Height: 6127 m & 6081 m
A three-member team sponsored by The Himalayan Club made the first ascent of Khhang Shiling peak (6360 m – 20866 ft) on 19th September 2004 assisted by Sherpa Lakhpa Bhote. (“Khhang Shiling” means – Snow Mountain of four ridges). The team consisted of Divyesh Muni, Vineeta Muni and Shripad Sapkal. They explored the Khamengar valley in Spiti, a rarely visited area in Himachal Pradesh. The peak Khhang Shiling is a prominent mountain at the head of the Khamengar Valley.
We approached from Mikkim near Kaja to reach Base Camp (4320 m) in three days. ABC was at 5160 m. was located the ABC at 5160 m. We established Camp 1 at 5880 m in a basin formed between a large rock feature and the Shigri Parbat massif. We shifted to C1 on 17th September 2004.
We climbed along the glacier until a bergschrund below the col between Shigri Parvat and Khhang Shiling. It was decided not to attempt Shigri Parbat since the entire route to the peak was over steep but loose rocks with a constant barrage of rock fall down the face. The route on Khhang Shiling looked promising. We dumped rope and some hardware at the col and returned to C1.
Next day Vineeta, Shripad, Sherpa Lakhpa, and myself left for the summit by 7 a.m. By 9.30, we were at the col. Although the route was not very steep, we had to fix three rope- lengths due to the hard ice below the thin layer of snow. A strong wind increased the wind chill and all of us were very cold. We ran short of rope to fix so the last two rope- lengths could not be fixed. We carefully belayed each other to the top by 1.30 p.m. Clouds were building up but we could get some good views in between. We spent an hour on top taking pictures and enjoying the views. By 4.30, we were back to C1, satisfied after a good climb.
We spent a day at BC packing and started our return journey on 23rd September. Since we did not attempt Shigri Parbat, we had a few days to spare, so we decided to trek across the Pin Parvati pass into Kullu. We hired two guides from Mud and left for the trek on 25th September.
Across the Pin Parvati Pass:
With bare minimum requirements, we started from Mud for our trek. The first day’s trek was on a rough road towards the Bhabha Pass. A road is being constructed across the Bhabha Pass to Shimla. It was a strenuous 20 kms trek to the Junction of the valley coming from the Bhabha Pass. On the next day, we trekked about 10 kms to the base of the pass and camped on the true left of the river.
On 27th we started early for the pass. After crossing the river, we climbed steeply for 900 m. on a well-marked track and reached the pass after negotiating the glacier below the pass. We spent an hour at the pass. Since the weather was clear, we had spectacular views of the peak all around. The descend was tricky. The services of a guide are necessary. We found our way to the base camp on the other side by late evening.
On the next day, we descended to Mantalai Lake in the Parvati Valley. By proceeding down the traditional route we were in Manali soon.
We reached Delhi by road on 2nd October and were back in Mumbai on the 4th October 2004.
Dates: 31st August 2004 to 4th October 2004.
Article, HJ 61