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Photo of Shivling


 Uttarakhand India
N 30° 52′ 48.9936″ W 79° 3′ 47.6604″
Photographed in November 1996
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Shivling, photographed from Tapovan.

Shivling (6543m) was first climbed in 1974 by a team from the Indo-Tibet Border Police. Their route took the west ridge - the top of it is seen on the right of the photo.

The north ridge of the mountain - right of centre in this picture, falling directly from the summit then slanting downwards into the shadow on the right - was first climbed by a Japanese team in 1980. But they bypassed the steep rock nose at the top of the ridge by traversing ledges on the north face and then ascending the edge of the summit dome close to the west ridge (on the right of this photo).

The north buttress follows a line left of the north ridge, starting up the buttress/spur falling from the north ridge between shadows and light. It was climbed by Austrians Hans Kammerlander and Christoph Hainz in 1993. They joined the Japanese 1980 route on the upper part of the mountain. The direct route up the headwall remained untouched. It was climbed in 2000 by Thomas Huber and Iwan Wolf, Thomas' brother Alexander having had to abandon the ascent due to illness. They called the route "Shiva's Line."

Shivling is named after the Shiva lingam - the column that is venerated by Hindus as a representation of Shiva. Possibly it is a phallic symbol, or possibly as a sadhu explained to me, it is the very reverse of earthiness - a representation of the formlessness of Shiva.

The photo was taken while we were camping at Tapovan