UKC

British First Ascents in India

Aspirant British Mountain Guides Dave Sharpe and John Crook have just returned from a very successful climbing trip to the Miyar Valley area of the Indian Himalaya. The pair took advantage of stable weather conditions to climb several new summits including their main objective: a remote and unclimbed 6267m peak via its imposing North face.

Last Chance Saloon leading to the left most peak with Crocodile Rock taking the immaculate rock ridge to the right., 220 kb
Last Chance Saloon leading to the left most peak with Crocodile Rock taking the immaculate rock ridge to the right.
© David Sharpe

They arrived in the Miyar Valley on the 19th of September along with fellow BMG member Martin Moran and his climbing partner Ian Dring. They wasted no time in establishing an advanced base camp high on the Miyar Glacier and acclimatised on a nearby 6036m peak.

On 27th September Dave and John set off heading first for the Kang La pass (5450m), crossing point over to the northern side of the chain to access their objective. 

Transcendence topo - bivi spot at the blue dot, 186 kb
Transcendence topo - bivi spot at the blue dot
© David Sharpe

Over the next six days the pair completed the first ascent of ‘Raja Peak’ via a challenging, direct route on the north face. ‘Transcendence’ (1200m, Scottish 6, ED2) tackles the steep, vertical corners in the lower, central half of the face before heading up and right to the upper wall. The team spent two days on the face itself and summited at 8pm on the 1st of October. The pair then returned to their Advanced Base Camp the following day. 

Dave Sharpe getting to grips with the upper part of ‘Transcendence’ on day two. , 221 kb
Dave Sharpe getting to grips with the upper part of ‘Transcendence’ on day two.
© David Sharpe

Dave told UKC:

‘The whole outing felt very committing and was a big leap of faith for us. It is a very remote corner of the Himalayas and with a 60km round trip from Base Camp, a 5450m col to cross to gain access to the peak and only an old picture from Martin (Moran) along with Google Earth to help us on our way, it had a very adventurous feel.’ 

The team reported generally good conditions with enjoyable climbing throughout on good, compact granite.

After this route and with some time still left over, they managed to make another first ascent lower down the valley on the Jangpar Glacier to produce ‘Last Chance Saloon’ (1300m, Scottish 4, TD-). The 5780m peak was named ‘James Peak’ after Dave’s nephew.

photo
John Crook approaching the north face of Raja Peak
© David Sharpe

On the same trip, Martin Moran and Ian Dring succeeded in climbing their objective, the fantastic rock spur to the right of Last Chance Saloon over five days to give ‘Crocodile Rock’ (1300m, ED2, VI+). They named the peak ‘Marakula Killa' after the Goddess Marakul.

Dave and John would like to thank Rab for clothing and equipment sponsorship and the Mount Everest Foundation for their generous financial support.

Visit Dave's blog.

Visit John's blog.



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