KOLKATA: Sixty-three years after the first confirmed summiting of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, Bhagirathi III in the Garwhal Himalayas has finally been conquered.
After several unsuccessful attempts by climbers across the globe, an Indian Mountaineering Foundation team, in its first joint venture with a city adventure club, Pathajatra, reached the top of the 6,454-m peak via North Ridge, an expedition considered one of the toughest peaks under the sky.
After several unsuccessful efforts from climbers across the globe, a team from Indian Mountaineering Foundation in its first ever joint venture with a city adventure club – Pathajatra successfully reached the top of this 6454 metres peak via north ridge.
“North ridge of the Himalayas begins from the north side of the Everest in Tibet, which is a tough terrain and involves a lot of technicalities. Summiting Bhagirathi III, through North Ridge, is a real difficult feat. This team is the first to have reached the top via North Ridge. Even six months earlier, an all-women team tried to summit it, but bad weather forced it back. I congratulate all the members of the team for their effort,” IMF member and leader of the team Debabrata Mukherjee told TOI.
The Mukherjee-led group, including Gunbala Jodhana from Jodhpur, Manita Pradhan from Sikkim, representing IMF, and Subid Ali from Budge Budge, representing Pathajatra, and three porters, Navin, Rajesh and Kritamm reached Bhagirathi III on September 15. The 22-member team started its journey from Uttarkashi on September 1.
“At 9.30am, we reached the try junction of North ridge and North-West ridge above the NE face. Naveen tried to cut the cornice to climb up. But later, the team followed my decision to traverse 25m over the 85° NW face to reach the corner of the final summit hump. Some of our members misunderstood and wanted to stop and celebrate the climb, but I had to point out to them the last sentinel, a 7-m-high rock wall 40m away, which separated us from the peak. We climbed that in the next 30 minutes and then traversed the final 60m 40° arete to reach the summit at 11.15am. We were atop Bhagirathi-III crossing 257.3 aerial m and climbing 365 m height. Previously, we had to had to walk 600m on the sword edge and negotiate two overhanging rocks before reaching the final summit hump,” Mukherjee said.
“I have never thought I would be able to climb such a technical and tough rock. We can do a lot of things if we get proper help and guidance,” Subid Ali told TOI.