Historic Ascent In India


Our colleagues from the Calcutta section of The Himalayan Club do a wonderful job keeping us informed of mountaineering news in their part of the world. We’ve received a press release from the HC announcing that the first Indian civilian ascent of Mt. Nilkanth (6595m) has been achieved. Another highlight of this expedition is that the climb was achieved in a single stretch of 57 hours!
Located in the state of Uttaranchal in India, there have only been four successful ascents of this difficult mountain. A full report will be published soon, but you can learn more here.

This news follows less than a year after the HC’s ascent of Mt. Kamet (7756m), which was organized to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first successful ascent of that mountain.

The Himalayan Club is a major contributor to the AAC library’s archive of historic expedition reports. The HC is also largely responsible for our complete set of The Himalayan Journal, the HC’s annual publication. The Journal has been published since 1929 and ours may be the only complete set in the United States.

Above are two photos from the expedition that were taken near the summit of Nilkanth (courtesy of The Himalayan Club). Congratulations to all the team members!
UPDATED: The full report has arrived at the library. Please contact Gary at glandeck@americanalpineclub.org if you would like to have a copy

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10 Responses

  1. dear mr Landeck ,
    Very nice post , thanks , what is also interesting is that a 16 man team undertook the expedition for less than the equivalent of USD 10,000
    – Priyadarshi Gupta

  2. Hello, Mr. Gupta –
    Thank you for the additional information. When one compares this to the cost of a commercial expedition to Everest, the Nilkath expedition becomes even more remarkable.

  3. Dear Gary
    Thanks for the posting.
    But the effort of the Leader AVM(Rtd) in meticulous planning and executing the expedetion and the boys heroic almost non stop climbing for 57 hrs in the open should also be highlighted.

  4. It is also noteworthy to observe that three of the summiters were on their very first expedition which is really remarkable.

  5. Legendary mountainteer Hermann Buhl
    made it possible from c5 to Nanga
    summit n back to c5 in one dash of 41hrs with a terrible benightment
    little below summit n much above
    BazhinGap at 26000ft,in JULY1953.
    Seemingly inspired by that,this
    young brigade of 11 from from H.C.KOLKATA did it too,from c2 to
    Neelkanth summit n back to c2 having undergone two benightments
    at 19500ft on the southwest wall.
    A performance, based on remarkable team work,under climbing leadership
    of Gautom Ghosh,achieved the feat
    seamlessly.
    A pleasing climb that has designed
    a new chapter of the mountain which
    can act as an eyeopener for leading
    climbers around the globe to come
    INDIA n climb NEELKANTH.
    Even more pleasing is that Mr Gary
    has posted this record in AAC Blog.
    Thank you Mr.Gary,thank you very much.
    Surajit/India.

  6. The pictures are really good. I have read the writeup in the Telegrapgh. It is a good read.

  7. The Nilkanth team has really shown us once again that with a Positive Attitude you can cross any barrier no matter how hard it may be.My Congratulations to everyone who was involved in supporting this Expedition. Hope to see many such Historic Climbs in times to come.

  8. I wish to congratulate LEADER and all members for successful climb. This is not a easly summit and as few members were first timers, I once again congratulate the leader as in this scenerio…more pressure comes on him for a successfull assault.

  9. Thank you all for commenting. It is encouraging to get such a response!

    Meher Mehta asked me to add the following comment to this post:

    Dear Gary,
    At times in the euphoria of the aftermath publicity of the climb itself, the important aspects of resourcing, planning and logistics of an expedition fail to get highlighted, or that of the support people who ferry loads on the mountain, and among other things, look to matters of the environment, study of melting glaciers, the collecting of flora species and rock samples in the region and the like. I am glad that our expedition members look to all these aspects as their collective reason for going to the mountains. I hope the era of peak bagging that we generated successfully over the last four years will now give way to a more salutary period of exploration of little known areas and the enjoyment of alpine style climbing.

    Meher Mehta

  10. Recently the Mangaing Committe had this to say:

    “…

    1. After studying all the material made available to it in the Ombudsman’s Report, the independent opinions of experienced and respected mountaineers consulted by the President, as well as all the arguments made in response to the Ombudsman’s Report by the Expedition Leader and other members of Kolkata Section, the MC would like to record its agreement with the conclusion of the Ombudsman’s Report, which is that the 2007 Himalayan Club expedition to Nilkanth, operating in challenging topography, did not reach the highest point on the mountain. Therefore HC will not record this as an ascent of Nilkanth. ..”

    one can find more details on this extra ordinary report by Sri Jagdish Nanavati and the MC of Himalayan Club in the follwoing links:

    http://himalayanclub.org/Nilkanth/1.%20Nilkanth_Expedition_2007-REPORT.pdf

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