Indians Almost Succeed on 6,370m Mulkila V in Himachal Pradesh

Between June 23 and July 4, an Indian party from West Bengal attempted the Mulkila group of peaks in India’s Himachal Pradesh. This included 6,370m Mulkila V peak (aka M-5) from the southwest side, according to Dream Wanderlust.

Mulkila V (M-5) or also called the spike.

Mulkila V (M-5), also called The Spike. Photo: Dream Wanderlust


The Mulkila group lies at the head of the Milang Glacier, between the Chandra and Bhaga Rivers. Mulkila IV (6,517m, aka M-4), the main peak, was first ascended in September 1939 by an Austro-British expedition with Fritz Kolb, Ludwig Krenek, and Robey Johnson. The team then made several first ascents in the area and also carried out botanical and geographical research. An Australian party led by Warwick Deacock first climbed Mulkila V in 1975.

The five-person Indian group, including Avisek Tunga (leader), Binoy Das, Chottu Roy, Anant Singh, and Pankaj Grewal, reached the Mulkila base camp (4,200m) on June 22.

Map on the Mulkila group.

Map of the Mulkila group. Photo: Dream Wanderlust


An experiment in independence

On July 3, the team went up the south face and made it to just 40m below the summit. There, they had to retreat due to bad snow and ice and an avoidable mistake (see below). They made it back to base camp on July 4.

Close to the summit of Mulkila V.

Near the summit of Mulkila V. Photo: Dream Wanderlust


According to Avisek Tunga, “For us, this was an experiment in an unsupported expedition. Without the help of HAPs (high-altitude porters), sherpas, and guides, are we capable of high-altitude technical climbing? My objective was also to show that mountaineering is not an expensive sport at all. Real adventure can come at a minimum cost.”

Although they didn’t summit, Tunga is satisfied with their result. He says that topping out would have been a bonus, but the most important thing is that they handled all the challenges by themselves. They also saw a good climbable line on Mulkila IV that could yield to a strong team. Mulkila IV is the highest peak of the Mulkila group.


Icefall. Photo: Dream Wanderlust


Regarding their mistake near the summit, Tunga reports that they started their summit push at 8 am and had almost finished by 10 pm. They ate a quick dinner and planned to continue toward the summit within two hours. They did not take off their boots and napped for a couple of hours outside the tent. Unfortunately, some frostbite set in while they were asleep.

Mulkila peaks and other peaks in the area.

Mulkila peaks and other mountains in the area. Photo: Indian Himalaya Maps


As soon as they realized it, they quickly sprang into action. However, they had to wait till morning to start the last section of mixed climbing on ice and rock. By then, the snow conditions had deteriorated and they stopped short of the summit.

The Indian party.

The Indian party. Photo: Dream Wanderlust

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.