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The CIA Tried to Have Climbers Plant a Nuke-Powered Antenna in the Himalaya

The CIA Tried to Have Climbers Plant a Nuke-Powered Antenna in the Himalaya

The CIA Tried to Have Climbers Plant a Nuke-Powered Antenna in the HimalayaThis is a story that has floated around a bit over the years, often mentioned in passing when telling other stories about the Cold War or Himalayan climbing in the 60s, but it’s rare to get the full telling. Especially if that receiver was sitting atop a mountain peak that nestled right up against China’s border, perhaps one within the borders of India, a US ally. The government decided on Nanda Devi, a 25,643-foot high peak once thought to be the highest in the world. They recruited top climbers of the day, including Tom Frost, and sent them up with a nuclear-powered radio receiver that would run as long as the plutonium at its core remained active. Rock and Ice published a terrific story about the Nanda Devi debacle years ago, which you can read, here.