Bhagirathi Peaks from the Gangotri Glacier

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Photo of the Bhagirathi peaks, viewed across the Gangotri Glacier

Bhagirathi Peaks

 Uttarakhand India
N 30° 52′ 54.9588″ W 79° 8′ 3.5052″
Photographed in November 1996
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Bhagirathi Peaks from the left bank of the Gangotri Glacier

From left to right: Bhagirathi II (6512m), Bhagirathi III (6454m), Bhagirathi I (6856m)

Bhagirathi III (in the middle of the picture), despite it's formidable appearance from this viewpoint, was the first of these peaks to be climbed. British climbers Charles Warren and Colin Kirkus reached the summit in 1933 by a route invisible from this direction. Kirkus was a brilliant rock-climber best known for his ascents on the crags of North Wales and the the English Peak District. The expedition was led by Marco Pallis, a mountaineer, explorer and student of Tibetan Buddhism.

Bhagirathi I, the highest peak in the group, was first climbed in 1980 by a Japanese expedition led by Hisatoshi Takabayashi.

Bhagirathi II, on the left of the photo, was attempted by the members of the 1933 Marco Pallis expedition, but they were turned back by the onset of the monsoon. It was climbed by Austrians Edi Ellmauthaler and Toni Messner in 1938. The north-west face - the shadowed snow and ice face towards the left of this photograph, was ascended for the first time by Irish climbers Ian Rea, Tommy Maguire and Dawson Stelfox in 1981.

The mountains are named after the mythical King Bhagiratha, who called the River Ganga down to earth to wash the ashes and the sins of his ancestors.

The photo was taken from the left (south) bank of the Gangotri Glacier, while we were camping at Tapovan