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Climbing Kyang-yet-Se {Ladakh}

Climbing Report By: Samuel Arthur - Email


A TRIBUTE TO LEGENDARY LAND OF LADAKH: Ladakh does not need any introduction . A plateau in clouds. This is strange land of "happening". No words can describe its beauty and sheer cruelness.It had to be experienced & I had been visiting Ladakh since more than Five years. I had been hiking to "khardung-La" Worlds highest motorable pass.It was a "NIKE" expedition & I drove 350 cc Royal Enfield. Again we went to climb in formidable Siachen Glacier(Mamostang Kangri) but Indian Army did not allow us to enter .Situation with Pakistan was hot and there was constant shelling going on. So, we decided to climb Kyangyet-Se, in Nimaling Plateau. A severely effected moral and budget,it was all we could have done.

PHASE1 :- We started from Leh,hiring a bus and loading all hardware for climb. By the time we reached Shang village,it was evening .Next day  trek starts, although scree treks were not new to me but my friends found it bit tough. It was just six inches wide impression in scree  where all balance had to go..in case of slip...???? There were no bridges so streams have to be crossed taking utmost care as sometimes flow is dangerous and I personally feel that it was greatest difficulty I found there. But what have to be done , have to be done...

PHASE2 :- It was tiring day for half of the team. Sudden rise in altitude, sudden change in atmosphere/oxygen is comparatively less in Ladakh. In evening we found that three people have decided not to cross Nimaling-La. We pitched our tents at the base of the La . It seems to me very easy from there. Next morning, I started with my friend (Mr. Rajiv Athwal) only to know that our leader has also developed chest problems and with this chances of our climb become poor. We were told to follow them and not to reach the La before them. We did the same and by 2.0 PM we were all there on top of the La. Nimaling plateu was visible from there and it looks just beautiful .

PHASE3 :- Next Day we were trapped in bad weather and stayed inside our tents. In evening I went for some reccee and was sure that there are good chances of our attempt. We pushed our camp further 2 kms. in moraine of small glaciers .But here I found that our leader had developed symptoms of pulmonary odema and I stressed him to go back. But to go back too he had to climb the La  again but it was important for him to be out of that wilderness as soon as  possible. Atleast he accepted but now whole camp was going back with him.

DEADLY OPTION :- It was all pack and go back situation but people like me were interested to stay back and do climbing for which we were there. Here comes the crucial decision of our leader" if anybody" wants to attempt the peak he has to make a alpine style attempt ,come back ,again ascend the La and then there will be camp for us. There was no other way for me. I wanted to try and try it very hard. So I took my chance. My fellow climber after hitting the ice slope of 75 deg. with his crampons told me "he is not going". So I started with guide Namgyal and after 7 hrs. of negotiating slopes we were blocked by 'cornice'. This green colored thing looks like sleeping horizontally and not giving any way to reach the summit ridge. I knew that playing with cornice could be dangerous but there was no coming back. ( I feel that this type of situation comes in front of a climber when he feels " no coming back" ). I suggested that we should break a two feet wide passage where cornice was not big enough to crash. And we did the same- although my heart was beating in my ears because incase anything happens I knew I was not having any 'Belay' . After sometime we stood short of summit by 40mtrs. He said he can not go ahead as it is religious place. Loose snow and sleet was also good reason to be defensive . It was this way-that way.

DEADLY DESCEND :- We started descending ...traversed the whole ridge and tried to reach near La which was still far away in "N". By 8.0 PM ,I gave up my struggle as dehydration and tired of constant workout from 5.30 AM. But  was pushed on by friends...so kept on walking in dark... thinking to spend night in open or some rock shelter...by 10.0 PM that night,I gave up and told my friends that I have left with no energy to pull on. I was having enough warm clothing and that serene night and sleeping in a rock crack was no bad idea in that condition. We were not having any sleeping bags also..as all luggage had gone with the leader & camp.So, I was given every rag available and it kept me warm.. Next day we started for Shang village.It was non stop walk for me.I was injured inside but lure to come in mountain had bandaged all that pain I felt in those days. We reached Leh the same evening around 10.0PM as jeep had been sent for us from Leh by our leader who had taken the climbers to Leh

 

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