Updated: March 27, 2021 8:09:53 am
The Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) is all set to undertake a first-of-its-kind Everest Massif Expedition, aiming to scale four peaks including Mt Nuptse (7,862 metre), Mt Pumori (7,161 metre) and Mt Lhotse (8,516 metre) along with Mt Everest (8,848 metre) in Nepal. As per IMF officials, it is easier to scale Mt Everest than Mt Lhotse, Nuptse and Pumori.
Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju is scheduled to flag off the 12-member expedition team from IMF Headquarters, Dehli, Saturday. The team members include six men and six women.
“The aim and objective of this two months long expedition is to make the first Indian ascent of the challenging Mt Nuptse and Mt Pumori besides making an ascent of the difficult Mt Lhotse. The expedition team will assist and contribute to Nepal’s effort of cleaning the Upper Khumbu Glacier and the Western Cwm, located in the shadow of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse. It is difficult to climb peaks particularly Mt Nuptse and Mt Pumori than Mt Everest. Ascent for these peaks requires tough training. And a unique aspect of this expedition is that this will be the smallest team in the history of Indian Mountaineering to attempt four major mountain objectives in the Everest Massif. All Covid-19 related protocols will be followed by the team,” IMF president Brig Ashok Abby (retd) said. Four mountaineers will climb Mt Nuptse, 4 will climb Mt Pumori, 2 Mt Lhotse and 2 will scale Mt Everest. The 12 mountaineers were selected out of 565 volunteers comprising 458 men and 107 women from 30 states and 2 Union Territories.
The selected members included Manita Pradhan, Manish Kashniyal, Skalzang Rigzin, Nawab M Khan, Shanti Rai, Stanzen Youthog, Savita Kanswal, Hem Raj, Stanzin Norboo, Gunbala Sharma, Baljeet Kaur and Stanzen Desal. Dr Chetna Joshi is the Expedition Doctor. Brig Krishan Kumar (retd), an experienced mountaineer and a senior IMF member, will be accompanying the expedition team as a mentor.
As per the strategy, the team after reaching Base Camp will acclimatize by climbing Lobuche Peak (6,119 metre). Tentatively, the team will climb Pumori (7,161 metre) by April 24, 2021. It will establish higher Camps I and II by April 30 and plan to climb Nuptse (7861 metre), after establishing Camp-III by May 10.
The team will establish Camps III and IV for Everest and Lhotse by 15th May 2021 and attempt to climb Mt Lhotse and Mt Everest between May 20 and 27. The team will de-induct and concentrate at Base Camp by May 31. It will return to Kathmandu and reach Delhi by June 7, 2021.
A member of IMF said, “The selection process was started dates back in 2019. 120 mountaineers were shortlisted out of 565 volunteers for the first phase of Selection in June 2019. 94 trained mountaineers participated in the selection camps, which were organised at the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering (JIM & WS) and Winter Sports, Pahalgam, J&K and at Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) Uttarkashi. A total of 55 mountaineers were selected for the Pre- Everest Expedition to Mt Trishul (7,120 metre) from August 28 to October 5 2019. Subsequently, based on their demonstrated performance, a mixed team of 12 members, six men and six women was selected.”
The expedition was originally to be conducted in 2020. However, due to the pandemic, it is now being conducted in 2021. The team has undergone extensive Winter Conditioning and Training in Garhwal Himalaya in 2020 and 2021. The team has also been put through the Wilderness Advanced First Aid Course, recently conducted at the IMF, Delhi.
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