Mountain Spirits

Robin Hamer

CB54 team

Back row Rhaman our Liason officer Lal Chand, a local high altitude
porter who went with me on the final summit push,
Robin Hamer, Jim Schilling, a friend who came for the trek

Front Row Janeck the cook, Adam Brown, climbing partner who
became ill, Peter Hamer and Lizzie Hamer my first wife

 

In 1984 I organized a small exploratory expedition to a couple of unclimbed mountains in a remote region near the border with Tibet. On the rudimentary map we were using they were shown as CB54 and KR5, their survey of India numbers.

 

CB54 published article

 

Ilford Film became interested and sponsored the photography and I agreed with the BBC to make a second radio documentary.
The climb had its ups and downs with bad weather, avalanches and illness.

Adam became very unwell and I began to think my expeditions were jinxed by sickness. On the 14th September 1984 after some difficult steep climbing I summited CB54 in partnership with Lal Chand an Indian porter who spoke no english but was the only member who was able to climb with me.

We hugged one another and smiled because it was a first ascent for both of us and then set off back down the way we had come.

CB54 climb

 

Negotiating a gully full of loose rock I dislodged a lump that fell towards Lal Chand some way below me. He looked up when I shouted to see a rock coming towards him. He headed it as though he was playing football then slumped on the rope and went quiet. I thought I’d killed him. After a long moment he got back on his feet and shouted. When I reached him he showed me a neat hole in his borrowed helmet.

 

CB54 unclimbed peakAdding to the map. An unmarked, un-named mountain on the glacier near KR5

 

Back in the UK they published my story of the climb and it found a larger audience when it made it into print in the Himalayan Journal, the American Alpine Journal and magazines in Germany and Japan.

CB54 inside page article

The ‘Mountain Spirits’ documentary was aired on local radio and broadcast on the BBC World Service and Radio Hong Kong.

 

Robin Hamer

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