Pune: Giripremi’s seven climbers including two women, unfurled the Tricolour on the second largest glacier in the Himalayas, Mt. Cathedral, which is 5,900 metres high.
According to Umesh Zirpe, a leader of Giripremi Institute of Mountaineering, this is the second instance when a woman has conquered this mountain and a first from the institute and from Maharashtra as well.
Zirpe said, “Seven climbers reached the highest peak located in Bara Shigri which is the second largest glacier in the Himalayas. The team has achieved the success under the leadership of Vivek Shivade, an IIT graduate, experienced mountaineer and instructor at Giripremi. The team was fairly new and inexperienced. There was a total of nine climbers but only seven of them reached the top.
Six out of nine members of the team were climbing such a high altitude mountain for the first time. Shivade and Krishna Dhokale are experienced climbers while Jitendra Gaware, Varun Bhagwat, Rohan Desai, Saiyami Takale and Priyanka Mane, Anjali Katre and Amit Talwalkar have just completed their mountaineering courses. Unfortunately, they couldn’t reach the top.
Bara Shigri is the largest glacier located in Lahaul Spiti region in Chandra Valley, Himachal Pradesh. It is a 30-km long glacier, the second longest glacier in Himalayas after Gangotri. It feeds Chenab river. It is home to several peaks and is located above 3,950 metres altitude.
Zirpe also mentioned that the team started their journey from Manali. Passing through Rohtang Pass, they reached the base camp in Spiti Valley. It took them three days to reach the base camp as it is located near the snout of the glacier. The challenging part on the way to the base camp was Karcha Nala stretch, where the team had to use rope-based river crossing technique to cross the rapid water flow. Seven members, who have summited the peak, climbed a 60 feet ice wall (inclined at 70 degrees) before the summit camp. It is second successful expedition in Spiti Valley after successful expedition on CB-13 in 2017.
He also said, “The climbers have collected samples of soil and water as a pilot project of Kangchenjunga eco-expedition. As I had travelled with the climber to base camp, I saw that there were continuous and extensive rains in the desert areas of Leh-Ladakh and Lahaul Spiti . Once these regions did not have any rains but now there was continuous and extensive rains due to the climatic change. Also in 2015, when I had travelled to Rohtang Pass, there were walls of ice and now, there was no ice at all.”