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It's Time For More Armchair Mountaineering


by Sir Chris Bonnington

December 29, 2001

Camp4 - Climbing News Archive

Sir Chris Bonnington and international Berghaus sponsored team share their latest expedition with you "live". Over the next month the team will run a web site from advance base sending pictures and reports back to Chris' web site every two or three days starting 24 August in Leh.

The Arganglas Range in Ladakh must be the most extensive unexplored, unclimbed mountain ranges left in the World. There are over twenty peaks above 6,000 metres, huge glaciers, high cols. all untouched. The team has two of the United States best all round mountaineers - Mark Richey and Mark Wilford, three very talented Indian climbers, Jim Lowther from Britain and is co led by Harish Kapadia and myself.

There are very few mountain ranges left in the World that are unclimbed, unexplored. We have discovered one such range in the mountain fastness of Ladakh in the top North West corner of India. The highest peak in the range is 6789 metres and there are a dozen more peaks in the 6000 metre range around a complex glacier system. From distant photographs and maps based on satellite observations the peaks appear technically challenging.

The proposed site of our base camp is a small summer settlement called Arganglas at the head of the valley leading into the mountains. We believe the name mighthave been derived as follows - Arghan is a community which has grown in Ladakh through co-habitation of Ladakhi women with Muslim traders and graziers from Kashmir and Yarkand, many Arghans still live in Leh. Ganglas is a higher ground or grazing ground. Hence it appears that Arghans used this particular spot for grazing or even living on throughout the year as they were generally acceptable to the local villagers.

Sir Chris Bonnington

You can follow the expedition by visiting

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