American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Hattal, Southeast Ridge, First Ascent and Geographical Clarification

India, Zanskar

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Lindsay Griffin
  • Climb Year: 1986
  • Publication Year: 2017

On July 25, 1986, Japanese mountaineers made the first ascent of Hattal (ca 5,650m; H18 on the Sakamoto sketch map of the area) as well as unnamed Peak 5,550m in the Zanskar region.

There has always been some confusion as to the location of Hattal, which has previously been listed in the Kishtwar Himalaya and quoted as 6,220m. It is essentially on the Kishtwar-Zanskar watershed and lies more or less due east of Cerro Kishtwar (6,220m), its western flanks rising from the Chomochior Glacier. Confusingly, there are Haptal glaciers on both Kishtwar and Zanskar sides of the watershed.

With a liaison officer and cook, Naoki Sato, Yasuyoshi Tanaka, Akira Terada, and Kasumasa Yoshida arrived at base camp on July 17, 1986, having traveled up the north side of the Haptal Valley above Seni Gompa. Base camp was at 4,800m on the Yarunchu Glacier, and advanced camp was established on the 19th on a snow plateau at the foot of the southeast ridge of a peak at the head of the glacier, designated 5,974m on the Survey of India map (Google Earth 33°22'39.58"N, 76°39'5.02"E).

On July 25 the four Japanese climbed this southeast ridge over a foresummit and then on for a further two hours to the highest point, which they named Hattal. On the 30th they established another camp on the ridge northeast of Hattal, and the following day Tanaka and Terada climbed northeast along the ridge to another summit, measured at 5,550m. On August 1, Sato and Yoshida repeated this ascent. On the 11th the team evacuated base camp and walked down to Seni.

Lindsay Griffin, with information provided by Kasumasa Yoshida and Kimikazu Sakamoto, Japan

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