By Nikolas Kroupis, Greece
Chandra Bhaga Group: Daund (5,565m); Hora East (ca 5,250m); Pagoda East East (ca 5,750m), east ridge; Tara Pahar (6,227m), east ridge attempt.
Our six-member expedition from Greece originally wanted to attempt unclimbed CB33a. This would involve an approach along the Chandra River from Batal to access the Samudar Tapu Glacier, a route used by a number of previous expeditions. However, we had much difficulty crossing the main stream north of Dakka and farther on found we would have to cross the main Chandra River to access the lower glacier. This was impossible for our horses, and when local shepherds added that horses would not be able to move on the lower glacier, we changed our objective. Instead Christophoros Kouniakis, Ioannis Kovanidis, Manolis Loudaros, Polychronis Sioulas, Dimitris Titopoulos, and I, with Sudipto Pal from India, attempted summits above an unnamed glacier that flows east from the Tara peaks. We named this glacier Sheta Padra (White Plateau). We made our base camp at 4,865m, three-and-a-half km east of the glacier, and explored the latter over the next few days, estimating it to be five km long, one-and-a-half broad, and with an altitude between 5,100m and 5,500m. On July 10 Kovanidis and I left base camp, reached the glacier at 5,150m, and climbed 45° snow slopes on the left side to reach the ridge. From there we followed the crest west to a rocky point we named Daund (Tooth). The same day Kouniakis and Titopoulos climbed a peak immediately southwest of base camp, naming it Hora East. Early the following morning Kouniakis, Loudaros, and Titopoulos crossed the glacier and reached the ridge extending east from Pagoda (ca 5,790m, southeast of CB34). By following the crest west they planned to reach Pagoda East but stopped at a nearer summit they named Pagoda East East (Pagoda EE). The ridge ahead looked narrow, and as they were short on time, they turned around, reaching base after 12 hours’ climbing. There had been no previous attempts on this peak from any side. On the 12th Korvanidis and I tried to reach Tara Pahar [CB10, which had been climbed five times through 1984, first in 1955 by a British expedition]. At 5,325m we found many snow-covered crevasses, forcing us to turn back, cross the glacier much lower, and camp at 5,236m. We left this camp at midnight and climbed for two hours up the right side of the glacier to the southeast couloir of Tara Pahar. We climbed the 40-55° snow couloir to a col on the east ridge at 6,031m (800m, D). A huge serac overhung the south side of the crest above, so we tried to climb the north flank, but stopped at 6,088m due to deep snow and potential avalanche risk. We rappelled to the glacier and returned to base camp. Worsening weather prevented us trying more peaks, and we left base camp on July 19.