Report By: Samuel Arthur - Email
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.
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...
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.
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 .
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.
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
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