Kathmandu: A team of National Cadet Corps (NCC) girl cadets, Indian army wing, and Indian soldiers have arrived here to scale Mount Everest with its peak 8,848 metres above sea-level.
The two groups will be departing from Kathmandu on April 3 and 4 to Jiri, north of Kathmandu, a popular destination for trekking in the upper Himalaya area and start trekking to Everest base camp.
Colonel Gaurav Karki, who is leading the girls’ team, told reporters here that for the first time in the history of the Indian army, 10 girl cadets are aspiring to climb Mount Everest.
Before selecting the 10 girl cadets, 100 NCC girl cadets were selected for vigorous training in Karakoram area, he said.
The Indian teams are expected to reach Everest base camp by April 21 after the trek from Jiri and will start acclimatisation in base camp before ascending Mt Everest, said Col. Karki.
The window for Everest climbing is between May 15 to May 25 based on good weather.
Fifty years ago, an Indian team led by Lieutenant Commander MS Kohli had conquered Mt Everest for the first time.
The Indian Army Everest Massif Expedition 2015 was launched last year as well on Mt. Everest and Mt. Lhotse. Following the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015 and subsequent tremors, the attempt was halted by an avalanche at the base camp. However, the expedition team continued to involve itself in the relief operations at base camp with an aim to extend aid to other stranded mountaineers from various parts of the world, which was highly appreciated by one and all, said a statement on Indian army expedition-2016.
This time, the army expedition team comprises 5 officers, 4 Junior Commissioned Officers and 21 other ranks.
Lieutenant Colonel RS Jamwal, a mountaineer of international repute, who himself has climbed Mt. Everest twice before, is the army expedition leader.
Fourteen members of the team will attempt to climb Mt. Everest and nine members of the team will attempt to climb Mt. Lhotse, the fourth highest peak in the world.
Five members of the team will thereafter participate in the world’s highest marathon i.e. Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon.
The NCC girl cadets team comprises four officers, two Junior Commissioned officers, seven other ranks, two girl cadet Instructors and 10 NCC girl cadets.
Colonel Karki, qualified mountaineering instructor and an internationally reputed mountaineer, is leading the team.
Inidan Ambassador Ranjit Rae on Friday met the teams of the expedition and wished them a successful journey to Mt. Everest and Mt Lhotse.
“This is the most inspiring way to stand with Nepal when it is most needed after the devastating earthquake that we witnessed in the holy land of Pashupatinath. This attempt to summit Everest would be a step ahead in further strengthening the age old relations between our two countries,” he said.