PADMANABH

Posted on: December 1, 2002


In June and July, five Indian and five Japanese mountaineers undertook a long traverse of the Eastern Karakoram valleys. The team covered almost 550 kilometers as they traversed a historic route in the Shyok Valley then returned along the Siachen Glacier via the Nubra Valley. Five passes were reached or crossed, two large glaciers were fully traversed and the vast Teram Shehr ice plateau was explored for the first time.

The first ascent of Padmanabh (7030m) was made on June 25 by Hiroshi Sakai and Yasushi Tanahashi. Two teams consisting of Japanese and Indian mountaineers worked together to push the route. After setting up a second base camp (5650m) at the foot of the mountain, another high summit camp was made at 6250 meters near a col at the foot of the south ridge. Over the next four days, sixteen pitches of ropes were fixed to ca. 6750 meters. Sakai, Tanahashi and Lieutenant Commander S. Dam started for the summit, but Dam was soon forced to drop out. Sakai and Tanahashi reached the summit in an eleven-hour push. Both men had previously climbed Nanga Parbat, but rated this peak more difficult in many respects.

— Tamotsu Nakamura, Japan

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