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Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, Miyar Valley, Toro Peak, southeast Face; Castle Peak, South Ridge

Toro Peak, southeast face; Castle Peak, south ridge. It wasn’t until the second half of September that Elena Dmitrenko, George Kozlov, and I arrived in India, too late in the year. We came with no set plans. At first we didn’t even know where to go, but on reaching Manali, a beautiful village from which many expeditions start, we consulted a local guide and decided to go to the Miyar. We were looking for peaks below 6,000m with good rock, preferably unclimbed. At base camp we found several teams still in residence. However, the weather was poor, and half a meter of snow at base camp prevented us from climbing.

When the weather improved, George injured his leg. I couldn’t sit in base camp, so I climbed Pt. JAMES, following the route first climbed by Australian women and repeated by Americans [see below]. I didn’t use a rope, and the 250m of climbing with a crux of 5.8 took only a few hours.

George’s leg improved, but we had no time left to try something special. On September 30 we climbed a new line on the southeast face of Toro. The 350m route, which lies toward the right side of the face, had difficulties up to 5.9 and took four hours. It finishes on the easy upper section of the east ridge.

On October 2 we climbed the long south ridge of Castle Peak, taking 20 hours to make a vertical ascent of 1,100m (5.10b). This is a logical line on good rock; we climbed many pitches unroped. We found a club flag and shiny new bolt on the summit belonging to the Italians [see above]. This was the second ascent of Tivoli Peak and we named the route Who Fart?

Denis Savelyev, Russia