Sets out to create world record in golden jubilee year
To mark its golden jubilee year, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police hopes to create a world record of sorts by sending a team of experienced mountaineers to ski down Mount Everest in the coming months. The ITBP Mountaineering and Skiing Expedition was flagged off by Delhi's Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna here on Friday.
“This attempt of the ITBP will be an inspiration for all Indians,” he said.
According to the ITBP, no team has skied down Everest successfully so far. “This team has experienced mountaineers and skiers and it will certainly accomplish its mission of skiing down from the peak,” said ITBP Director-General Ranjit Sinha. The expedition left Delhi on Friday and is expected to accomplish the task within two months.
The leader of the team, Commandant Prem Singh, is a renowned mountaineer. The deputy leader is Commandant Akhilesh Singh Rawat, and other members include Inspector Jot Singh, Head Constable Nawang Dorje, Constable Pradeep Kumar and Constable Passang T. Sherpa and four other international-level skiers.
“The team has been put through rigorous physical training and extensively trained in all technical aspects required to tackle the difficulties likely to be faced while ascending through glacial fields, icy ridges, hanging ice glaciers and jagged rocky spires on its way to higher camps and summit,” said an ITBP spokesperson.
He said the garbage left by previous expeditions and teams is a major problem for the fragile Himalayan eco-system and has reached alarming levels. “This team will collect garbage en route to Mt. Everest and bring it down. It will then be disposed of in a scientific manner.”
World-class equipment and clothing has been procured by the ITBP for the expedition, including special helmet video mounted cameras to record the process of skiing down.
The ITBP was constituted in 1962 and began mountaineering in 1964. Its mountaineers have held records of scaling Mount Everest six times. Its skiers have skied down from peaks like Mt. Kamet (25,447 feet), Mt. Abigamin (24,130 ft) and Mt. Stoke Kangri (20,077 ft) in the past.