Indian Navy team heading to climb Mt. Everest again

Indo Asian News Service

Kathmandu, April 3 (IANS) A team from Indian Navy is all set for an expedition to the Mt. Everest, the world's tallest mountain peak once again, officials said on Monday here.

The mission is named "Sagartal se Sagarmatha", and involves 24 avid climbers from the Indian Navy. They will scale the Everest. The flag-off was conducted 50 metres below the sea surface in Submarine Sindhuraj.

Sagarmatha is the Nepali name for Mt. Everest.

Charge d'Affairs at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu, Binaya Kumar will see off the expedition that is expected to scale the mountain in May.

Coordinator of the expedition team, Sanjay Kumar Kulkarni said in a press conference here: "We are climbing Mt. Everest with the slogan 'From the Sea to the Everest'."

The Indian Navy team would leave for Jiri, a northern city of Nepal and begin trekking to the Everest base camp.

Acclaimed Nepalese mountaineer Mingma Sherpa will accompany the Indian team, the officials said.

The team has already been drawn from personnel serving on the nuclear submarine INS Chakra and the destroyer INS Chennai, from the flying arm and from the Marcos (Marine Commandos) of the Indian Navy.

"Though we know the challenges behind scaling the Everest, we are confident that we will accomplish it," Kulkarni added.

Of 24, 18 Naval personnel will climb the Everest while remaining eight members would stay at base camp for support.

The team would be taking the original route that was used by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay to scale the Everest way back in 1953.

The window period for scaling the Everest, if weather permits, according to Kulkarni, is around May 11-18.

--IANS

giri/pgh/vt