New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Another Indian Army team scaled Mt. Everest on Friday, a day after the first team reached the summit, army officials said.
Army chief General Dalbir Singh commended the spirit of adventure, physical and mental toughness and skill levels of the army mountaineers who scaled the world’s highest peak, which towers 8,848 metres above sea level.
The team of seven that climbed Mt. Everest on Friday was led by Major Mirza Zahid Baig.
On Thursday, a six-member team led by Lieutenant Colonel Ranveer Jamwal summitted the peak.
The army climbers were among the initial lot of mountaineers to successfully climb Mt. Everest after a gap of two years as the peak was closed due to deadly snow avalanches two years ago and the devastation caused by last year’s earthquake in Nepal.
The 30-member Indian Army’s Everest Massif Expedition 2016 was flagged off by Lt. Gen. M.M.S. Rai, Vice Chief of the Army Staff, on March 30.
Five members of the team will participate in the tough and intensive ‘Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon’ on May 29, 2016, considered to be one of the toughest trail marathons in the world.
The team, led by Lt. Col. Jamwal, a reputed climber, was at the Everest base camp when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake stuck Nepal on April 25, 2015.
Following the quake, an avalanche struck the Everest base camp from Mount Pumori and destroyed the camps of many expedition teams killing 22 international climbers and local sherpas. More than 70 others were injured, some critically due to severe head injuries.
The Indian Army’s Everest expedition camp was also in the avalanche’s path, but its members were safe.
The team had immediately taken control of the situation by regrouping and started helping in rescue operations by providing stretcher-bearers as well as providing shelter and rations to those in need.
As various agencies gradually moved their mountaineers down, the Indian Army team was the last to leave the Everest base camp.