In 1998 mountaineers from the Army Corps of Engineers combined with scientists from various organizations across the country to explore the Dharma Valley and the magnificent Panchchuli peaks that lie at the head of this valley in eastern Kumaon. The scientific exploration took the form of documenting the flora and fauna of the region. The engineers adopted a multi-disciplinary approach to exploring the physical environment of the region, including skiing, para-gliding and rafting down the Kaliganga river.
A key objective of the expedition was the climbing of the still unclimbed Panchchuli peaks. The team was partially successful in meeting this objective, when 4 members reached the summit on Panchchuli 1 in 1998. A serious accident during the decent to base camp, however, forced the remaining attempts on the Panchchuli massif to be called off.