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  • SATOPANTH EXPEDITION

    Introduction

    The term ‘Satopanth’ is derived from two words – ‘Sato’ meaning heaven, and ‘Panth’ meaning path or way. Satopanth is one of the most popular peak of Uttarakhand. This is the second higesht peak in Gangotri group surrounded by the views of Thalay Sagar , Shivling , BhagirathiIII . The climbing route includes a complex glacier approach, high angled snow slopes and knife edge ridge, before the final section to the summit.

    Satopanth, standing majestically at 7075 m is one of the most dominating massifs of the western Garhwal. The mountain, a seven thousander, reigns supreme amongst a sea of six thousanders and is distinct by its mammoth shape, sharp, and shapely ridge lines. Viewed from the top, the mountain resembles a square emerald set in a natural show case. To many, its horizontal summit ridge resembles a near perfect circus trapezium.

    History

    The mountain has a chequered history. It was first attempted from both, the northeast and northwest ridges by an Austrian team (R. Schwarzgruber) in 1938. It was however climbed eight years later, by a Swiss team (A. Roch) in 1947. It took 33 long years before the mountain was climbed again, in 1981, from the northeast ridge, (M. Gardzielewski and L. Lehrer) which was its second ascent. After the peak was officially opened to foreigners, a Japanese team (K. Toya) was the first to make an ascent in 1982. The west summit of Satopanth was climbed first by a Japanese team (M. Omiya) from the northwest ridge in 1984. The south face (from the Swachand Bamak) was first attempted by Polish climbers in 1983, by Hungarians and the Japanese in 1984. This face was first climbed by a Polish team (R. Kolakowski and T. Kopys) in 1986. Satopanth today is one of the most well-known mountains of India and is very often attempted by foreign teams. This is primarily due to its impressive altitude and the variety of technical permutations and combinations of varying difficulty, which the massif has to offer.

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