24 10 2012
Mick Fowler and Paul Ramsden have made the first ascent of the Prow of Shiva (6,142m) in the Pangi District of the Indian Himalaya. They completed the climb over seven days earlier this month and then descended the unclimbed south east flank in a further two days.
Shiva lies in the area of Lahaul in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and is remote and not easy to get to. The mountain was first climbed in 1988 by Junko Tabei (the first woman to climb Everest), but the side that Mick and Paul climbed is even more distant and its viability was unclear as little photography of it was available ahead of the trip.
In the event, the route presented Mick and Paul with one of the most enjoyable climbs they can recall – Paul described it as “the best climb I have ever done.” Graded ED (sup) the route featured spectacular climbing on high quality granite leading directly to the summit.
“Contrary to expectations, the rock on this amazing feature turned out to be top quality granite with the cracks liberally choked with ice. And the situations ranked alongside the best either of us have experienced in the Himalaya. In near perfect weather, we enjoyed a bivouac on a hanging rock balcony with 2,000ft of space beneath our feet, memorably hard mixed climbing and thin, icy slabs reminiscent of the best wintry challenges on Ben Nevis. With the technical challenges stretching our ability, success was in the balance until the final moment. It really couldn’t have been any better.”
For more details from the expedition, see Mick Fowler’s latest blog.
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