar, North Face, New Route

Thalay Sagar, north face, new route. A Bulgarian team tackled the unclimbed right side of the face, well right of the 1999 Russian Direct and in the same vicinity as the line attempted by Lindblade and Whimp in 1996. They climbed in capsule style and used three portaledge camps, the last at ca 6,450m. After spending six nights on the face and equipping the route with fixed rope to around 6,600m, Nicola Levakov and Hristo Hristov set off on October 11 for a lightweight push to the summit. By the end of the day the two had reached the shoulder on the west ridge and without bivouac gear spent a night in a snow cave. The weather was very cold with strong winds but they survived the night, and the next day made the summit. This is one of the best Bulgarian ascents in the Himalaya for some years, though Levakov suffered serious frostbite and had to be evacuated by air. A lead article on this ascent appears earlier in this Journal.