Soldier Mountaineer

The Colonel who got Siachen Glacier for India

Book Description

In the annuals of Indian Mountaineering Colonel Narinder Kumar, affectionately called ‘Bull’ by his friends due to his physical prowess, has played a highly significant role. Without him the history of Indian mountaineering would have been quite different.

The author Colonel N N Bhatia along with inputs from Col Bull himself has endeavored to put across a compelling and absorbing account of the life and times of Narinder Kumar who took Indian mountaineering and mountaineering in the army to sublime heights. The appeal of ‘Soldier Mountaineer’ will surely stretch beyond the Army libraries to all adventure lovers in India and abroad.

About Kumar, N

Col Narinder Kumar was born on 8 Dec 1933, at Rawalpindi, now in Pakistan. He was commissioned in 1954 in the Kumaon Regiment, Indian Army. His mountaineering career started in 1958, as the expedition leader to Trishul. He reached 28,300 feet on Everest in 1960, when only one Indian – Tenzing Norgay and seven other mountaineers in the whole world had climbed higher. He was the Deputy Leader of the record breaking Indian Everest Expedition in 1965, which put nine climbers on the top. Out of the 13 highest Indian Himalayan peaks above 24,000 feet, including Nanda Devi, 9 were climbed under his leadership. Surprisingly, he did all this after having lost his toes to frostbite, and the doctors had declared him unfit for climbing, as well as for going higher than 7,000 feet! ‘Bull', as Colonel Kumar is affectionately known, even led an Indo German Indus Boat Expedition and Trishul Ski Expedition.

In 1978 and in 1981, he led a daring high altitude reconnaissance to the Siachen Glacier, traversing it from its snout to its source at Indira Col. He personally led the summit team to the 24,300 ft high Sia Kangri. His team went up to Saltoro Kangri (25,400 feet) and Teram Kangri II (24, 300 feet). And as a farewell gift to his regiment, the Kumaoni's, he led a regimental expedition to Kamet, (25,447 ft) in 1983, just before his retirement.

Col N N Bhatia was commissioned in the Kumaon regiment, Indian Army. He took part in the 1965 and 1971 wars, and the insurgencies in Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir. His numerous articles have been published in various journals and in a Pakistani newspaper “The Lahore Times”. He is involved in trying to obtain the release of 54 Indian POW's languishing in Pakistani jails since 1971 war.