INDIA, BARA SHIGRI GLACIER
First Ascent Khhang Shiling, 6360m by the NE Face
Attempt Kullu Makalu 6349m by the N Face
During 20 July – 10 August 2013 we have taken part in “Climbathon 2013”, an event organised and sponsored by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation. From Romania we were 3 people: two guides (myself and Mr. Mihnea Prundeanu) and one student (Mr. Vasile Dumitrica). The event took part on the Bara Shigri area and had several objectives: exchange of information and experience between Indian mountaineers and Western mountaineers (besides Mr Prundeanu and myself there was another facilitator from Scotland/USA, Dr. Paul Schweizer); focus on alpine style ascents; the ascent of several peaks in the area. With 10 instructors (of which 3 foreign) and over 60 participants (of which, besides the Indian nationals there were also one from Brazil, one from Romania and one from Italy) this was quite a large and complex event.
After initial acclimatisation on way to and around the snout of the glacier we moved to set up a base Camp at Concordia via an intermediate camp. After 3 days of preparations and ice climbing training we were spit in several teams, each with one instructor in charge. Each team was allotted to a group and has chosen an objective.
Our group chose initially Shigri Parbat (6536m) and we were supposed to attempt it from the SE face by 4 separate lines – one team per line. The three teams led by myself, Mr Prundeanu and Mr Schweizer were planning to climb alpine style while the fourth team led by Kushang Sherpa was planning to fix ropes on their chosen line. Arriving on location first the team led by Kushang Sherpa deemed the original line they chose too dangerous and proceeded to fix lines across the itinerary envisaged by P. Schweizer and myself. Once our teams arrived to ABC a day later we deemed the climb unsafe in the given conditions and impracticable due to the team fixing it.
I have decided to switch objectives and focus instead on an ascent of what we were informed was Khhang Shiling, 6360m by its NE face (right opposite the original objective). Mr Prundeanu and his team decided to join me as the line he originally chose was threatened by rock fall. Mr. Schweizer decided to wait and maybe attempt later Shigri Parbat. His team got divided between Mr Prundeanu and I with one member joining also Mr. Kushang Sherpa. On the 4th of August we left the ABC around 2 am and we reached by two slightly different variations of the same route the summit around 7:30 am with 9 people summiting. We were informed that this was a first ascent of the face. We returned to Concordia BC on the 5th of August. The submitters were: Cosmin Andron, Mihnea Prundeanu, Vasile Dumitrica (RO), Angel Robledo (BR), Karn Kowshik, Bharat Bhusan, Bhupesh Kumar, Subrata Chakraborty, Prerna Dangi (IN).
After the event Mihnea Prundeanu, Vasile Dumitrica and I attempted (on 9th of august) Kullu Makalu 6349m by its unclimbed N face just to be thwarted by a massive rockfall that hit us while nearly half way up the face. While I sustained only minor hits on arm, back and legs and Vasile got away unscathed, Mihnea was seriously injured (back/spine) which had us rush down the face and a long crawl that night to the safety of our BC.
Both climbs were made and attempted in alpine style. Luckily all three of us ended up enjoying beers in Manali several days later.
Khhang Shilling gallery: photos by Angel Robledo
Kullu Makalu gallery: