First ascent of Indian 7,000er; Andy Parkin evacuated by Air Force
An Indian expedition from the Kolkata section of the Himalayan Club has made the long awaited first ascent of Plateau Peak (7,287m) in the East Karakoram. Later, a second team, which originally had the same peak as its goal, was involved in an avalanche incident, resulting in air evacuation for Andy Parkin.
Formerly one of India's few remaining unclimbed 7,000m mountains, Plateau Peak is part of the Saser Group, relatively close to the disputed territory of the Siachen Glacier.Nearly all have tried the west ridge, approaching from the South Pukpoche Glacier. However, the 2009 Indo-American team reached 6,600m on the right side of the south face above the Sakang Lungpa Glacier.
In early July a nine-member team from Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) reached a 4,750m base camp on the South Pukpoche Glacier and established four camps on the west ridge before reaching the top on the 31st.A small Indo-British expedition (Susan Jensen, Divyesh and Vineeta Muni, Victor Saunders and Andy Parkin, partly sponsored by the Himalayan Club and Mount Everest Foundation) reached the Sakang Lungpa Glacier at the end of the July and crossed the Sakang Col (6,100m) at its head (just southeast of Plateau Peak) to the North Shukpa Kunchang Glacier.
Currently, exact details are lacking, but in the early hours of 15 August an avalanche struck the vicinity of the camp and the blast uprooted Parkin's tent, carrying it, with him inside, into a crevasse, which according to the Indian report on the incident was 30m deep.
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