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Asia, India, Garhwal, Adi (a.k.a. Chota or Little) Kailash (5,925m), First Ascent; Nikarchu Qilla (The Fortress of Nikarchu, 5,750m), First Ascent

Adi (a.k.a. Chota or Little) Kailash (5,925m), first ascent; Nikarchu Qilla (The Fortress of Nikarchu, 5,750m), first ascent. An international team of climbers has made the first ascent of Adi (aka Chota or Little) Kailash (5,925m). The mountain is located close to both the Tibetan and Nepali borders of India in the restricted Inner Line area, and is revered due to its similarity to the famous holy mountain of Kailash in nearby Tibet. This guided expedition organised by Martin Moran Mountaineering and led by Martin Welch and myself also made the first ascent of a nearby mountain we named Nikarchu Qilla (The Fortress of Nikarchu) at 5,750m.

Tim Woodward (UK), Jason Hubert (Scotland), Paul Zuchowski (USA), Martin Welch (Scotland), Diarmid Hearns (Scotland), Jack Pearse (UK), Amanda George (Scotland), and I (UK) made the first ascent of Little Kailash by the southwest ridge on October 8 in perfect weather inseven hours from our ABC at 5,400m. The route was around alpine PD+/AD-. Out of respect to local sensitivities, we stopped a few meters short of the summit, and no fixed rope was left on the route.

Welch, Woodward, Hearns, Pearse, George and Gustavo Fierro-Carrion (Ecuador) also made the first ascent of Nikarchu Qilla (5,750m), which is located 3 km northeast of the unclimbed Nikurch Rama (5,995m). This alpine-style ascent was made by the southwest face from a camp at 5,200m at alpine F in about 7 hours, and the team also stopped a few meters below the summit.

Andy Perkins, United Kingdom