Seven scale Mt Cathedral in Bara Shigri glacier

Seven climbers, including two women from Pune’s premier mountaineering organisation Giripremi, summited Mt Cathedral -- 5,900 meters tall -- in Bara Shigri glacier in Lahaul Spiti Valley.
 
The team achieved this feat under the leadership of Vivek Shivade, an IIT graduate, experienced mountaineer and instructor at the Guardian Greipremi Institute of Mountaineering.
 
The success of Bara Shigri expedition was special as the team was fairly new and inexperienced, says Umesh Zirpe, a veteran mountaineer.
 
Six of the nine members of the team were climbing such high altitude for the first time. Along with Vivek Shivade, Everesteer Krishna Dhokale, Jitendra Gaware, Varun Bhagwat, Rohan Desai, Saiyami Takale and Priyanka Mane summited the peak. Unfortunately, Amit Talwalkar and 51-year-old Anjali Katre couldn’t reach the top. However, the efforts taken by Katre during the expedition were commendable.
 
Bara Shigri is the largest glacier located in Lahaul Spiti region in Chandra Valley, Himachal Pradesh.
 
It is a 30-km long glacier, the second longest glacier in the Himalayas after Gangotri. It flows northwards and feeds the Chenab river. Bara Shigri is home to several peaks and is located at 3,950 meters altitude.

Giripremi’s team started their journey from Manali. Passing through Rohtang Pass, they reached the base camp in Spiti Valley. Reaching the base camp of the trek was also a daunting task as the team had to set up camps to reach the base camp.

It took three days for the team to reach the base camp as it is located near the snout of the glacier and the team faced several obstacles along the way. The challenging part on the way to the base camp was the Karchha Nala stretch. The team had to use rope-based river-crossing technique to cross the stretch. However, Giripremi’s team completed the climb, reached the base camp and then the summit. The climbers also had to find their way through huge crevices and the moraine terrain.

The seven members, who summitted the peak, climbed a 60-feet ice wall (inclined at 70 degrees) before the summit camp. It is the second successful expedition in Spiti Valley after the successful expedition on CB-13 in 2017.

Interestingly, Vivek Shivade, leader of the Bara Shigri glacier also led the CB-13 expedition and summited the peak. Veteran mountaineer and Shri Chhatrapati Awardee Umesh Zirpe and veteran mountaineer Avinash Foujdar mentored and guided the team. Khemraj Thakur’s ‘Mountain Expedition’ located in Manali supported the team while Gangaram Thakur, Balkrishna Thakur, Mohar Singh and Umesh Raina worked as climbing guides during the expedition.
 

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Seven scale Mt Cathedral in Bara Shigri glacier

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