Dipankar Ghosh - Mountaineer, Photographer, Writer

Unnamed Peak 6125 Expedition in 2015

Leader's report on Peak 6125 expedition undertaken in September, 2015. The peak is located in the Lahaul region of Himachal Pradesh. As per the leader, Sri Dipankar Ghosh - "To best of our knowledge and information both the peaks were hitherto unclimbed and unnamed".

Unnamed Peak 6125 Expedition in 2015

Climbing Data

Name of Expedition: Unnamed Peak (6125 mtr.)
Peak: Peak 6125 (Altitude: 6125 mtr. / 20090.00 ft.)
Year: 2015
Base camp @: 4566 mtr.
Last camp @: 7450 mtr.
My role: Expedition Leader
I moved up to: Summit
Associate: Bhadrakali Padatik

Expedition Members

Mr. Dipankar Ghorsh (Leader)
Mr. Subrata Dey (Deputy Leader)
Mr. Arun Sen ( Quarter master)
Mrs. Soma Pal Bhattacharjee (Quarter master)
Mr. Subrata Das (Equipment In-charge)
Mr. Anjan Banerjee (Treasurer)
Mr. Suman Dey (Equipment In-charge)
Mr. Manohar R Lolage (member)
Mr. Navin Chauhan (member)
Mrs. Poorva Chepe

Members reached to last point of the expedition

Mr. Dipankar Ghosh (Leader)
Mr. Arun Sen
Mr. Manohar R Lolage

Weather Condition:
Weather condition was varied during the period of expedition. On two days the sky was heavily overcast and none of the surrounding peaks were visible. On two occasions we had snowfall...
Snow & Rock Condition:
From base camp to camp-I we negotiated a rocky spur which had stiff gradients at some places. On the last portion we negotiated moraine slope of the Glacier where there were hard ice at some places...
Technical Difficulty:
On the way to camp-I we negotiated huge moraine on Bagrari glacier. On the way to camp-II first we had to negotiate a land slide prone stiff slope of about 300 meter.


Leader’s Report on Expedition to Unnamed Peak (6125 mtr) in Himachal Pradesh, Organised by Bhadrakali Padatik, held during Aug-Sept. 2015

Commencement of trek from road head: The trek started from Janskar Sumdo, the road head of this route.
Number of camps enroute up to Basecamp: We established Transit camp-I, Transit camp-II and then established Base Camp.

Interaction with Local Administration wnroute and assistance received/problems faced: At Manali we informed about our programme to the Police station. At Darcha we informed about our programme to the Police post. We didn’t face any problem.

Establishment of Basecamp: We established our Base Camp on 29th August at an altitude of 4566 meter on the right bank of Bagrari Nala.

Establishment of Higher camps: After Base camp we established Camp-I at an altitude of 4677mtr. on 1st September, Camp-II on 3rd September at an altitude of 5209 mtr.

Technical/Climbing difficulty on way to higher camps: On the way to camp-I we negotiated huge moraine on Bagrari glacier. On the way to camp-II first we had to negotiate a land slide prone stiff slope of about 300 meter.

Snow and Rock condition: From base camp to camp-I we negotiated a rocky spur which had stiff gradients at some places. On the last portion we negotiated moraine slope of the Glacier where there were hard ice at some places. After camp-I first we crossed a land slide prone stiff slope impregnated with hanging loose boulders. After that we negotiated some humps piled with loose boulders.

Weather condition: Weather condition was varied during the period of expedition. On two days the sky was heavily overcast and none of the surrounding peaks were visible. On two occasions we had snowfall. One morning there was heavy mist that lingered for couple of hours. Remaining days, we had clear weather conducive for climbing. The temperature varied from 30° Celsius to -12° Celsius at night.

Summit report: We reached the summit of Unnamed Peak 6125 mtr. on 4th September.

Camp site cleaning activities and cleaning up garbages: Some bio-degradable garbage we burnt and buried at Base Camp, Camp-I and Camp-II. But we carried the entire plastic products, empty cans and all non biodegradable garbage to Darcha.

Maximum height attained and its Date: On the 4th of September, 2015 we reached the summit of Unnamed Peak 6125 mtr. Day-to-Day event is available in the detail report.

Annexure E : Grade Assessment Reporting
Name of Mountain: Unnamed peak 6125 mtr.
Expedition organization and dates: Expedition was organized by BHADRAKALI PADATIK from 17th August 2015 to 11th September 2015.
Face / Ridge Attempted: South Face and south west Ridge.
Nature of Face: Rock and Ice mix terrain.
Gradient of the route in approximate degrees and description of artificial technical aids used to negotiate difficulty: During summit approach average gradient of the route was 60 degrees. Somewhere there was stiff gradient up to 75 Degrees. We used 660 mtr. of Polypropylene rope and 4 nos. of Kern-mantle rope of 50 mtr each, 4 nos. of Tubular Ice piton, 5 nos. of rock piton and 8 nos of Snow stakes.
Assessment of Technical difficulty: Grade 4

Annexure F : Incident Reporting
Climbing Accidents: No accident occurred during the expedition.
Cases of severe Altitude sickness: Nil
Animal Attacks: Nil
Severe weather disturbances: Nil
Avalanche and Landslides: Nil

Detailed Report

There are still numerous peaks in Himalayas which have never been climbed nor do they have any appellation by which we can hail them. Climbing such peaks are always more challenging as almost nothing is known about them except their latitude, longitude and height . One is in dark about the routes, number of coils of ropes or equipments that has to be carried; to get hold of a photograph of the peak, in most of the cases, is next to impossible. We shortlisted two such peaks, 6125m and 6115m in altitudes - located in the Lahaul region of Himachal Pradesh. To best of our knowledge and information both the peaks were hitherto unclimbed and unnamed. On 17th of August, 2015 our journey began from Kolkata; on 19th we reached Manali. We stayed one night at Manali to buy our ration and next day we set off for Darcha.

Our peak was located more or less eighteen kilometers north of the road-head Janskar Sumdo as the crows fly. The peak overlooked Bagrari nala that meandered its way through the gorge to ultimately merge with Mayar nala. On 21st of August 2015 we stepped down from our car at the bank of Mayar nala beside a lush green camping site. It was a campers Paradise and tents of few foreign nationals were already pitched on the ground; the owners basking in the mild sun of Janskar Sumdo. The sky was littered with grey clouds that threatened of rain, yet we could get a glimpse of a peak that rented the cloud to peep at us. The dusty road that brought us to Janskar Sumdo had winded up the slopes of hills few kilometers further. In near future it would serve to connect Padam(Leh) and Darcha.
Ours was a ten member team, representing "Bhadrakali Padatik" club of Uttarpara. I headed the team and my team members were Subrata De (Deputy Leader), Soma Pal, Arun Sen, Anjan Banerjee, Subrata Das, Suman Dey, Manohar Lolage, Naveen Chauhan and Poorva Chepe. Our high altitude friends Narendra, Chander and Netar had joined us at Manali.

On the first day after reaching Janskar Sumdo at an altitude of 3946mtr (Photo no-1A), the HAFs and I made a recce of our probable route along the true right bank of Mayar nala. I observed that the path would lead to crossing of Mayar nala at some point ahead. Therefore, on next day I asked the whole team to proceed along the true left bank of Mayar nala by crossing the metal bridge at Janskar Sumdo. On our map, published by Survey of India (No. 52 H/1), there were precisely three landmarks that I prayed would be sufficient for us to choose the right track. The two of these landmarks were two Shepherd huts and the third one was a snow bridge over Bagrari nala. The locality was surveyed in the year 1979 and I kept my fingers crossed about the snow bridge.

On 22nd August we moved towards west along the true left bank of Mayar nala. We had to negotiate loose boulder slopes time to time; in fact much too frequently to our disliking. We crossed some meadows. According to map those were Thumbu (P-2) and Kuddu. However, we were lucky on reaching Kuddu as we not only located the first shepherd hut but to our delight discovered a shepherd seated inside it. The man had just finished his lunch and his herd of about six hundred lambs and sheep peeped out of every nook and corner of the adjacent meadow. After questioning him for a long time what the shepherd said in his broken Hindi mixed with local dialect thrilled us. We were told that up the stream there does exist a snow bridge. We had found our route and we returned to the road-head merrily. Whole day, the sky was overcast and blanketed the surrounding peaks.

In the last two days all my efforts to arrange for porters had failed. There were mules but the owners were not ready to send their mules in our direction. They were making good business in the Padam route. Eventually, on the third day we could arrange for nine porters, half the number required. Being a Sunday, the workers constructing the new road were free and agreed to carry the load up to the first shepherd hut.

On Monday, 24th of August, the members distributed the remaining load among them and reached the shepherd hut at Kuddu (P-3) where the first transit camp was established (4140mtr.).

We were already two days behind schedule and had made very little progress in terms of distance. In fact we had mentally prepared ourselves to confront such hindrances in an expedition of an unnamed, unclimbed peak. In front of us the river had forked into three branches and I thanked my lucky stars that I at least knew which branch to follow. l constantly bend down over the map - consulted the compass and mobile GPS to ensure that we were on the right track. I knew, if we took a single wrong turn, it would result in loss of valuable days and provisions ultimately resulting in termination of the expedition.

Next day, on 25th of August, we ferried load up to snow-bridge. We enjoyed the load ferry as the sky was clear and the snow peaks far and near stood clear across the azure backdrop. As we advanced a little from TC-1 we had our first view of the peak 6125mtr (P-4) for which we had come. It was still too far but the sight gave us such a joy that no word could describe. After a walk of about half an hour we reached near Mayari Sumdo (P-5), the confluence of Mayar Nala and Bagrari Nala. Here Mayar nala has taken a sharp left turn and disappeared towards Tarasalamu pass. From there we followed the true left bank of Bagrari Nala. We had to negotiate two stiff boulder slopes. From the top of the last slope we had the view of a beautiful meadow called CHATARPONI that lay in front of us. We crossed the meadow and our path dived down to the river bank where we found the snow bridge (P-6). Thank God. The snow bridge was stable just like a permanent glacier. We crossed the snow bridge over the Nala and dumped our loads on the right bank of the Nala. It took about three hours to reach there. In the afternoon we returned to transit camp-I.

Next day - that is on 26th we again ferried load to the snow bridge. I didn't know at this pace how long will it take us to reach the base camp. But when we returned to TC-1 that day, some good news awaited us. The shepherd’s companion had returned from Darcha and he promised to lend his four mules for carrying the load from snow-bridge to base camp. He could not do this before as there was no one to look after his herd. On the next day, we started early from TC-1 and decided to reach base camp. We crossed the snow bridge where we had been dumping our load for the last two days and went on further. We marched on in long strides along the right bank of Bagrari nala. It was a gradual slope of boulders. After four hours marching we reached a meadow. After a marching of another one hour we reached a second meadow. According to map the name of this place was BILAYATIJ. On the east we could see a confluence of Bagrari nala and an unnamed stream. The left bank of this confluence rose to form the lower body of two peaks 6015mtr and 6035mtr high.

But we soon realized that it would not be possible for us to reach the base camp. The peak was further than we had anticipated. We had not gained much height but we had already covered five hours distance from TC-1. We started looking for water source and finally found a hairbreadth water source on the upper side of a rock face. The water point was located approximately 150 meter above us and demanded some good demo of rock climbing to reach there. We decided to call it a day and a second transit camp (P-7) was established (4420 mtr.) in a huge valley where actually a shepherd hut was marked on our map. Believe me, the construction of the hut made us speechless. We could not believe our eyes what ingenious craftsmanship has gone in making the dome-shaped hut complete with a niche and a store for keeping logs. Loose rocks were piled one above the other - with no mortar or cement to bind them and the walls curved in to form the roof of the hut. We were apprehensive that a slight vibration would collapse the whole structure but ironically we forgot that the construction has defied such thoughts for last thirty-six years or may be more. We made the hut our kitchen and went in and out of the hut in tiptoes. The valley was continuously swept by winds that chilled us to our bones and we were happy to get inside our sleeping bags as early as possible.

Next day we made a return load-ferry from snow-bridge. The shepherd, Vinod Singh had reached the snow-bridge with his four mules on time. It was a huge relief for us as his mules carried most of the loads to the transit camp-II. After having our lunch at TC-II, we headed towards north (P-8). After some time we descended a stiff scree slope and came down just on the right bank of the Nala. From thereon we moved along the right bank of the Nala. Soon after we reached beside another confluence called Bagrari Sumdo. From there we again clambered up a stiff upward slope (P-9) laid with loose small stones (Scree). Vinod Singh and Chander had taken another route on the upper side of the meadow to avoid this scree slope. Shortly we reached a green meadow but there was no source of water. We were confused. Putting down our Rucksacks there, Narendra and I moved further in search of a campsite - keeping the Nala on our right. Just beyond the meadow there was a vast boulder slope. No suitable place for campsite could be seen anywhere. However, as we lumbered doggedly across the boulder zone we could mark off a glacier at the horizon fringed by many peaks. According to our map it must be the source of this Nala, we anticipated.

We returned to our rucksacks and resumed our journey keeping ourselves on a track slightly above the previous one. The route was across a stiff grassy slope. After a short while we found a narrow water source and just within 100 meters of that we found a small roofless hut made of boulders. According to GPS the altitude of the place was 4566 mtr and the coordinates were 32054’26” (N) and 77004’81” (E). The name of this place was DHUPKE DRUN. In the mean time Vinod Singh and Chander had reached there with the mules. We decided to dump our load there because the route ahead was not safe for the mules to carry load. We returned to TC-II at 4.00 pm. The shepherd also spent the night there.

On the following day, we dismantled transit camp two and moved on to establish the Base camp. Today it took us only two and a half hours to reach the place where we had dumped our load. The base camp (4566 mtr.) was established (P-10) eight days after we had reached the road-head (on 29th September, 2015).
Everybody was in good spirit. On 29th we decided to stay at base camp for rearrangement of food, (P-11) equipment etc. One of our quarter-masters Arun Sen hastily fabricated a kite and started flying it (P-12). We erected a temple and the base camp Puja was performed. In the evening, I asked my members to make a final check up of the gears.

From base camp, our peak looked like a two-dimensional triangle with its south face facing us. The peak was flanked by two apparently razor sharp ridges on the east and on the west. The eastern ridge was beyond our reach and some very difficult climbing would be required to reach the western ridge. It seemed as if all our hopes lay on the other side of the peak, if there was any. Thus, next day, the team started off from base camp with dual objectives of recce and load-ferry. Hitherto, we had been following shepherd's trail from Janskar Sumdo shown in the map. In the route, we had to cross umpteen numbers of refuge gullies impregnated with boulders. But, now we descended to the level of river bed scattered with smooth pebbles polished and rounded by thousands of years of water erosion (P-13). As we advanced in long strides, we slowly came by the side of our peak. We could see the peak 6115 meter at far end towards north (P-14). After a march of about two hours, we could see our river vanish into a snout. As we neared the snout (Dhunde ka Jiriyu) we noticed that it had striking resemblance with Gomukh (P-15). At the farthest north, we could see a huge glacier that mesmerized us with its beauty. The terminal moraine had started. Slowly, we crossed the zone of terminal moraine (P-16) and started climbing the right lateral moraine. The feature of the glacier was similar to that of Gangotri glacier. But it was interesting that neither any trail nor a cairn was there. We had to make our own way (P-17). We called the glacier as BAGRARI GLACIER. Once atop the glacier we crossed it and reached the left lateral moraine at the foot of our peak. We selected a place for pitching tents though it was not suitable for the purpose but the last party took a long time to reach there. We dumped our loads on a moraine slope and made four places for pitching tents and returned to base camp in dark.

Next day camp-1 was established (P-18) on the left lateral moraine of the glacier at the foot of our first target peak {6125 mtr. Coordinates: 32058’ (N) and 77002’ (E) } at an altitude of 4677 mtr. The coordinates of the spot was 32055’95” (N) and 77003’88” (E). Peak 6125 mtr was just on our north-east. It was tonnes of solid ice that lay underneath covered by moraine. The moraine looked like chunks of plasters dislodged from a demolished skyscraper. The flat pieces of slate and shale at least made good base for our tents. As we tilted our head and scanned the body of our peak we were encouraged. A stream (P-18) came down from the top of the seventy degree slope that stood before us. The slope was muddy and littered with many hanging boulders. We decided to follow the course of the stream to climb up.

We packed our sacks with the rations and equipment that had to be shifted to the next higher camp. Early next morning we began our climbing. The body of the peak was barren of any vegetation, there was no snow and we were climbing in our sports shoes. But the slope was full of risks. On and often the members had to shout ‘Watch out Watch out’, as loose rocks were dislodged (P-19) by the movement of their feet and hurtled downwards. It was really bothering. After climbing one thousand feet, the gradient decreased (P-20). We steered ourselves slightly towards our right and headed towards the south west ridge. As we moved up we had a bird's eye view of the whole region below us. We came to know for the first time that there was a confluence of two glaciers at the farther north and could locate peak 5720, peak 5875 and peak 5705 (P-21) over the glacier, on the northern side. We spotted a second snout at the confluence. It was a clear sky, and we could see miles around, innumerable number of peaks that we never imagined existed there; the Bagrari nala appearing like a thin glistening ribbon. The tents of camp-1, however, had gone out of sight. After a long march over rocky slopes (P-22) we reached the glacier that had come down from the summit and ended its course there at 5209 mtr,. Coordinates of the place were- 32055’57” (N) and 77004’88” (E). We could see the summit portion towards north – east from there. It was a huge flat area. It was a moraine zone and not ideal for tent pitching. On the other hand it was a nice place for staying. The beauty of the surroundings was really amazing. Having found the place for next camp, we descended to camp-1.

Next day, we followed the same track and established camp-II (P-23). At the beginning of our journey it had began to snow heavily but later the weather improved. It took five hours to reach camp-II from camp-I. In the evening, we cut and resized our three coils (220mtr) of polypropylene ropes. The weather was clear and we decided to start our summit bid at 5 AM in the following morning. Everybody was excited and fidgeted for the final event to start.
On 4th of September, 2015 we started our climb at 5:30 AM. Our thermometer was recording a temperature of minus eight degree Celsius (P-24). At the very beginning, it was a sixty degree gradient over moraine (P-25). On our right lay the glacier that descended from the top. We clambered over boulders for almost two hours and reached a ridge that connected the main south west ridge which would take us to the summit. The ridge was sharp with high exposure on its left. After crossing the ridge we had to set our crampons and got ourselves roped up. It was an ice and rock mixed zone with a slope of hardly 40-50 degrees (P-26)on the south face of peak 6125. After another hour of climbing on the said surface we reached a hump that was entirely covered with verglas. It was an awesome sight. It appeared as if molten mirror had frozen on the boulders. Luckily, we could bypass the verglas through a narrow gully just beside the hump. Now, the slope was not less than sixty degrees and we had to fix ropes (P-27). The top of the slope appeared to be the end of the peak. We were shortly proved wrong. Two lengths of ropes seventy meters long were fixed (P-28). When we climbed our way up it was just a hump and a long gradual slope lay ahead of us (P-29). The ice condition was good and we got ourselves roped up and began climbing. As we climbed higher we could spot the tent which we had left back at the base camp. This tent actually contained our left luggage and ration for the return journey. We noted that quite a good number of peaks existed in the region. After ascending another 300 meters, the ice slope increased its gradient. To our delight we could clearly identify the bergschrund(P-30) just below the top of the slope. We understood that summit was not far. Another three length of ropes had to be fixed there (P-31). The bergschrund was prominent but through one place we could negotiate it comfortably. But, when we reached the top, to our disappointment it was not the summit. From there, a long stiff slope of hard ice(P-32) had gone up to a point which was undoubtedly the highest point of the peak. We had but only one piece of rope left. It was already 1pm. We were lucky that weather was clear and the sky was spotless indigo. We persevered on. When we had used up our last rope we had to fix the climbing rope that we were carrying (P-33). We had to fix the rope, climb the length and unfix it to use for the next stretch. Thrice, we had to repeat the process (P-34). At 3:20 PM Arun Sen , Monohar Lolage and I reached the summit(P-35) with Narendra, Chander and Netar. GPS was carrying our deputy leader. He was in the 2nd rope. For this reason we were unable to measure the actual height and co ordinates of the peak.

It was the moment of celebration. It was the first summit according to data available and we hastily took out the Indian tri-colour and held it high. We were proud of our country and our joy knew no bound. We also took out the flag of our club ‘Bhadrakali Padatik'(P-35). We wanted to dedicate our success to Swami Vivekananda. We placed a photo of Swami Vivekananda and other Gods and Goddess on the summit and offered puja. We took photographs of the surrounding peaks and our routes (P-36 to 45). There were innumerable peaks scattered around us in a radius of 100 km. We sat and watched with our heart's content.

The remaining seven members of the team were hardly hundred metres below the summit. They were unaware that the stock of fixed rope had exhausted and waited impatiently to finish the climb. I thought that it could be hazardous to repeat the ordeal of fixing and unfixing the rope and pull the whole team up to the summit. It was already 4 PM. Thus, we took the decision to descend. After all, the success had been achieved.

We descended to summit camp at 8 O’ clock and spent the night. We were unable to unfix a few numbers rope, some snow stakes and one Tubular Ice piton. Next day, we cleaned up summit camp (P-46) and returned to base camp. We decided to return refraining ourselves from attempting the other peak (6115 mtr.). We cleaned up Base camp (P-47). Following day, we had to carry all the loads from base camp to transit camp-1 at Kuddu. It is needless to say, that there was no chance of getting porters. On 7th of September we reached the road-head, Janskar Sumdo. On the same day, from Darcha we managed to get a truck that dropped us at Manali at 2 O'clock in the night.

The journey that had begun at Kolkata on 17th of August, ended at the same terminus on 12th of September. Swami Vivekananda is an epitome of youthfulness and vigour. His sayings invigorate and inspire us. In his brief life span this sage has climbed and emerged victorious in many a difficult peaks of life. He carried the flag of our great culture, religion and unparalleled custom of hospitality to the people of World. To know his country better he had travelled wide and across India on foot. The great traveler had travelled to many hill stations of Himachal Pradesh as well. From the very beginning we had the wish if the peak could be named after him. Incidentally, 2013 was 150th birth-centenary of this legend. The minister of Youth Services had handed over a photo of Swami Vivekananda at the “Writer's Building”, Kolkata and had flagged off the team. We are grateful to the West Bengal Mountaineering and Adventure Sports Foundation (WBMASF) and IMF, New Delhi, for their support. Finally, there is no doubt that not only the members of the first summit team but whole of India would be happy if the peak is named 'Mt Vivekananda'.

We convey our sincere thanks to Indian Mountaineering Foundation, New Delhi, West Bengal Mountaineering And Adventure Sports Foundation, Kolkata and all other well-wishers for their kind patronage.

Dipankar Ghosh

Dipankar Ghosh

Mountaineer, Photographer, Writer

Wikipedia Profile

Dipankar Ghosh, EFIAP, FFIP, is well known amongst the aspirants of mountaineering for his outstanding performance in enumerable successful expeditions.

He has so far undertaken 47 mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayan range including 8 eight thousanders: Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Kangchenjunga, Mt. Annapurna - I, Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Cho Oyu.

On 33 occasions he reached the summit. Among those, 5 gave him the recognition as the world's first summiter.

Bharat Gaurav Award

Receiving Bharat Gaurav Award from Hon'ble Chief Minister of Haryana. Feb 10, 2015

Dipankar Ghosh is receiving the prestigious "Bharat Gaurav Award" from the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Haryana on February 10, 2015.

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