New Delhi: An Indian Army team is embarking on a challenging journey to scale the highest mountain in the world to mark 50 years of the first ascent of the Mount Everest by India with an added mission to cleanse the region. The Indian soldiers will not only climb the highest and the fourth highest mountain in the world — Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse — but also clean the Everest region by bringing down non-biodegradable waste.
Taking out the trash: A Nepalese sherpa collects garbage at an altitude of 8,000 metres during the Everest clean-up expedition in May 2010. A group of 20 Nepalese climbers collected 1,800 kilograms of garbage in a high-risk expedition to clean up the world’s highest peak. File pic/AFP
The army mountaineers thus aim to give back to ‘Sagarmatha’ a measure of reverence she merits, and contribute to restoring the ecological balance of the route, conveying a message of the Prime Minister’s vision of a clean environment to the entire world.
The team will leave for Kathmandu on April 4 and plan the ascent in mid-May.
Major RS Jamwal, an experienced mountaineer of international repute, is the expedition team leader.
In 1965, the first Indian team consisting 21 mountaineers headed by Lt Commander MS Kohli succeeded in climbing the world's highest peak at 8,848 metres with nine mountaineers of the team and became the first Indians to climb Everest.
This expedition has been planned by government of India through Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs and Indian Mountaineering Foundation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that event. This is the first expedition of its kind by select IAS, IPS, IFS officers at national level.