American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

The Plateau, rare photographic coverage

India, Sikkim

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO
  • Climb Year: 2012
  • Publication Year: 2013

Harish Kapadia, former editor of the Himalayan Journal, had made four trips to Sikkim before May 2012. One prize had escaped him: a visit to the most northerly valley in the state, adjacent to the Tibet border, and known as the Plateau. After the Kangchenjunga Massif, it contains the highest and most beautiful peaks in Sikkim, and was explored by British mountaineers in the early days of Himalayan travel. The latter were generally members of teams returning from Everest, in those days normally accessed from “British India” across the high passes of Naku La or Karpo La, just west of the Plateau. Dr. Alexander Kellas, Wilfred Noyce, Eric Shipton, and Bill Tilman all left their mark. But after the 1962 Indo-China conflict, this area became highly restricted.

The Plateau now holds military installations and is patrolled by the Indian Army. Kapadia, a civilian, was able to gain a rare permit to visit this region, and took even rarer photos of the northern sides of the great peaks.

Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO

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