Latu Dhura (6392mts)- Attempting an unclimbed 6000 meter peak in the Kumaon Himalaya
Pioneering a new age for Indian Mountaineering - Fast, Light and Independent
Peak Latu Dhura is situated on the ridge of the holy Mt. Nanda Devi. The peak is as yet unclimbed.
We first set eyes - and feet - on this peak in 2015, as part of a government sponsored expedition. After carrying out many reconnaissance days, we attempted a line going straight to the summit. We were unsuccessful - the excuse was a shower of falling rocks, but the real reason was the expedition's mandate to fix lines to the top, which should have enabled a large group of mountaineers to make it to the summit.
For climbers were on the route opening team - Bharat, Karn, Vineet and Vijay. Struggling with over 400 meters of cumbersome fixed line, the team moved slowly. Too slowly. What should have taken 2 hours took them 6. At 4 am, the route opening team found itself at the bottom of the crux, ready to move ahead when the ice shook, and rocks began shooting down on the climbers. Rocks ranging in size from tiny specks to cricket balls began falling, whizzing past the climbers' ears. The climbing team was simul-soloing up a vertical section of ice when the rocks fell, it was only luck that they managed to stay glued to the wall with only their ice tools.
After realising that they'd survived. Bharat and Karn looked at each other and nodded in unspoken agreement. "Never again." Every climb after this would only be attempted in an Alpine style - Fast, Light and Free.
After the unsuccessful climb, Bharat and Karn decided that they would come back for this peak, but only in a style that they believed in. The Alpine Style. After 2 years of training and preparation - this is the attempt.
The Climb goes up the north face of Peak Latu Dhura, in a straight up route to the summit. The team will establish a base camp at the head of the Panchu Glacier, from where it will establish an advance base camp at 4500 Mts. From here, the team will move in a single push, spending one or two nights up high. The team will go past the bergschund, climb a steep ice wall of over 500 meters, then through a small opening in a serac field, and finally to another steep climb to the summit ridge, which tops out with rock.
The climb will be attempted by an independent two-person team, carrying all their equipment with them, fixing no ropes and leaving nothing on the mountain.
Professionally, Bharat is a outdoor educator and mountaineering instructor, who has taught in India and Alaska. He has also taught rock climbing skills to Indian Paramilitary Forces.
As a climber, he is committed to the Alpine style, and aims to climb fast and light.
He has been a part of many IMF sponsored expeditions. In 2013, along with Karn, he climbed a new route on Mt. Khang Shilling. He also has a first Indian ascent on Mt. Kuchela Dhura.
Karn is dedicated to the alpine style of climbing, and of challenging the siege style, which is prevalent in India.
He has alpine style attempts on a number of peaks, including Mt. Shivling.
He is also an ice climber, and along with Bharat, has opened new ice lines in Spiti.
April 25 - May 10, 2017.