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Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, Jiwa Nala, Snow Leopoard Peak (5,365m), Sentinel Peak (5,140m), Tribulation Point (5,125m), Snowcock Point (4,890m)

Jiwa Nala, Snow Leopard Peak (5,365m), Sentinel Peak (5,140m), Tribulation Point (5,125m), Snowcock Point (4,890m). In September and October Derek Buckle, Drew Cook, John Hudson, Laura Millichamp, and I, all members of the Alpine Club, visited the Jiwa Nala region of the Great Himalayan National Park. The Jiwa drains west toward the Beas River, south of the famous tourist resort of Manali. It lies in Banjar region, approximately 70km east-southeast of the large regional town of Kullu. The area had been recommended by the Himalayan authority, Harish Kapadia, and as far as is known had not previously been visited by mountaineers. The valley can only be accessed by two difficult passes, and although shepherds have occasionally grazed their flocks there, it has never seen any permanent settlement.

We established base camp at 3,725m, beyond which the valley terminated in a glacial cirque of unclimbed peaks rising to 5,445m. From a high camp just below the glacial snout, Buckle, Cook, and I accessed an upper glacier via a steep snow couloir and from there made the first ascent of Snow Leopard Peak by a mixed route on the south face (AD). From the same camp various members of the team made ascents of Tribulation Point and Sentinel Peak in the crenulated cirque and from a separate high camp ascended Snowcock Point, at the head of the southern valley. The rock in this area is mostly coarse mica-schist but, surprisingly, the little that we climbed (a five-meter chimney on Sentinel Peak and on our mixed line up Snow Leopard) was reasonably solid.

We frequently came across bear scat (our porters saw a Himalayan bear) and saw snow leopard tracks on the glacier. Thanks to the AC Climbing Fund for supporting the expedition.

Mike Cocker, Alpine Club