date: 20 July 2014 to 18 August 2014
5980m, 6080m, 5920m, Yunam (6130m)
Lahaul (Killingsarai), Manali-Leh Highway of the Himachal Pradesh state.
recorded using GPS and Gaia GPS smartphone apps :
5980m – E 32.87172 E 077.39739,
5920m – E32.81138 E 077.38146,
Yunam (6130m) – N 32.81872 E 077.40461
Kilingsarai road head -> Base Camp -> Advance Base Camp ->
Sumit camp of 5980m -> 5980m Summit.
Kilingsarai road head -> Base Camp -> Advance Base Camp ->
Sumit camp of 5920m -> 5920m Summit.
Kilingsarai road head -> Base Camp -> Advance Base Camp ->
Sumit camp of 6130m -> 6130m Summit.
Rajan Rikame (Leader)
Bholaram Thakur (Deputy Leader)
Kaivalya Varma (Equipment in charge)
Ravi Bangera (Expedition Finance)
Prashant Thakur (Transportation in charge)
Rohan Rao (First Aider)
Guides: Pyareram, Gyani Cook: Diler, Porters: Bheem,
Losar expedition in 2012 the mountaineering team of Bhramanti
extensively researched the probable area/peak for 2014 expedition. The
team composition was almost the same as the last time. The peak options
we had proposed among us were “Losar”, “Tharang” and multiple peaks in
Lahaul out of which Lahaul was chosen. It took nearly 6 months
for us to plan the peaks/location. The base
camp location was Killingsarai 260km from Manali (In Himachal Pradesh
state of India) on Manali-Leh highway. All these peaks are close to the
border of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh state of India. We used Google
Earth to research the probable campsites and routes for the targeted
peaks. We hired services from the local agency “Shikhar Par” to assits
us for some of the support activities
(Guide/Kitchen/Porter/Transportation). The expedition flagged off from
Mumbai on 20-Jul 2014 and ended on 18-Aug 2014. Except Peak 6080m we
climbed three peaks out of which two are first successful attempt
(5980m, 5920m). The Yunam (6130m) was third peak we successfully
climbed. The peak 6080m couldn’t able to find the approach route due to
the location of the peak was at intersection 3 bowl shaped terrain. The
peak 5980m summated was on 31-Jul-2014. The peak 5920m was summated on
3-Aug-2014. The Yunam peak (6130m) was summated on 8-Aug-2014. Since we
were the first one to climb as per authority we are allowed to name the
peak and we are proposing the name Haathi (for peak 5980m) and Tikona
(for peak 5920m). The unclimbed peak 6080m will look forward to climb
in future expedition.
Sunday 20-Jul - One month before the expedition start, all common items
like altitude food, first aid, equipment and tentage were
purchased\collected at Kaivalya’s home in Borivali(Mumbai). On 20th
July most of the support members and well wishers of Bhramanti gathered
at his house in the morning for the team see off before departure by
Paschim express to Chandhigarh at 12 noon Sunday. There were 6 kitbags
and 3 personal bags weighing 200kg of luggage. The Expedition leader
and 2 members were expected to join directly in Manali. The team
reached Chandhigarh at 4pm of Monday 21-Jul and moved to Manali using
tempo traveler(minibus) as our transport and reached at Burwa (Manali)
late night where Bholaram Thakur joined the team. As per the schedule
the team is supposed stay here and to wait for other members to join
the team. Next day entire team went for shopping for groceries and
personal items in the Manali market. The team also submitted the
Expedition documents to Manali Institute and had brief chat with
Sr.Instructor "I. D. Sharma" of the Institute. He remarked after
viewing the Team resume that the team is experienced and wished us good
23-Jul - entire team went for acclimatization walk in the nearby
mountain. The support staff joined the team in the afternoon
(Guides, Cooks and LAPs) while Bhola, took charge of buying fresh
groceries in the Manali market. Rajan the Expedition leader reached
Burwa (Manali) and joined the team in the night. Thursday 24-Jul all
new items had been packed and also the entire team did some
acclimatization walk in the Burwa village. The last member of the team
Rohan Rao informed that he will join on 26-Jul at Kilingsarai camp
after completion of his Basic Course at Manali Institute.
25-Jul - The team left Burwa at 9am with hired vehicles (Camper & 2
Tavera) to carry entire expedition load and members. The Utility
vehicle-camper was loaded with equipment/tentage/kitchen baggage. On
the way there was a 30 minute break due to road being damaged by heavy
water stream flowing on the way and then the team reached Jispa(180km)
by 1:30pm. Also the team visited Keylong District Magistrate to submit
the expedition documents on the way to Jispa. There was a plan to stay
at Jispa (approx. height 10000ft) in the Institute Dormitory while the
Utility vehicle was supposed to move further to the Kilingsarai road
head. After settling down in the dormitory the team had a plan for
height gain for acclimatization in the nearby mountain. The team gained
1000 ft and descended down to dormitory. All team members were fit and
fine at this time. The utility vehicle (Camper) driver reported the
team that they have reached Killingsarai road head campsite.
Saturday 26-Jul - All Expedition members left Jispa by 7:30am to
Kilingsarai road head (80km) crossing Barlacha la on the Manali-Leh
high way. The team had encountered another road blockade due to heavy
water stream on the way before Barlacha la. Last expedition member
Rohan joined the team at 2pm at Kilingsarai. The team established the
Base Camp at 4640m 30 minutes away from the road head close to
Kilingsarai nallah. In the evening the entire team went on 1000ft above
the camp to observe the load ferry route and acclimatization.
Sunday 27-Jul - Everyone carried personal gears required in the high
altitude along with common equipment for the Advance Base Camp Load
ferry. It took 4 hours to reach the ABC using the new goat path
partially and new route keeping the Kilingsarai nallah on right side.
The team encounter 100ft scree slope of 60 degree after crossing the
snow bridge. The team realized the better route can be on the other
side of the nallah after overlooking the route from the ABC. Few of the
load ferry team went on to rekei the outer route while descending down
to BC and it was successful and short route. The only difficulty the
team had is to cross the Kilingsarai nallah near the BC especially
while return when the water flow is more. One of the member Ravi had
some altitude symptom during the load ferry. So the team planned to
make him rest as much as we can.
28-Jul - The team decided to rest since not much was left to shift to
ABC after yesterday's load ferry. Few items had been carried by the
support staff using the new route.
29-Jul - Team had to wait for some time since morning rain disturbed
our early morning move to ABC. The team started at 10am to move to ABC.
Everyone reached the ABC with comfortable pace with our personal
backpack in 3 hrs 30 minutes. The team established the ABC on the
outskirt of the grassy top as per local shepherd’s request to since its
grazing ground for his goats. The shepherd also confirmed that no one
visited this valley for any attempt as per his knowledge and the nallah
he referred as dandi nallah. The Camp height was at 4940m. In the
evening the support staff went above the dry gorge to explore the
possible summit camp site for the 5980m peak. The team also confirmed
our location using Garmin e-trex GPS and Gaia GPS which works on the
Smartphone based app using the geocaching tool of the smart phone which
does not required phone network.
Wednesday 30-Jul - At 8am some members of the team (Rohan, Prashant
along with guide Gyani, Pyare and cook Diler) went on to summit camp of
5980m. They reached the camp in 3 hours. During this time Rajan and
Kaivalya explored the location of the peak 6030m next to 5980m peak
using the printed topographic Google map and Gaia GPS. Just to make
sure and inform the correct mountain location they followed the route
to catch-up the team. Using handheld one-way radio the guide was
informed and at one point (5430m) everyone discussed and clarified self
doubts and confirmed the proposed peak (5980m) location. Rajan and
Kaivalya returned back to ABC where Ravi was managing the ABC mainly
co-ordination on radio. Rest of the 5980m summit climbing team explored
the surrounding above summit camp (5480m) in the evening.
In the evening the Summit camp team couldn’t able to communicate on
walki-talki hence guide and cook came down all the way to pick up the
ready to eat food because the MSR stove stopped working after one round
of cooking. We also sent another MSR stove just as backup if required
for the next day.
31-Jul - At 5:00am the 5980m team started the summit attempt. All of
them decided to reach at a time on the summit. Rohan was the first one
to reach early below (25ft) the summit at 11:30am. The entire team
reached the summit at 12:00 noon. They hoisted the tricolor with
enthusiasm on this peak for the first time in the history. The official
recorded height of the peak was 5975m as per Casio altimeter watch.
They took 365 degree photographs of the surrounding peaks. In 3 hr the
climbing team descended back to summit camp. They took 2 hr. break for
lunch and winded off the summit camp and descended back to ABC. Though
they looked tired but the joy of accomplishment was beaming radiantly
from their faces.
1-Aug - The next team (Rajan, Bholaram & Kaivalya) with 2 LAPs
(Bheem, Ishwar) moved to summit camp of 5920m peak in the glacier. The
height of the camp was 5275m. The guide Pyareram and cook Diler were
expected to join us the next day. It was colder than the ABC at this
height in general. The basin was exactly north of the Yunam peak. In
the night everyone heard few rocks fall and large chunks of ice fall to
make note of the glacial movement. Another adjoining peak of almost
same height was on the south-west ridge of the 5920m peak. We stuck to
the existing plan of scaling the peak and spent extra time to explore
6030m in the next basin (north-west).
Saturday 2-Aug - At 8am the guide and the cook joined us to explore the
summit route. The climbing team also followed the path for 1 hr and
returned back to Summit camp. We had to wear the snow shoes since the
basin was covered with black ice. Based on the route, we had planned to
move 3am next day for the summit attempt. We had our dinner early at
6:30pm that day.
Sunday 3-Aug - At 3am the peak was covered with clouds so we waited for
2 hr more. After tea, we left the summit camp with some food at 5:15am.
We were comfortable with our pace until sunrise (6:00am). By the time
we reached the col between Yunam and our peak the snow had softened. On
the south-west of the col which is actually the east face of the peak,
was our planned summit route. We had to struggle to climb the 70 degree
slope of 200ft of loose boulders on the east face of the peak using
snow shoes. After reaching the shoulder of the east face of the peak
which is of ht 5500m we encountered a wall of 100 ft to reach below the
neck of the summit. We had to use the crampon to climb the wall. The
summit looks heavily cladded with cornice. Hence we all decided to
summit from south side which was crux of the entire attempt. We had to
struggle to make a way from the hard ice covered with mud with 1000 mt
drop on south. The traverse to the loose rock end on south side from
east face took 20 minutes. The final 10 minutes climb from the back
(south) of the peak was scrambling the loose rock. At 11:45am we all
reached on the summit. It was a joyous moment. The team had pooja and
took 365 degree pictures of the surrounding. The team descended back
from west face in the saddle of the 2 peaks. Further from less cornice
edge fixed the rope of 150ft to rappel down to the basin. Everyone
reached the Summit camp at 2pm and decided to rest for the day.
4-Aug - At 7:30am we winded up the summit camp and moved to ABC to join
the rest of the team. We took 3 hr to reach the ABC. After lunch break
the team winded up the ABC and entire team descended down to BC.
5-Aug Load ferry remaining load from ABC to Base camp and rest
Wednesday 6-Aug - Ravi the expedition treasurer had been well
acclimatized by now and we couldn’t see any further altitude symptoms.
Everyone decided to climb Yunam as per the plan along with Ravi and
Rajan while Prashant and Kaivalya had taken the responsibility to shift
the BC to Kilingsarai road head. At 8:30am the team accompanied by
guide Gyani, Pyareram and cook Diler with the 3 LAP's went on to little
higher camp above Bharatpur at 4940m on the right side of the nallah.
While establishing the camp another team of 3 climbers accompanied with
their guides were descending to Bharatpur where they had their BC. The
group was known to us and they were from Mumbai. The team learned from
them that no snow shoes or crampons are required for the Yunam summit.
Everyone offloaded our shoes and some unwanted gear at Bharatpur Dhaba
with the help of support staff.
Thursday 7-Aug - At 8:00am the team winded up the ABC and moved to
summit camp of Yunam 300mts above the ABC. We reached in 2 hr. and
established the summit camp. In the evening we reached some height and
returned back for early dinner.
Friday 8-Aug - At 2:15am the team started Yunam summit attempt with the
help of head torch. By the time we reached 5800m the sun’s heat was
warming up the cold air. Everyone realized that last 300mt were slowest
pace for till now. The team reached the summit at 8:30am. Had pooja and
took 365 degree pictures of surrounding area. At 9:10am started
descending back to summit camp. Everyone reached by 12:30pm and had
lunch break. After break the team winded up the camp in the rain and
descended back to Kilingsarai road head camp. Entire team reached the
camp site by 5:30pm.
9-Aug - The team rested this day. Also Bholaram took charge of
arranging the vehicles to take everyone back to Manali.
10-Aug - The team did equipment and gear sorting and later packed these
items. At 6pm the pickup vehicle arrived for next day return journey.
11-Aug - The team winded up the camp and boarded the pickup vehicle
happily. It took 7hr to reach Manali without any road blocking issue.
The team reported the Keylong District Magistrate office about safe
return on the way. Everyone took rest until 16th Aug with miscellaneous
work during like cleaning of tents and reporting the authorities
(Manali institute) and accounting. On 16th evening the team travelled
by road to Delhi and on 17th by train to Mumbai. The Team arrived on
18th August 2014 in Mumbai safely.
Written by: Rajan Rikame