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India, East Karakoram, Siachen Region, Laxmi, Attempt by Northwest Face

Siachen region, Laxmi, attempt by northwest face. A 10-member team from the Indian Navy attempted Laxmi (Lakshmi; 6,850m), a virgin peak on the Teram Shehr Glacier. Lt. Cdr. Amit Pande, who was deputy leader of the Navy’s Everest expedition in 2004, led the team, which reached Siachen Base Camp on April 23 via the Nubra Valley and Thoise Partapur. The weather was bad, with unusually heavy snowfall in April and May. The team took five days to reach the confluence of the Teram Shehr and Siachen glaciers.

They established base camp on the Teram Shehr Glacier at an altitude of 5,250m. From there they attempted Laxmi (6,850m) by the northwest face. They placed their only camp next to a narrow ridge at 6,000m, prior to getting established on the face and opening the route to 6,380m.

Good weather continued to play truant, and the team was confined to base camp for several days. The Indian Meteorological Department forecast a long spell of bad weather, with blizzards, so the expedition withdrew to a lower camp. During their stay at this lower camp they attempted Junction Peak, but on May 25 a minor avalanche hit a party, and three members suffered injuries. The team subsequently abandoned the expedition. Fanny Bullock Workman, with Italian guides, first climbed Junction Peak, in 1912. She named the adjoining peak Laxmi, after the Goddess of Wealth.

Harish Kapadia, Honorary Editor, The Himalayan Journal