BIG ALPINE ROCK WALLS IN INDIA'S MIYAR VALLEY

Posted on: November 6, 2006


In September 2005 two Polish mountaineers, David Kazlikowski and Michal Krol, made the first ascent of Lotos Peak (5630m), the summit immediately right of the 5800-meter Neverseen Tower above the Chhudong (a.k.a. Tawa) Glacier in India's Miyar Valley. The pair climbed the southwest face, which gave 750 meters of climbing at 5.10a/b M6 80 degrees. This autumn, Krol returned to the region and with Przemek Wojcik made another first ascent, this time of the peak immediately right of Lotos. The imposing, complex rock tower, typical of many of the summits that adorn the rim of the Chhudong Glacier, was attempted in 2005 by Italians Massimo Marcheggiani (who made the first ascent of the now well-known Neverseen Tower in 1992) and Massimo Natalini.

The southwest face of Geruda Peak (ca. 5640m) above the Chhudong Glacier, Miyar Valley, in India's Himachal Pradesh. The line of the first ascent (5.11b A0 50-60 degrees, 900m, Krol-Wojcik, 2006) is marked. The 2005 Italian attempt climbed the obvious icy couloir and steep ramp line to the left, terminating at the top of this ramp approximately two-thirds of the way up the face. [Photo] Michal Krol

The Italians climbed an obvious Z-shaped feature up a sinuous couloir and mixed terrain toward the left side of the southwest face, then followed a fine crack system to reach the top of a prominent buttress. Their high point is probably no more than two-thirds height on the face but the pair terminated their route at that point and descended (although incomplete, they named it Million Indian Stars and quote difficulties of M6+, A1 and easy 5.10).

Krol and Wojcik climbed their route alpine-style in a single push on August 28. They took a line, to the right of the Italians', direct to the summit. The first 250 meters were mixed. Then came a relatively easy but loose section leading to the vertical chimneys and cracks of the headwall. Unfortunately, snow and rain arrived close to the top and on the final pitch they had to resort to pulling on gear. The route gave 900 meters of climbing up to 5.11b, with 50-60 degrees ice and one pitch of A0. The ca. 5640-meter summit has been christened Geruda Peak.

Krol and Wojcik also made the first ascent of Doomed to Miyar (5.11c, ca. 1000m) on the northwest face of Tamadonog (ca. 5,245m). The route, which required one bivouac, took 31 hours over August 13-14 and every pitch was climbed on sight. It is not clear whether this peak has been climbed before. The two other members of the Polish team, Michal Apollo and Marek Zoladek, climbed Masala Peak (ca. 5650m) via an 800-meter route at WI 4.

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