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Defying odds, Injuries, Kashmir mountaineers successfully scale Mount Kolahoi; No Rescue required

FeatureDefying odds, Injuries, Kashmir mountaineers successfully scale Mount Kolahoi; No Rescue required
Negotiating the Kolahoi Glacier. Pic/Nawab Mouzam Khan

Srinagar, Sept 24: Defying odds and the injuries in the group during first attempt, three Kashmir trekkers successfully summit Kashmir’s highest mountain peak, Mount Kolahoi that stand at an altitude of 17,799 feet (5425 Mtr).

Nawab and two members on top of Mount Kolahoi. Pic/Nawab Mouzam Khan

On September 15, the three member group of Kashmir trekkers lead by experienced young mountaineer Nawab Mouzam Khan, Mudasir Bashir Shah and Tawseef Ganai successfully scaled Mount Kolahoi after having to retreat back earlier on September 13 along with other five members of the group.

Kolahoi Peak is the highest mountain with a peak elevation of 17,799 ft, in Jammu and Kashmir, in the vicinity of Sonamarg in Anantnag district. Kolahoi Peak is part of the Himalaya Range, and is located between 15 km south of Sonamarg and 21 km north from Aru, Pahalgam.

Mountaineers on Kolahoi glacier on way to summit Mount Kolahoi. Pic/ Nawab Mouzam Khan

During their first attempt on September 13, the eight member group had to return back from 5200 metre altitude just 200 mtr from the summit owing to time running out and it getting late. Upon their return two members of the group, close to the summit camp (Advance Base Camp- Altitude 4700) suffered injuries. The injuries were enough to bring into mind Kolahoi 2018 tragedy in which two Kashmir mountaineers had lost their lives.

The group at base camp of Mount Kolahoi ( Dodsar). Pic/Nawab

“The route to summit has totally changed and it took us lot of time to sort out the route. As it was getting at 5200 Mtr we made a call to return back to base camp despite being only 200 Mtr from our dream. Everyone agreed and everything was going smoothly till one member of the group had a fall while descending. Another member was hit by shooting rock and suffered minor injuries. However the scare and trauma was enough to shake them and bring into mind horrors of 2018 Kolahoi tragedy,” said Mouzam.

“Fortunately we had two doctors who are also experienced mountaineers in the group. They took care of their colleagues. Next morning we checked their condition which looked all right but we had to make call whether to return or stay where we are,” he said.

Group on way towards Dodsar. Pic/Nawab Mouzam Khan

He said that on September 14, the group decided to contact Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) for the consultation and make them aware about the injuries and the first attempt.

“IMF official after getting to know whole details and condition suggested that the injured persons who look stable should stay at Summit Camp and take rest while rest of the active four or three members should make another attempt. IMF also discussed that they can take Helicopter services to evacuate injured but there is no such need and they should take rest at summit camp and recuperate,” Nawab revealed.

One of the injured Mountaineer in Srinagar. Pic/Nawab Mouzam Khan

On September 15, Nawab , Mudasir and Tawseef went for another summit attempt while as other members of the group, Dr Chetna Joshi , Dr Varuna Raina , Arun Trimukhi , Anne Mathais and Anupama Chauhan stayed at summit camp. The three Kashmir trekkers then successfully scaled the summit at 8:20 AM. It was first successful attempt of the peak since 2018 tragedy and was sanctioned by IMF.

Only Signs Remain. The names written on a paper of the members of the group who scaled Mount Kolahoi in 2018 and while returning back lost two lives. This paper still stands on the top of the peak. Pic/Nawab Mouzam Khan.

Earlier group had started their journey towards Kolahoi on September 8 and spend first night at Aru. Next day on September 9 they stayed at Satlanjan and on September 10 reached Dodsar which they made their base camp. On September 11 they made recce of the Kolahoi glacier and returned to base camp. On September 12 eight member group left from base camp upto summit camp. At base camp there were three members and stayed all along in touch the summit group through talkies. After making successful Summit on September 15, group reached back at base camp on 16 and then to Aru on 17.

Nawab with other member on Glacier. Pic/KSW

“These types of incident are normal on mountains and on tougher peaks like Kolahoi it is not a big incident. They teach us not to take mountains lightly. It was my second successful attempt of the peak. I am glad that in the end everything went smoothly and we took IMF into confidence, followed their instructions,” he said.

No Rescue Happened or Needed

Nawab who has been selected by IMF for its Mount Everest Massif Expedition rubbished the claims made by some locals that they made rescue of the injured mountaineers.

” It looks like joke that some people who I don’t know where from they came in are claiming that they rescued the injured mountaineers on Mount Kolahoi. First no rescue was needed and, second no rescue was done. They are all lies and IMF is there to confirm about all our conversation, ” Nawab said.

He said when the injuries happened he contacted only two persons one at IMF and other JKMHC President.

“Day after injuries we had to make a call, whether to continue or return back immediately. The condition was not that worse with injured. In consultation with IMF it was decided that injured instead of being dragged down need rest while as other members can take another shot at summit. We decided to give rest to injured and three members decided to go for the summit, ” He said.

“Next day we left during midnight three members left for the summit after checking the injured. They were okey and in good sprits. We made successfully summit and returned back without any incident to Summit Camp and shared our joy with the rest of the group. The sheer joy of having scaled the peak took all the shock and trauma away from the injured members, ” He said

Those claiming rescue had no Rescue Gear

Nawab lashed out at few persons for spreading lies and said that they had no gear for mountaineering and rescue along with them so what kind of rescue they made.

“I have heard lot of talk about rescue which was never needed in first place. Even if they had come up, then why did they came without any mountaineering and rescue gear. They had no gear with them to walk on glacier like Kolahoi. It was similar kind of rescue which only exist on papers, ” He said.

” The group that claim to have come for rescue stayed at our base camp where we had kept out three members. When we got talkie signal and came to know about the rescue people to have arrived, we were shocked as we had not asked for any such effort,” He said. ” Then when I asked my base camp member whether they have any equipment and gera with them, the answer was negative, ” He said

He said group scaled down themselves and reached base camp on its own and it was near base camp they met people who had been sent for rescue.

“We reached down on our own and even the injured reached on their own. We met this rescue group near base camp and no rescue effort was required, ” Nawab added.

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