SIKKIM MOUNTAINEERING: Trek to Everest via Mount Nepal – getting in on the lucrative world mountaineering scene too ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Gangtok, Sept. 8: Twelve climbers from the Northeast today set out on an expedition to scale the 7168m Mount Nepal in North Sikkim to acclimatise themselves to high altitude conditions before embarking on a trek to conquer Mount Everest.
The expedition was flagged off by Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling at his official residence, Mintokgang, at 10am.
“We have 12 members in our team along with a support crew. Mountaineers for the Northeast Everest Expedition, scheduled to be held in 2011-12, will be chosen on the basis of their performance during the trek to Mount Nepal,” said team leader L. Surjit.
The 44-year-old Surjit is from Manipur and is assisted by Mohon Puyamcha, 38, from the same state and Kazi Sherpa, 41, a Sikkim resident. The team also includes Mohan Biswakarma, 22, (Sikkim), Maibam Shanta Singh, 27, A. Robert, 35, (both from Manipur), David Zohmangaiha, 36, (Mizoram), Tarun Saika, 34, (Assam) and Nima Lama, 33, (Arunachal Pradesh).
The group has two women too. They are N. Bidyapati Devi, 27, (Manipur), and Anhsu Jamsenpa, 30, (Arunachal Pradesh). The twelfth member of the team is K. Sharatchandra, who is a doctor and a non-climber.
The expedition is being organised by Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association in collaboration with the Sikkim Mountaineering Association. The trek is sponsored by North East Council and it is being conducted under the aegis of Indian Mountaineering Foundation.
The team will reach Zema I near Lachen in North Sikkim, some 125km from Gangtok, this evening. From there, the climbers will trek for four days to reach Green Lake at 17000ft, where a base camp will be set up.
“The final camp will be set up at 21000ft and from there, it will take around eight hours to reach the summit of Mount Nepal,” said Kazi Sherpa, an officer on special duty with the Sikkim tourism department.
Asked why Mount Nepal was chosen for the pre-Everest expedition, team leader Surjit said: “Peaks in Sikkim are challenging and climbers require experienced technical skills to scale them. To reach Mount Nepal, we have to do high altitude trekking for four days and that will help us acclimatise ourselves to such weather conditions.”
Sherpa said the climbers were planning to reach the summit of Mount Nepal between September 24 and 27. “They will be completing the expedition on October 6.”