Mt. Indrasan is considered to be one of the most difficult peaks in the Himalayas owing to the challenges involved in scaling it—continuously changing weather patterns, heavy winds and low oxygen. While many mountaineers from Maharashtra have attempted this summit in the past, none could successfully complete it. Pune Venturers, a city-based adventure group, has recently completed the summit of Mt. Indrasan, located at a height of 6221 metres.
Those who participated in the summit are Anil Retawde, Jamir Shaikh, Umesh Sonar, Rajendra Yelwande, Sudhir Gaikwad, Rupali Kothe, Pranita Dafal, Suresh Polekar and Ravindra Ghotne. In the past, Pune Venturers, formed 36 years ago, has completed many summits successfully in the Himalayas, including Mt. Baljuri (5,922 metres in 2012-13) and Mt. Papsura in 2015-16.
Suresh Patil, a committee member of Pune Venturers, said, “Since Mt. Indrasan is one of the most difficult peaks to climb, members faced a lot of challenges. Hanging glaciers, rock fall and the possibility of avalanches threatened summiteers. Besides, at some points, there was rainfall and snowfall. There came a time when the summiteers crossed Dhuhangan, and the weather turned so bad that they couldn’t move ahead for three days.”
To reach Indrasan peak from the summit camp, which was at 5,577 metres, the members followed the route that was taken by a Japanese group way back in 1962. It was the Japanese Kyoto University Alpine Club led by Dr K Onodera.
“We tried to find a way to the summit in the sheer rock wall in the south face of the peak. We fixed the rope till the middle of the rock wall traversing towards the westward direction, but then we could not climb the overhanging rock. We then rappelled about 50 feet on the rock wall and continued climbing a steep ice slope towards the east-ward direction and reached the second rock stage,” Patil said.
“Here too, we negotiated a 20-feet overhanging rock and a 15-feet chimney. Then we climbed the steep, narrow ice couloirs between the ice-walls hanging from the summit and the rock wall. It took two days to fix the rope to the snowy East Ridge (6,150 metres) leading to the summit,” Patil added.