Brammah II (6485 mts).
Written by Karn Kaushik
Ever since Tenzing Norgay carried the Indian flag to Everest, India has been a country obsessed with mountaineering – and for good reason. We have more Himalaya than either Nepal or Pakistan, and we have the most unclimbed peaks.
Yet, as Indians, when we introduce ourselves as Alpine Climbers, other Indians look at us like we’re speaking a foreign language. “But have you climbed Everest?” they ask. Foreign climbers look at us in surprise, as if to say, “Indian Alpinists? We didn’t know there were any!”
Indeed, Ten PioletD’or awards have been given for climbs in India – none of them to an Indian Team.
This year, we aim to change the perception of mountaineering in India, by putting up new, technically challenging and innovative route, sticking closely to the Alpine philosophy. We will climb in a pure style, using no fixed ropes, no Sherpa support, and leave nothing behind.
We want to become advocates for a fast and light climbing style in India, and encourage a whole new generation of Indian Alpinists.
Our objective this August is a new traverse of two peaks in the Kishtwar – Flat Top (6103 mts) and Crooked Needle (5603 mts). We will climb in a two man team. We will also try the first Indian Alpine Style Attempt of Brammah II (6485 mts).
The major challenge we face is the lack of high quality, lightweight equipment. Such gear is still unavailable in India. We seek your support in this. In return, we offer pictures and trip reports from our climb, as well as speak about the climb and your support.
Sometimes, the hardest thing about being a climber is finding a partner. In India, it’s even harder – there are almost no alpinists here!
We – Bharat and Karn – met 4 years ago, at a government run trip aiming to bring ‘Indian Alpinists’ together. Deep in the Bara Shigri Glacier, we found ourselves becoming friends over afternoon bouldering sessions – usually with nobody else around, since we were the only ones who brought rock shoes.
There were over 50 climbers present at that month-long event. A fifth of them had climbed Everest. Almost none believed in the alpine style. We did, though, and over the course of the trip, vowed to only climb in the pure style. “No Sherpas. No HAPs. No Fixed Ropes.”
At the finale of the trip, we found ourselves on two ends of a rope, and realised that our technical skills matched too. We complemented each other perfectly, one strong where the other was weak. Together, they made a new route up Mt. Khangcering, a fairly easy 6000er. We climbed in unison, with no need to talk or discuss. When one tired, the other took over. There was complete trust – there had to be since only one screw was placed! It was a beautiful day, and the start of a beautiful partnership.
Fast forward to 4 years later, after having been on multiple climbs together, sharing a house, exploring new parts of the Himalaya together. They were looking for a new objective – one that would push our own limits, as well as that of all Indian Alpinists.
We’ve trained, prepared and grown stronger. We know we’re ready – all we need is your support!
The prime objective is a traverse that connects Flat Top to Crooked Finger.
Images taken from a 1970 issue of the Alpine Journal.
Image taken from Google Earth.
This traverse has never been done. We aim to climb from the East Ridge, achieve Flat Top, and then the Traverse to Crooked Finger, where we will attempt the pinnacle. In preparation, we will attempt Brammah II, climbed only once in 1975 (also seen in the picture).
The Ethical Objective
We will climb in a style that reflects the alpinist’s philosophy – a completely pure style. We will climb in a small, self-sustained team of two, with no HAP or Sherpa support, fix no ropes, and leave nothing on the mountain.
We intend to set an example for Indian climbers, by climbing a challenging, technical route, with negligible impact on the mountain herself.
How you can support our Climb
- Gear for test
- Logistic help (Hotel + meal during our travel)
How you will get benefits while sponsoring our Climb
- Provide you detailed test report about your equipment
- Company logo with awesome background
- Expedition report
- Powerpoint presentation of our expedition
[ Postscript – Bharat, Karn and Taylor weren’t able to attempt Brammah II as they didn’t get permission to climb this peak by IMF in 2016. They instead planned on climbing a peak called Z-1, in Zanskar. Due to bad weather conditions and after a wait of three days at summit camp, they then were forced to just climb the right shoulder of the Z-1 peak from Nun valley side which they then named Z-1’s daughter and then head back.The complete story of this interesting tale shall be shared in the next blog post.
Karn and Bharat are now heading back to Brammah II in August this year. Stay tuned for more updates ]