Thursday, April 7, 2016

2016 Kamet Expedition (Satopanth Alternate)

Satopanth - the way of Truth
Greetings from Salt Lake City, Utah. I've just completed the season managing Gulmarg Ski Area in Kashmir, India for the second season. Last week, Tsewang Namgyal and I met with the Indian Mountaineering Foundation in Delhi and learned that the Indian Army

will not allow expeditions into Mt. Kamet this Spring season for undisclosed reasons. The peak is right on the Indo-China border, so we respect their wishes.
Whenever you apply for a peak in a sensitive border region in India, you also have to provide an alternative "open" peak in case your permit is denied by the authorities. Our alternative is Mount Satopanth, a 7075 meter peak in the Gangotri region of the Garwhal.
     Satopanth in Sanskrit roughly translates as "the path of truth". We like the name, we love the route, and the guests along with us are getting excited to return to the Garwhal for our second expedition to the region.  We will approach up the Bhagirathi river, shown below.
 Next, we'll trek for a few days on the Bhagirathi (shown below) glacier, and finally to the base of our objective, massive and aesthetic Satopanth.
Shivling and Meru (the Shark's Fin) from the Bhagirathi glacier

Pulling into Nandanvan after climbing up from the Bhagirathi glacier.
Boulder hopping up to Nandanvan.

 Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks. I will fly back with expedition supplies from here in the United States early next week.
Tsewang Namgyal

Gomba Sherpa
Tsewang Namgyal is currently in Dehra Dun finalizing matters with the Wildlife office. Kunsang Thakchod and Phuntsok Dorje are in Manali preparing the logistics there, and Gomba Sherpa is in Kathmandu doing the same. We will all come together, assimilate the massive amount of equipment required to mount a Himalayan expedition, and then begin the journey through the north Indian plains, into the foothills, and finally back into our office, the Himalayas. Three climbers are joining us for this expedition you will meet them soon as well. Here's to a great Himalayan season. -Luke Smithwick, guide, Himalaya Alpine Guides

Luke Smithwick

Phuntsok Dorje
Kunsang Thakchod