|Saf Minal (6911m) dominates the Base Camp, Bagini Glacier|
Like all my near disasters, I did not see this one coming.
A day after arriving at the spectacularly situated village of Dunagiri in mid May 2001, Kum Kum and I had set off on a leisurely acclimatisation walk up the valley, while her husband Jayant and 11 year old son Kunal opted to savour the comforts of the open veranda of the primary school building where we were camped. Kunal was already a veteran of 11 Himalayan treks since Kum and Jayant and had been hauling him up into the mountains every year since his birth.
|Kunal Khadalia, 11 yrs old in 2001, and already a veteran of 11 Himalayan treks.|
|View up the Dunagiri glacier|
|Sketch map of area by the late Arun Samant for "Exploring the Hidden Himalaya"(1990) by Soli Mehta and Harish Kapadia, published by The Himalayan Club|
Instead we pitched our two tents at the base of a valley south west of Dunagiri village from where it seemed possible for Kunal and us to climb a small summit of around 5087 m , accessed up a broad sloping snow field. Two days of rain put a damper on those plans and we retreated to the comforts of the Prathmik Vidyalaya to spend our 8th day in Dunagiri.
|Wild rhododendrons en route to Nandi Kund|
|Kalanka - 6931m|
|The North Face of Changabang ( 6864 m )|
|Tirsuli West - 7035 m|
|Saf Minal - 6911 m|
|Rishi Pahar - 6992 m|
|"Snow Dome" location (added by me) on Swiss map|
Once again, Kunal refused to part with his dad, so it was left to Kum Kum and I to try and reach a little bump in the ridge which dropped a long way south from the summit of Peak 6635m. In the summer of 1995, Julie Ann Clyma and her husband Roger Payne, had climbed this point over two days from the valley (referred to as "Silent Valley" by Julie in her report) immediately in front of and above the Base Camp. They gave it a height of 5820m and called it Snow Dome, though on the Swiss contour map it is shown as 6000m. and Google Earth satellite imagery concurs with the latter.
|Snow Dome from bivouac|
|Kum Kum enjoys the afternoon sun. Saf Minal forms the perfect backdrop for our bivouac site|
|Our route on Snow Dome|
|Looking down the gully to the south fork of the Bagini glacier. Changabang is on the left and Purbi Dunagiri on the right. In the middle is Bagini peak. The col leads to the Changabang and Ramani glaciers across the divide.|
|View west across the gully|
|I head for the gully exit|
|Kum Kum near the exit from the gully|
|Kum Kum at our High Point|
|My deluxe accommodation!|
|Hardeol - 7151m|
|Planting potatoes at Dunagiri|
The ten boiled eggs that we consumed at the tea shop in Suraithota helped us to regain our protein balance and the bath in the hot springs above Tapovan ensured that we arrived in Joshimath fresh and rejuvenated both in mind and body!
|Hathi and Ghori Parvat as seen from Bagini Base Camp|
|View south from the slopes of Snow Dome|