Area: Garhwal

Height: 5925 m


An international team of climbers led by Andy Perkins and Martin Welch has made the first ascent of Adi (also known as Chota or Little) Kailash in the Kumaun Himalaya. The mountain is located close to both the Tibetan and Nepali borders of India in the restricted inner line area, and is revered due to its similarity to the famous holy mountain of Kailash in nearby Tibet.

This guided expedition organised by Martin Moran Mountaineering also made the first ascent of a nearby mountain they named Nikarchu Qilla (The Fortress of Nikarchu) at 5750 m, and C S Pandey, on the 27th September with just 1 porter and no technical gear apart from 1 ice axe crossed the Shin la from Jolinkong to Bedang.

Andy Perkins(UK), Tim Woodward (UK), Jason Hubert (Scotland), Paul Zuchowski (USA), Martin Welch (Scotland), Diarmid Hearns (Scotland), Jack Pearse (UK) and Amanda George (Scotland) made the first ascent of Adi Kailash by the SW ridge on the 8th October 2004 in perfect weather in 7 hours from their ABC at 5400m. The standard of the route was around alpine PD+/AD-. Out of respect to local sensitivities, the team stopped a few meters short of the summit, and no fixed rope was left on the route.

Welch, Woodward, Hearns, Pearse, George and Gustavo Fierro-Carrion (Ecuador) also made the first ascent of Nikarchu Qilla (5750m), which is located 3 km NE of the unclimbed Nikurch Rama (5995m). This alpine style ascent was made by the SW face from a camp at 5200m at alpine F in about 7 hours, and the team also stopped a few meters below the summit.

(Article, HJ 61)