Forgotten Peak (5,889m), southeast face, Never Ending Story
India, Himachal Pradesh, Miyar Valley
In mid-August, Phil Varley (U.K.), Marek Zoladek, and I (both Polish) arrived in the Miyar Valley, and after a period of bad weather established an advanced base at 4,850m on the Chhudong Glacier. This was the site of the high camp that Marek and I used during our 2006 expedition, in which we made the first ascent of Masala Peak (5,650m, AAJ 2007). On August 20 we left early and made the 10km hike toward the glacier head. Our goal was the first ascent of a peak Marek and I had tried in 2006. At first the glacier was dry ice, but in the last three kilometers it turned to soft snow, knee-deep in places.
Starting at 6 a.m., we crossed an icefield and reached the bottom of a couloir, which we simul-climbed, finding an old peg from our previous attempt. After 200m, with interesting icefall sections more than 70° at their steepest, we moved left onto the slabby, granite southeast face. Low down we negotiated the crux pitch, which had couple of runout moves of British VS (5.7). Eight full-length pitches took us to a rocky couloir, which we followed to the summit.
We started a rappel descent at around 4:30 p.m., and a little later were hit by strong winds and heavy snowfall. We headed left (facing out) toward the couloir. Unfortunately, this involved negotiating sections of loose rock, and while pulling the wet ropes Marek was hit on the temple by a fist-sized rock. Although this at first looked serious, he continued to lead all the rappels. Once in the couloir we came across the old pegs Marek and I had used to bail six years previously, when we were hit by bad weather. By 6:30 a.m. we had dragged ourselves back to camp. We named our summit Forgotten Peak and our ca 500m route Never Ending Story (UIAA V+ WI4).
Michal Apollo, Pedagogical University in Krakow, Poland