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This mountain’s revered place in Hindu mythology stems not only from its status as India’s highest peak, but from the fact that although her 26,643-foot pointed summit can be seen from the distant plains, it is enclosed within a nearly unbroken rampart of imposing mountain ridges. Within this rampart is what is known as the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, a flowering meadow at around 14,000 feet, from which the icy rampart of Nanda Devi soars another two miles.
This journal describes an extraordinary new route accomplished in 1976 by a joint Indian-American team.
As impressive as this mountaineering achievement was, it was completely overshadowed by the sudden and tragic death of 22-year-old Nanda Devi Unsoeld, one of only two women on the expedition. This tragedy was intensified by the uncanny irony that this woman was to die on the very mountain for which she was named.