Today is a special moment for mountaineering fraternity!!
The notoriously known north face, as the Germans once used to call it as “Mordward” (murderous wall) of Mt. Eiger (3970 m), the iconic mountain of the Alps, was first scaled on this day 75 years ago. GGIM pays tribute to the legendary climbers for their stellar feats.
The monstrously concave face once considered as an impossible human feat and had already claimed many live and the toll till now has reached 60. But it is in the human nature to push beyond once limits and explore the unexplored wonders. During the era of World War I & II, developments in the fields of technology, science, health toward alpine climbing were tremendous and so was the one-upmanship among the European countries for climbing records. The stellar North Face became the hub for climbers and a testing ground for human endeavor.
Germans, Heckmair and his partner Ludwig Vörg had begun their ascent on July 21, 1938. But after a snowstorm and a series of avalanches they teamed up with two Austrians, Heinrich Harrer and Fritz Kasparek, who were also attempting on their own. Together these four climbers; on 24th July 1938 scaled 1650 m high to the top, thus creating a mile stone in the history of Alpinism.
Although the north face now has several routes, but the most famous and popular is still the original route – known as the 1938 route or classic route and it will continue to attract mountain lovers.
Today with extreme advancements in equipment, clothing, fitness and weather forecast, the route has been climbed for hundreds of times and many elite climbers have climbed this route multiple times at remarkably faster speeds.
Yet GGIM, commemorate the accomplishments of the legends of 30s & 40s who braved the then challenges and whose deeds have become sources of inspiration for today’s climbers.
Drizzling rains and fogs, clouds, winds and muds.. a pleasant jungle walk with loads of enthusiasm and energy… 78 participant and 14 instructors experienced it all on the GGIM’s trek to Purandhar fort during the 2nd Avhaan Trek.
Purandhar fort stands 4,472 ft. above the sea (1,387 m) in the Western Ghats, 50 km southeast of Pune.The participants climbed almost 700 meters from the base of the fort to the Kedareshwar temple which marked the highest point on the fort. The group started the trek from the base village Narayan Peth and after climbing a ridge through moderately dense vegetation of Western Ghats reached to the gates of the fort called ‘Bini Darwaja’. Everest expedition leader Mr. Umesh Zirpe and Everester Ganesh More briefed the group about the history and architecture of the fort. After a quick break at Purnadareshwar temple they continued to the top of the fort. The clouds and the cool breeze of air welcomed them at the topmost point of the fort. The participants also completed a group activity about the awareness of minimum impact to the environment during treks and outdoor camping.
On the other hand, 26 elder siblings in Nirmaan braved every challenge they came across during Rajgad to Torna Trek. Be it an arduous 18 kms of hike through bushes and along the narrow ridges, be it a steep rock climb (without rope) or facing the slanting rains and vociferous winds.. they took all on and successfully completed the trek in 12 hrs.
Nirmaan trek was an overnight trip. A night before the trek, participants and instructors took a shelter in a village called Gunjavane at the Base of Fort Rajgad. At night, after the group dinner; Bhushan & Vivek taught and demonstrated how to pack rucksacks efficiently and discussed scientific concepts behind it. Usha Tai with her immense knowledge about forts, described the group about the historical facets of Rajgad and Torna.
Next day at dawn, in drizzling rains and misty fogs, Nirmaan group set forth toward Padmavati Machi. Within one and a half hours, all were at Padmavati Machi. Quick breakfast of Pohas, Pakodas and Tea reenergized the group. After the trailer trek till Padmavati, they were all geared up for the real show. Just as the previous trek, this time also Team GGIM provided maps and encouraged them to navigate with the help of it. Little confusions, arguments, wrong turns in finding the route, brought more fun and curiosity to understand the terrain features in the maps.
Along the Sanjivani Machi of Rajgad, across the long and tiring ridge to Budhla Machi of Torna, they journeyed through some of the really unseen and unfelt experiences of hiking in heavy rains, whistling winds, slippery trails and narrow ridge. It was really appreciating to see that they climbed the slippery rock patch so easily and negotiated the narrow ridge through foggy conditions.
After feasting a much deserved lunch in Mengai Devi Temple at Torna, the group slowly descended from Bini Darwaja to base village Velhe.
Trekking for nonstop 12 hrs wasn’t the highpoint but doing it in the most challenging and adverse conditions without complaining was one.
A team of young aspiring mountaineers started a new chapter in the history of Giripremi’s mountaineering tradition, as they successfully scaled an unclimbed peak in the Pirpanjal range of the Himalayas. On 28th June 2015, at 9.40am it was a ‘dream comes true’ moment for Bhushan Shet, Kiran Salastekar, Aniket Kulkarni, Sanket Dhotre, Pavan Hadole, , Dinesh Kotkar as they reached to the twin summits (5175M and 5266M) of the peak under the leadership of Everester Anand Mali, who also reached to the top of the mountain. Giripremi, one of the pioneer mountaineering clubs in India, is committed to promote mountaineering sport in the youth of our nation. As a part of this effort, the club always provides opportunities for the young mountaineers through various programs. The success of this expedition iterates the success of vision of Giripremi.
The team of seven climbing members and two mountain guides started from summit camp which was located at Hampta pass (3200M) at early morning (3.00am) on 28th June. After climbing of 1000 ft. they reached the base of a couloir. After climbing the steep slopes (60 degree to 70 degree) of 700ft. in the couloir they reached a crevasse field. The top of this peak consists of three summits. The team reached to the first summit (5175M) at 8.00am in the morning. After crossing a sharp ridge of 200feet the team started climbing the main summit. The climb was very treacherous since there was around 2 feet deep fresh snow. After crossing this difficult patch the team reached the main summit (5266M) at 9.40am. It was a magnificent weather on the top and the team could locate various peaks in the surrounding region including Mt. Indrasan, Mt. MANALI, Mt. LADAKI, Mt. DEVTIBBA, Mt. SHITIDHAR, Mt. MAKARBEH, Mt. SHIKHARBEH, and the CHANDRBHAGA RANGE. After performing puja on the summit the team descended safely to the summit camp at 1.30pm.
Summiters: Anand Mali – Leader & summiter, Bhushan Shet, Kiran Salastekar, Aniket Kulkarni, Sanket Dhotre, Pavan Hadole, Dinesh Kotkar, and Mountain guide Mr. Gangaram, and Mr. Chamanlal. As Giripremi is the first team to climb this unnamed peak they propose to name this peak as Mt. Nalini. Also, another team of Giripremi is attempting Mt. Indrasan in the same region. The team has already established camp2 and they are waiting for the clear weather for the summit attempt.