Dudh Ganga Col (5,350m) and Deotoli Col (5,400m), First Ascents
Asia, India, Eastern Garhwal
Lhakpa Sherpa, Nandan Singh Negi, Pemba Sherpa, Thendup Sherpa, and I reached a previously unvisited col on the ridge north of Berthatoli Himal. West of Lata we headed south and crossed two passes traditionally used by shepherds to access the Ronti Valley. We crossed the Ronti Valley to the east and reached a col, which is on the ridge northwest of unclimbed Berthatoli North (6,352m). We named it Dudh Ganga Col. We then descended the far side to an unnamed glacier, crossed it, and climbed to a second pass on the ridge north of Berthatoli North, which we named Deotoli Col. Our route would provide an alternative into the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, but obeying the law of the land, we neither set foot on the valley floor nor entered the Sanctuary. Neither pass required climbing skills and could be reached by any seasoned Himalayan trekker. We hope the photos will encourage mountaineers to consider unclimbed objectives in this area.
Anindya Mukherjee, India