In a first, joint team of NIM-JIMWS mountaineers climb Mt Everest

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Srinagar, Jun 1 (PTI) Three climbers from south Kashmir's Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports (JIMWS) on Tuesday brought laurels to the Union Territory by scaling Mount Everest.

'The joint expedition of JIMWS, at Pahalgam in Anantnag district of south Kashmir, in collaboration with Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) successfully summited Mount Everest at 0620 hrs June 1st,” an official at the JIMWS said.

He said the expedition marks the first international expedition by JIMWS and this was the first of its kind joint expedition by two mountaineering institutes under the leadership of Principal of JIMWS Colonel I S Thapa and deputy leader, Principal, NIM, Colonel Amit Bisht.

The summiters included Havaldar Mohammad Iqbal Khan, Havaldar Chander Negi and Mahafooz Ilahi from JIMWS and Havaldar Anil Kumar and Deep Sahi from NIM, along with Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa, Pemba Tshering Sherpa, Parita Sherpa, Tshering Tashi Sherpa, Dorje Sherpa and Any Chhombi Sherpa, he said.

The team will halt at the second camp on Tuesday and is expected to be back at the Everest base camp on Wednesday, he added.

Two back-to-back cyclones Tauktae and Yaas in a span of 10 days had a big impact on this year's Everest expedition with blizzards, heavy snowfall, frequent quick change in weather conditions and avalanches a common occurrence, the official said.

Along with the cyclone, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic also made this year different from the previous year's Everest expedition, he said.

The joint team had begun the expedition from Delhi on April 1 and reached the Everest base camp in Khumbu glacier area on April 12 where they practised for days to acclimatise themselves to the conditions, Ashish Uniyal of NIM's IT wing said.

They began climbing the peak on May 30, he said.

The official said the expedition was flagged off on April 1 at Delhi by the Defence Ministry's Joint Secretary (Armed Forces).

The team had reached Everest base camp (5,364 metres) on April 12 and after proper acclimatisation went for submitting Mt Lobuche East (6,119 metres) as part of the acclimatisation rotation.

The team also successfully climbed Mt Lobuche on April 24, which is technically a tough peak on the Nepal Himalayas. For the first time, the flags of both the national institutes along with Indian national flag were hoisted on an international peak, the official said.

He said the expedition was supposed to take place in 2020, but had to be postponed due to last year's COVID restrictions.

Col Thapa has previously also lead and summited an Army expedition to Mt Everest from the north face (Tibet) in 2007 for which the officer was bestowed with Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM). PTI SSB MIJ CORR ALM HDA

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