BMG Guides claim more first ascents
Martin Moran and Rob Jarvis climb Changuch (6,322m) in the Indian Himalaya
BMG Guides Martin Moran and Rob Jarvis (with Paul Guest, Luder Sain (India) and Leon Winchester) have recently returned from Kumaon in the Indian Himalaya, where they made the first ascent of Changuch (6,322m), one of the last major unclimbed summits in the region.
The elegant and sharp-edged snow and ice spire of Changuch lies in the Eastern Nanda Devi Group, a little south east of Nanda Devi East.
Moran’s team was the first to attempt the mountain from the Lawan Valley to the north, a much easier approach than the Pindari Glacier to the south. They found a feasible line from the upper Lawan Glacier to a col on the North West Ridge and then followed the crest at Alpine D standard to the summit.
During the night of the 6th-7th June this year, Jarvis leading Guest and Winchester climbed a couloir and snow ramps to gain the 5,850m col. They rested there for 36 hours, allowing Moran and Luder Sain to join them during the second night.
At 12.30am on the 9th all five set off with Moran in the lead. After 130m of mixed terrain, Jarvis took over and led the exposed snow/ice slopes above, culminating in four steep pitches (55-60°) to the summit. The highest point was reached at 9am and the whole route descended that same day.
The expedition's original goal was the South Ridge of Nanda Devi East from Longstaff's Col (5,910m), which they attempted to 6,100m after first making an acclimatization ascent of Nanda Lapak (5,782m).
Not only was this a significant ascent, the area is steeped in fascinating history - of mountaineering, religious and cultural importance. It could be argued that Thomas Longstaff (a pioneering British Mountaineer who 'discovered' the Col that now bears his name) made the first 'modern (alpine-style) lightweight ascent' when he climbed Trisul (23,385 feet/7128 m) in 1907!
You can read a full report (with some more fascinating history) by Lindsay Griffin on the BMC news pages.