In yet another example of launching of women in powerful roles, Indian Army this time is sending all Women Expedition to Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world. Indian Army has a rich contribution towards adventure activities across the world. With seven out of
nine open peaks of above 8000 M already scaled, South Pole conquered last year and an expedition to North Pole already on its way, a ‘Women Team’ now going to climb Mt Everest adds another feather in its cap. Mt Everest was conquered for the first time by an Indian Army Expedition in 2001. Since then it has been a norm in the Army, to send members on all expeditions undertaken by Army or by other organizations like NIM (Nehru Institute of Mountaineering), HMI (Himalayan Mountaineering Institute) etc. The first army women team had summited Mt Everest through North (Tibet) in 2005 and now another such team will attempt for the first time through South (Nepal) which is known as the traditional route, from which Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay had first climbed. This is also the longer and much tougher route, as considered by mountaineers. Everest, due to the sheer difficulty posed by the terrain and altitude, and the glory of being the greatest mountain on the earth, is the ultimate destination of every mountaineer. It throws great technical challenges to the mountaineers, in form of the infamous Khumbu ice fall, blind crevasses and avalanche prone slopes, climb over Lhotse face and other formidable obstacles like Geneva Spur, Yellow Band, Hillary Step, Balcony etc. The 22 members team has been flagged off by Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali, AVSM, SM, DCOAS (IS&T) on 12 Mar 2012. He addressed the team of selected and experienced mountaineers wishing them good luck for the extreme and demanding adventure activity that they have been assigned. The team will take off for Kathmandu (Nepal) from Delhi on 22 Mar 2012. After a 17 days long trek they will reach Base Camp on 12 Apr 2012 which is at 17500 ft altitude. Four camps will be established enroute and after completing the load ferries and acclimatization process, the summit attempts will be made between 15-20 May 2012. Adventure is a way of life in the Army. The pursuit of Everest by the Army Women team is a feat and definitely in furtherance for more ambitious projects for women in the Army.