American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, Lahul & Spiti, Gangsthang, lower West Face; Thirot Shivling (5,324m)

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 2008

Gangsthang, lower west face; Thirot Shivling (5,324m). Our team of nine climbers met with cold, variable weather but discovered a magnificent new valley for mountaineering, the Thirot Nala in the Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh. Initial reconnaisances of unclimbed Nainghar Choti (6,094m) were hampered by heavy snowfall and poor visibility. However, the splendid pyramidal peak of Gangsthang (6,162m) offered a more accessible objective, and at 4:30 p.m. on September 30 six of us stood on the tiny summit, having made a new route up the west face before finishing up the normal southwest ridge. Peter Ashworth, Gustavo Fierro-Carrion, John Leedale, Arun Mahajan, Luder Singh, and I were the lucky summiteers, who then witnessed the kaleidoscope of a Himalayan sunset during the descent. The climb rates alpine D-, with pitches of Scottish III and IV in the 600m couloir used to access the final ridge. On September 28 Allan Clapperton, David Geddes, Frank Johnstone, Arun, Luder, and I reached the subsidiary rock peak of Thirot Shivling (5,324m), at PD-.

The team also enjoyed a superb journey into the area, the night sleeper from Delhi, the amazing narrow-gauge railway to Shimla hill station, beautiful roads through the verdant valleys of Kullu and Manali, and a breath-taking drive over the 13,000-foot Rohtang Pass into the spectacular Chandra-Bhaga valley.

Martin Moran, Alpine Club

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