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Indian Himalaya, overview. If you pardon the cliché, whenever God closes a door, he opens a window. This adage truly described experiences in the Indian Himalaya during 2010. There were not many expeditions, and few high peaks were climbed. This could be a reflection of higher peak fees and, more significantly, hindrances caused by the bureaucracy. However, there was much activity on small peaks, in new regions, and by smaller teams. This may be indicative of the future, as these expeditions are cost-effective. Many climbers did not mind meeting serious challenges below 5,500m, as above this height peak fees are required.
There were 40 foreign expeditions to India, a steep drop from the normal figure of around 65. There were 63 Indian expeditions, but many were on standard peaks or washed out by weather.
In early August a flash flood hit the lower areas of Ladakh. Rivers of mud flowed, destroying houses, roads and fields, and causing long-term damage. Aid from the army and government agencies has poured in but is never sufficient. Various organizations, including the Himalayan Club, raised funds to help projects. More work on rebuilding and damage repair will commence this summer, once the harsh winter is over.
Harish Kapadia, AAC Honorary Member, India