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Saifee expedition, October 1999

Himalayan experience is a different kind of "high"

Shivling, though not a very high peak, is one of the most daunting climbs in the region. There are three approaches to the
i) The ridge on the left. The last half of this climb is the toughest, and at a point the climbers have to pitch a tent
suspended in midair.
ii) The ridge on the right, which is partially hidden.
iii) Climbing the small peak to the right (called baby Shivling, appropriately) and climbing the middle ridge.

Rana bhai told us that there had been an accident at Shivling about a week before we reached Tapovan and a climber
lost his life. Shivling is a tough technical climb, and any mistake can be fatal. Once a  climber reached the summit, but by
that time the thin air had affected her decision making to a point that she used some wrong knots and fell while coming
down. In such long and treacherous expeditions, reaching the top is about only as difficult as coming down. Keeping
one's cool is important and one must never let the body get dehydrated or undernourished.

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copyright 1999 Anurag Sharma
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