In the post-monsoon of 1996 Athol Whimp and I traveled to the Indian Himalaya and attempted a new route on the right side of Thalay Sagar's north face. Constant storms and intense cold frustrated our efforts and we reached no higher than ca. 6100m.  

In 1997 we returned and made the first ascent of the north face via the much-attempted central couloir and shale band above. We were awarded the 1998 Piolet d'Or by Groupe de Haute Montagne and Montagne magazine, France for this ascent. The first ascent of Thalay Sagar was made in June 1979 via the northwest couloir and ridge. On this first ascent was my good friend John Thackray, along with  Roy Kligfield and the late Pete Thexton.

Thalay Sagar and its amazing north face, 1996.

From base camp at Kedar Tal, 1997.

Clearing storm on the north face, 1997.

On our first foray to the face, 1996.

North face sunset and moonrise (from the plateau immediately below the face), 1997.

Athol at the base of the north face, 1996.

Approaching the top of the lower icefields. The shale band can be seen far above. Photo: Athol Whimp.

At the top of the lower ice fields. The central couloir rises straight above. Photo: Athol Whimp.

The 'ledge in the central couloir, ca. 6400m. Photo: Athol Whimp.

Athol on the summit at dusk, September 19, 1997.

On the descent. The line of ascent is obvious. Photo: Athol Whimp.

Athol rapping the north face.

Rapping at the top of the lower ice fields. Photo: Athol Whimp.

Another day in paradise..