Mount Everest Foundation
Supporting the exploratory

Indian-British Exploration Expedition 2013

Access to the Saser group of peaks in the Indian Karakoram is only permitted to foreigners if accompanied by Indian climbers, so this team planned to explore and make first ascents, hopefully of Plateau Peak (7300m) and/or Chamshen (7017m).

In approaching the area, they made the first crossing of the very technical Sakang Col (6150m) from North Shukpa Kunchang Glacier to a valley between Saser Kangri II and Saser Kangri III. After a reconnaissance of the area, the British team members headed back to re-provision, and late one night, while they were camped on the N Shukpa Kunchang Glacier approximately 1.5km away from Saser Kangri II, a massive avalanche swept its N face. Although the debris did not reach them, the blast from the avalanche lifted Parkin’s tent and deposited it – plus occupant, still in his sleeping bag – some 20m down a deep crevasse. The other tent, (together with Saunders and Jensen) was bowled along to rest on the lip of the same crevasse.

With limited equipment at their disposal, it took several hours before they could rescue Parkin from the crevasse, and as he had injured his back, the priority was to evacuate him to civilisation. Although strictly ‘illegal’, thankfully the team was equipped with a satellite phone, with which they arranged for him to be rescued by helicopter and flown to Leh.

Back in the mountains, the remaining team members were able to make the first ascent of Chamshen via its west ridge (PD-) before packing up and returning to face court proceedings (and a fine) for carrying the satellite phone. It is understood that Parkin has since made a complete recovery from his injuries.

Note: Dr Susan Jensen was awarded the Alison Chadwick Memorial Grant for 2013 for her participation in this and in 13/17. MEF Ref 13/11

July - August 2013
Victor Saunders with Dr Susan Jensen and Andy Parkin from UK plus Divyesh & Vineeta Muni from Mumbai

Other expeditions nearby