American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, Eastern Garhwal, Kalanka, Northeast Face and Central Spur, Bushido; History

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

Kalanka, northeast face and central spur, Bushido; history. Kazuaki Amano, Fumitaka Ichimura, and Yusuke Sato made the first ascent since 1982 of 6,931m Kalanka. Their new 1,800m route, Bushido, started up the northeast face following a line attempted by Nick Bullock and Kenton Cool in 2007, before traversing right to the crest of the central spur, reaching the summit on September 22. An account by Yusuke Sato appears in the features section of this Journal. The central spur on the north face had become one of the most sought-after lines in the Garhwal. In 1977 a 14-member Czechoslovakian team led by Frantisek Grunt inspected the line before climbing the right side of the north face. From the top camp, Ladislav Jon and Josef Rakoncaj reached the summit via the supper section of the west ridge (1975 Japanese Route), making the second ascent of the mountain. Despite the use of fixed ropes, this route remains one of the most underrated achievements in the Himalaya. In 2001 Americans Carlos Buhler and Jack Roberts made an unsuccessful attempt on the elegant central (north) spur. Two years later another American team, Sue Nott and John Varco, climbed the lower part of the spur, then used a portaledge to fix ropes through the vertical to overhanging central barrier (M6), completing all the technical difficulties and bivouacking at 6,550m before being forced down by storm. Buhler returned in 2004 with Sandy Allan and John Lyall, but the attempt failed at around 6,000m. In 2007 Nick Bullock and Kenton Cool tried another tact, climbing the big snow and ice slopes of the northeast face left of the spur, only to be defeated on the crest of the east ridge at over 6,300m.

Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO

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