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The first ascent to Trishul peak in 1907

The first ascent to Trishul peak in 1907
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T.G. Longstaff and his team's trip to Garhwal turned out to be a landmark venture

Bibek Bhattacharya
September 11 , 2014

One hundred and five years ago, T.G. Longstaff, a doctor, soldier,mountaineer and a veteran of many exploratory missions to Tibet and the Himalaya - along with the great mountaineers of the day, C.G. Bruce and A.L. Mumm -wanted to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Alpine Club by attempting to scale Mt Everest. They did not get permission to do so, and went off to Garhwal instead. It turned out to be a landmark trip, for more than one reason.

It was a well-balanced party, the three mountaineers being supported by two renowned Alpine guides, the Bocherel brothers Alexis and Henri, as well as soldiers from the Gurkha Regiment. The group made its way to the Dhauli Ganga valley to try and enter the Nanda Devi sanctuary through the Rishi Ganga gorge. Although they failed, they laid the groundwork for Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman’s success in 1934.

Turning to Trisul, the party made it’s way to the Trisul glacier and did some survey work. On the morning of June 12, Longstaff, the Bocherels and Karbir Burathoki, one of the Gurkhas, climbed Trisul, becoming the first men to climb a major 7,000m Himalayan peak. It remained the highest mountain climbed until the Kamet peak was conquered in 1931.

Longstaff and his team tried various approaches to ascend Kamet, and even explored the Bhyundar valley. Following WWI, Longstaff served as the medical officer during the British Everest expedition in 1922.

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