Vasuki Parbat - West Face - 2010
In October 2010 Malcolm Bass and Paul Figg made the coveted first ascent of the west face of Vasuki Parbat, in India's Garhwal Himalaya
Vasuki Parbat ( 6792m )
First ascent of West Face
1600m, V, 6
12 October 2010
Climbed by Malcolm Bass, Paul Figg
Other members of the expedition: Pat Deavoll, Rachel Antill, Satyabrata Dam
Nominated for the Piolets d'Or 2011
Malcolm Bass and Paul Figg have climbed Vasuki Parbat, in India's Garhwal Himalaya, by a new route up the west face. A third member of the team, Pat Deavoll, retreated from the climb due to health problems. The climbers were accompanied to Base Camp by expedition artist Rachel Antill and liason officer Satyabrata Dam.
Their route follows a ramp and buttress towards the right-hand side of the face - a line that had bee attempted by Mick Fowler and Paul Ramsden in 2008.
After acclimatising on the lower part of the normal route up Bhagirati II, Bass, Figg and Deavoll embarked on the west face of Vasuki Parbat on 4 October. Pat Deavoll found that she wasn't acclimatising well and abandoned the climb on the third day, retreating down the route alone.
Meanwhile, the third day's climbing led up insecure terrain under bombardment by rockfall from above. Paul was hit by a rock, but escaped serious injury. The climbers waited for the sun to leave the gully before continuing. They finished the day's climbing in the dark and spent the night on a small sloping ledge. The next day they made an early halt when they reached a better bivi site on a pinnacle. This marked the start of steep mixed climbing on the upper part of the route.
The following day Malcolm took a 10 metre fall while leading. His concussed condition imposed a rest day. The next day they climbed directly up a loose rock tower that Fowler and Ramsden had attempted to bypass in 2008. This brought them above the high point of the earlier attempt. The next day's climbing proved to be the technical crux of the route, at around Scottish VI, 7. It brought the climbers to a bivi site beneath a steep headwall that was "obviously impossible." The following day they traversed along a rock shelf beneath the wall into a gully from which they were able to reach the summit ridge.
On the next day, 12 October, they reached the top of the mountain, passing slightly below the summit out of respect for Lord Vasuki.
They then traversed the summit ridge of the mountain and descended by the unclimbed northwest ridge, with a further bivouac before reaching base camp.
They found the climb to be overall V,6 on the Damilano grading system with a crux of Scottish VI,7.
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More about this ascent
Vasuki Parbat, India
N 30° 52′ 30.162″ W 79° 10′ 30.4284″