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Bachendri Pal to lead an all-women expedition

Staff Reporter
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The team is expected to travel an average of six hours every day

Another summit, another challenge:Veteran mountaineer Bachendri Pal (centre) in New Delhi on Monday with members of the Indian women's team that will undertake the new expedition. — Photo: S. Subramanium
Another summit, another challenge:Veteran mountaineer Bachendri Pal (centre) in New Delhi on Monday with members of the Indian women's team that will undertake the new expedition. — Photo: S. Subramanium

Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest, will be leading a 10-member Indian women's team on an expedition to the Himalayas from Paro in Bhutan beginning this Wednesday.

The expedition, called the Snowman Trek (SMT), will begin from Paro-Drukgyel Dzong, travel through the remote Lunana district and conclude at Sephu. It will cover 11 high mountain passes, one of which is over 17,800 feet with a maximum elevation of 5,230 metres.

The all-women's team is expected to travel an average of six hours every day, with only two stopovers at Laya and Thanza.

The team comprises women from all parts of the country — Lalmati Birully and Payo Murmu (Jharkhand); Chetna Sahoo (West Bengal), Radha Rana (Uttarakhand), Pushpa Thakur (Himachal Pradesh), Chaula Jagirdar (Gujarat), Vasumati Srinivasan (Karnataka), Bimla Deoskar (Maharashtra) and Naina Dhakar (Chhattisgarh).

“The objective behind organising this expedition is to provide each of the participants an opportunity to discover their true potential, and in turn become exemplary figures for many women,” said Bachendri here on Monday. She has encouraged women to take up mountaineering and adventure sports in the past as she feels these are “unique and unconventional ways” to empower women. She also inspired Premlata Agrawal, a 45-year-old from Jharkhand who became the oldest Indian woman to conquer Everest earlier this year.

The Snowman Trek is supported by Tata Steel Adventure Foundation. The foundation has in the past supported various adventure sport events like mountain trekking, para-sailing and river rafting. It aims to induce people from all walks of life to “the thrills and wonder of adventure sports”. It helps participants of their programmes develop a positive attitude through a multi-disciplinary approach and a wide range of activities.

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