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Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, Chandra Valley, Pt. 4,600m, Stressful Rain, Attempt

Pt. 4,600m, Stressful Rain, attempt. Gianni Cilia and I planned to visit the Miyar Valley to try the big west-facing wall of Three Peaks Mountain (the unclimbed 6,000+m peak at the head of the Dali Glacier), which I tried in 2003. However, flooding of the Miyar River damaged bridges in the valley, making it impossible to reach the normal base camp site. We changed plans and returned along the Chandra Valley, past the turn-off leading to the Rohtang Pass and on for a little way in the direction of Batal and the Kunzum La. This journey took six hours in an off- road vehicle.

On August 4, before reaching a point on the road lying due north of 6,221m Indrasan, we moved south and established a base camp. Here we located a steep rock wall leading to a tower with an altitude of ca 4,600m. On the 8th we set up an advanced base below the wall, but the weather turned bad and prevented climbing until the 11th, when we climbed 15 pitches (600m) up the face to a ledge and good bivouac site. On the 14th, after another spell of rain, we climbed another 11 pitches and left fixed rope before returning to the bivouac. At this point Gianni started to feel weak and unwell.

I stayed at the bivouac site alone, sitting out bad weather, until on the 22nd I was able to solo up to the ridge that would lead to the summit. However, I was eventually forced to retreat, unable to negotiate complex slabs. On the 25th I tried again, this time in a more direct line. After 1,450m of climbing from the foot of the wall, I reached the end of the major technical difficulties, where an easy rock ridge rose left for 200- 300m to the summit. Typically, the weather was bad again, and as time was running out, I descended. After spending a week at the bivouac alone, I’d added another seven pitches (310m of climbing).

Although we didn’t reach the summit, we have called the peak Ezio Bartolomei Tower and the unfinished route, Stressful Rain. Apart from one bolt, we used only traditional removable protection in our 33 pitches. There were two pitches of 6c and many between 5+ and 6b.

Roberto Iannilli, Italy