Expeditions on Nanda Devi East Peak
This peak was first climbed in the year 1939 by a four-member Polish expedition led by Adam Karpiski. They climbed the south ridge of Nanda Devi East Peak, from Longstaff Col; this is still the standard route on the peak. The summit party was Jakub Bujak and Janusz Klarner. Karpiski and Stefan Bernadzikiewicz died later in an attempt on Trishuli.
The first attempt to traverse the ridge between the main summit and Nanda Devi East brought about the unfortunate death of two members of a French expedition in 1951. Team leader Roger Duplat and Gilbert Vignes disappeared on the ridge somewhere below the main summit. Tenzing Norgay belonged to the support team on this expedition; he along with Louis Dubost climbed Nanda Devi East to look for the missing pair. Some years later Tenzing was asked what was the most difficult climb he ever did, expecting him to say Mount Everest; he surprised his interlocutors by mentioning Nanda Devi East.
An Indo-French East-West Traverse expedition, back for some unfinished business, in 1975 successfully put several members on both the peaks of Nanda Devi East Peak but the navigation remained unconsummated until the following year. Chamonix climbers Walter Cecchinel, Dorjee Lhatoo and Yves Pollet-Villard climbed the Nanda Devi East Peak and unroped from Camp IV.
In 1981, an Indian Army expedition followed the same line. Phu Dorjee Sherpa, a climbing instructor from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and his partner fell from the vicinity of the final ice field. It is assumed that they are summited. The standard approach to the south ridge route, from the Milam Valley to the east, passes through Lawan Glacier via Lawan Gad and thence to Longstaff Col. The trek to base camp of Nanda Devi East Peak goes through the villages of Munsiyari, Lilam, Bogudiar, Martoli, Nasanpatti, and Bhadeligwar. An alternate route of Nanda Devi East Peak climbs the southwest face, from a base camp inside the Sanctuary.
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