American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, Lahaul, Pangi Valley, Shib Shankar

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2009

Pangi Valley, Shib Shankar. A five-member Japanese expedition, led by Shoji Sakamoto, applied to the IMF for a permit to climb Shib Shankar (a.k.a. Sersank), a 6,000m peak immediately south of 5,239m Sersank Pass at the head of the Lugai Nala (valley). This pass links the Darlang Nala in Kishtwar to the Pangi valley but has become difficult to cross due to a complex icefall on the east side. Shib Shankar, which lies north of 6,142m Shivu, the main peak in the Pangi region, was attempted in 2007 via the northwest ridge by a British party (AAJ 2008). However, the IMF told the Japanese, “There’s no mountain called Shib Shankar on our map.” A permit was issued for an unnamed peak of 5,525m, but the IMF added, “If you find this Shib Shankar, you’re free to climb it.” On July 11, the expedition established base camp at 4,160m below the west flank of the mountain. Two days later members established an advanced base at 4,360m on the right bank of the glacier, and then on the 18th, Camp 1 at 5,050m on a rock ridge on the west face. On the following day Hidetaka Iizuka, Kazuo Kozu, and Reiko Maruyama, with three high altitude porters—Gisidhas (Ganu), Kamlesh Kumar (Lagu), and Vilendes Singh (Bill)— continued above the rock ridge to the crest of the southwest ridge, which they followed to the summit. They didn’t reach the highest point but stopped 40m below the final rock outcrop in respect for the religious concerns of the local people. They recorded a height of 6,01lm (GPS) and estimate that the true summit is ca 6,050m

Tsunemichi Ikeda, for the Japanese Alpine News

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