Friday, May 17, 2013

2013 Garwhal Expedition : Bhagirathi 2

In a weeks time, we'll gather here in Delhi to meet with the Indian Mountaineering Foundation and begin our journey into India's Garwhal Himalaya.  The Garwhal Himalaya aren't a popular destination compared to other locales in the Himalaya, perhaps due to how remote and wild they are.  So, for a few weeks, we'll be away from the wired world.      

     Our peak objective, Bhagirathi 2 (Google rendered image below), is named after King Bhagirathi, believed by locals to be the one responsible for bringing the Ganges river to earth from the heavens.  The peak is 6512 meters (21364 feet) in height, and boasts some mighty fine climbing lines.  Marko Prezelj and his team of Slovenian alpinists found some excellent climbing in the cirque next door (images and story here).  Our climb will be with crampons, mountaineering axes, and running belays with pickets and maybe a screw or two depending on conditions. We'll be climbing on a ridge line.  We'll be posting updates when the team arrives here, if possible at the expedition start, and then our results after our time.  Currently, Rahul Thapa (local guide) is in Munsoorie and preparing local arrangements, Kunsang and Chandan are preparing equipment and tents in Manali, and I'm (Luke Smithwick) here in Delhi preparing to move to Kathmandu to bring expedition supplies down to meet Rahul in Munsoorie next week.  Stay tuned! A few more visuals below.. -Luke Smithwick, Himalaya Alpine Guides

Where is the Garwhal?
The Garwhal Himalaya is located in the Indian Himalaya, on China's Tibetan border. See the map below to orient yourself.  This expedition is the first of a series in the region, exploring alpine peaks and climbing aesthetic routes.