To commemorate the first ascent of Nanda Devi East, which occurred 70 years ago this year, a team of young Polish climbers is headed to the mountain, focused on reaching the summit along the same route that was first used back in 1939.
The ten man team is already in India, and according to the latest news on their website, they have set out from Delhi and are now en route to base camp. If everything has gone according to plan, they should have hired the 50 porters they’ll need to carry their gear, and are now moving up to 4300m where they will establish BC. They should be settling in there sometime this weekend.
Nanda Devi is the tallest mountain in the Garhwal Himalaya, and the second tallest peak in all of India. It consists of two distinct summits, with the main peak reaching 7816m with the secondary summit, known as Nanda Devi East, topping out 7434m. The entire massif is surrounded by a ring of challenging and tall Himalayan peaks, which helps to make the region, known as the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, almost inaccessible. The mountain is also viewed as sacred to the Hindi people, as it is named after one of their goddesses. Many consider it to be the one of the most beautiful mountains in the world.
The climbing team hopes to top out sometime in early June, using the time between now and then to establish their camps, fix their lines, and acclimatize on the mountain. This should be another excellent expedition to follow and watch. Nanda Devi is far from the crowds and commotion of Everest and some of the other 8000m peaks. In fact, it is one of the more remote mountains on the planet, and it isn’t climbed all that often. Good luck to the team.