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Expeditions in 2003

Foreign expeditions

There were totally 35 foreign expeditions to the Indian Himalaya from various countries. This was perhaps the smallest number of teams visiting the Indian Himalaya in last few years. Many expeditions were cancelled after the threat of the SARS epidemic in Asia and the war on Iraq . Of the total number of expeditions, 11 teams climbed Stok Kangri and Dzo Jongo, two popular and easy peaks. and two other routine easy peaks were attempted by two teams each. Of the rest, 3 teams attempted Satopanth. . Thus out of 35, totally 20 teams went for easy commercial expeditions.

Jammu and Kashmir received only three expeditions while there was no expedition to Himachal Pradesh, which is surprising. The Gangotri area remained popular with 15 teams attempting different peaks there. Popular peaks were Thalay Sagar - attempted by 5 expeditions, Bhagirathi III and Shivling by 3 expeditions each. The success rate of climbing mountains was rather poor this year, particularly because both post and pre monsoon seasons ran into bad weather and only few teams were successful.

Bureaucratic restrictions for climbing near and around Nanda Devi Sanctuary created problems for various teams. When the teams with permission from Delhi, reached their starting points, some of them had to travel back to Dehradun, which is the new capital of the Uttarakhand State, to seek fresh permission from the state (local) Government.

Uttarakhand proposes to levy additional peak fees, as is in Sikkim , which may cause severe financial crunch and hardships to visiting expeditions. Expeditions to Jammu and Kashmir area find it difficult to climb mountains her due to bureaucratic problems such as appointment of local police officers and liaison officers to join them. Overall as far as the foreign expeditions to India were concerned this was perhaps a low point in last few decades.

Indian Expeditions

75 Indian expeditions were organised by various Clubs and Associations in India plus there were three expeditions organized by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, bringing it to a healthy total of 79. However, out of these more than 50 expeditions were to "routine peaks" by normal routes, which are climbed often. They include; Jogin III, Bhagirathi II, Kalanag, Hanuman Tibba, Kedar Dome, Manali, Thelu and others.

There were three expeditions each to popular peaks of Chhamser and Lungser Kangri, Satopanth by normal route and Shri Kailash by normal route. Expeditions to these peaks are not covered here.

Noteworthy Expeditions

Gangotri Area (Garhwal)

Central Garhwal

Himachal Pradesh

Ladakh

East Karakoram

Everest

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