18/6/09 Nanda Devi East & Changuch First Ascent, Indian Himalaya...

A team of six British climbers including Guides Martin Moran and myself attempted the truly inspiring, huge and objectively safe South Rigde of Nanda Devi East (7434m) in the India Himalaya in this years pre-monsoon climbing season. (The ridge coming towards the camera from the central peak, below) We joined a larger Polish team at the lovely Nanda Devi East Base Camp which consisited of some highly talented alpinists and experienced Himalayan climbers. The Poles fixed over a 1000m of rope and ground to a halt on technical ground at 6900m. Although inspiring, the South Ridge proved too big an objective for our team and we switched our attention to a smaller but striking and unclimbed peak near base camp, Changuch (6322m). The first and only British ascent of Nanda Devi East was in 1994, made in fine alpine style by the current president of the British Mountain Guides, Roger Payne with his Kiwi wife Julie-Anne Clyma, (also a British Guide). Read the report of that trip here. The ascent of Changuch's striking North West Ridge (right)) provided an exacting alpine climb (D-) over 3 days, one spent resting at a rather exiguous campsite. At 00.30 on a perfect Himalayan morning in early June Paul Guest, Indian Liaison officer Luder Sain, Martin Moran, Leon winchester and myself set off from our high camp into a cold and starry night. 28 hours later we would be celebrating back in Base Camp with our staple meal of dahl baht prepared by our excellent Indian cook, Navine. For more details check the news section of the new BMG Website.