24 Jul First ascent of Changuch 6.322m Indian Himalaya
Paul Guest, Luder Sain (India) and Leon Winchester, with the guides Rob Jarvis and Martin Moran, made the first ascent of the Changuch (6.322m), one of the last major unclimbed summits in the region of Kumaon in the Indian Himalaya.
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 to a col on the North West Ridge and then followed the crest at Alpine D standard to the summit.
The first attempt was done in 1987 by an Anglo-Indian team via the Pindari Glacier, but then they turned to another peak (Laspa Dhura 5.913meters) being the choosen route impractical.
On 1997 a Northern Ireland team led by Gary Murray climbed part way up a neighbouring peak in order to find a feasible line on the SW Face of Changuch. On 2007 an Indian expedition made far more progress than the previous two attempts reaching a height of 5,600m on the ridge but retreating when a bad storm moved in.
This year Jarvis leading, Guest and Winchester climbed a couloir and snow ramps to gain the 5,850m col. They reached Moran and Luder Sain and at 12.30am on the 9th of june 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.
Source: Lindsay Griffin thebmc.co.uk