Shivling, Northern India

Climbing on Mt Shivling


All content copyright © Ashley Burke 2012. Not to be copied, duplicated or used for any purpose without permission.


After settling into base camp we turned our sights to our objective - the climbing of Mt Shivling. The route from Base Camp to Advance Base Camp (ABC) was essetially a hike up a ridge of morraine beside the Meru glacier, followed by a bouldery scramble and another climb to finally reach a point at the base of the east slope of Shivling. There wasn't anywhere to camp here, so we rearranged some bounders to create tent platforms and this became our ABC. Above ABC it was steep climbing, and Simon and Sonam had to fix ropes up an icy gully beside a glacier so the rest of us could climb. After climbing this steep icy gully we advanced onto a glacier from where we climbed further into a bowl beneath the east ridge of Shivling. This was Camp 1.

Looking above Camp 1 we could see a huge serac, the main obstacle on the mountain. Periodically massive chunks of ice would drop off it and crash down the mountain. After Simon had spent a day climbing towards it and setting fixed ropes, it became clear that the serac was too dangerous to approach closely, and it blocked all possible routes to the summit. Therefore it was with some reluctance that we conceded we would not be able to make the summit. We made one day trip to reach a high point of about 5800m, and then turned back.

During our descent to ABC a massive block of ice fell off the serac, causing an avalanche that swept clean a slope that we had traversed just one hour earlier. Had we been one hour later, this avalanche would surely have swept us all off the mountain. As it was, we had to lie down and brace ourselves against a raining storm of ice for what seemed like ages. Although the main force of the avalanche missed us, we caught enough of it to be very scared and shaken, and grateful for our luck in being spared the brunt of the avalanche. Our decision to abandon the mountain was vindicated.

That same day we descended all the way down to the safety of Base Camp.


Our attempt on Mt Shivling involved several advances above Base Camp (4262m), during which we established an Advanced Base Camp (ABC) at 4976m and a high camp at 5500m.

Date Comments
23 Sep 2011 Acclimatisation hike towards ABC, surveyed the route ahead, and returned to base camp.
24 Sep 2011 Portaged gear to ABC and returned to base camp.
25 Sep 2011 Rest day at base camp (4262m).
26 Sep 2011 Advanced to ABC and camped at ABC (4976m).
27 Sep 2011 Advanced to Camp 1 (5500m), dug out tent sites, then returned to ABC.
28 Sep 2011 Return to base camp.
29 Sep 2011 Rest day at base camp.
30 Sep 2011 Rest day at base camp.
1 Oct 2011 Advance to ABC.
2 Oct 2011 Advance to Camp 1 (5500m), setup camp and stayed there.
3 Oct 2011 Stayed at Camp 1 while Simon and Sonam set fixed ropes higher up the mountain.
4 Oct 2011 Decision made to not attempt summit. Day trip up above the Camp 1, reached an altitude of 5800m before returning to Camp 1.
5 Oct 2011 Quit the Camp 1, returned to ABC and thence all the way down to base camp, never to return.



From Base Camp to ABC

From ABC to Camp 1

Views from Camp 1

Above Camp 1



All content copyright © Ashley Burke 2012. Not to be copied, duplicated or used for any purpose without permission.

Page created 26 Apr 2012, last updated 26 Apr 2012.