American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Peak 5,620m, East Ridge

India, Himachal Pradesh, Kullu

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Hiro Hagiwara
  • Climb Year: 2017
  • Publication Year: 2018



In September, Hiroyoshi Manome, Makoto Kuroda, and Yukio Ueda from Japan left Tos (Tosh) village in the Kullu Valley and walked up the Tos Nala to establish a base camp on the west side of the Tos Glacier at about 4,250m (32° 9'56.28"N, 77°29'22.20"E). Unaware of the Korean ascent earlier in the year (and indeed the first ascent in September 1985), they had come to attempt the west face of Dharamsura (6,420m). However, that month the weather was very poor, so they switched objectives to an unnamed rock tower at 32°11'23.52"N, 77°26'41.47"E (Google Earth), near the head of the glacier that rose west of base camp. The ridge that runs from this point to the west and then northwest to Indrasan (6,221m) carries what are known as the Malana Towers.

On October 2 the three left base camp and ascended the glacier to the base of the tower, where they made advanced base at 5,090m. Next day they left early, climbed 200m of mixed ground up to the east ridge of the tower, then along the crest on snow until a 30m rappel put them at the base of an ice face, which they climbed for 200m to the headwall, thus avoiding on the north flank the prominent gendarme on the ridge. At this point it was midday. They then climbed a steep rocky section and mixed ground to a short section of ice leading to the summit boulder, which they surmounted. Their altimeter recorded 5,620m.

The three began descending at 4:30 p.m. and reached around 5,300m at 7:30 p.m., where they bivouacked. Next day they reversed the route and reached base camp by evening. The team had an average age of 47, and all three members are considered strong veteran alpine climbers in Japan. The 530m (vertical interval) route was graded ED-.

Hiro Hagiwara, Rock and Snow, Japan

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