Indian Mountaineering Foundation recently conducted a pre-Everest training camp in Uttarakhand. As a part of the selection and training, a team of experienced climbers was sent on an expedition to Draupadi Ka Danda 2 summit (DKD2), located at a height of 5,669 m. Based on this expedition and a few more expeditions, IMF is set to finalize its team to launch four expedition sin the Everest region next year. The IMF team would be climbing Mt. Everest (8,848 m); Lhotse (8,156 m); Nuptse (7,861 m) and Pumori (7,161 m). The recent training camp was organized at NIM, Uttarkashi.
We recently got in touch with Bhargab Borah, an accomplished mountaineer from Assam and TrekMonk athlete who has climbed difficult peaks like Mt. Deo Tibba, Mt. Nanda Ghunti and Mt. Manirang in the past. According to Bhargab, this training camp assessed the climbers on their speed, endurance and mountaineering skills.
The selection camp consisted of 48 climbers, but five of them had quit during the training done at NIM and another five quite the expedition before crossing Camp 1.
Usual route for DKD 2 is this:
Uttarkashi – Bukki Village – Tel Camp (2,590 m) – Gujarhat camp (3,414 m) – Base Camp – Advance Base Camp (4,114 m) – Camp 1 (4,815 m) – Summit (5,669 m).
What makes this expedition so unique is the commitment shown by every climber. For the first time in last 28 years, these accomplished climbers didn’t stay at Camp 1. They proceeded for their summit push right from the Advance Base Camp. It usually takes 3-4 hrs to reach Camp 1 from ABC and another 6 hrs from Camp 1 alone to reach the summit, but the entire team had scaled the peak within 7 hrs of starting from the Advance Camp, with the first members arriving as early as 5 hrs from when they had started.
Load Ferrying – The biggest challenge
Load ferrying was a major challenge for the climbers. There were no porters or guides involved and all the load had to be ferried by the climbers themselves, something people are not very used to on such expeditions. The climbers had to do two trips to ensure every item reached the base camp. After that the ration had reduced and in one attempt they ferried remaining ration to the Advance Base Camp. According to Bhargab, maintaining speed while carrying the load was quite difficult for everyone.
The climbers were accompanied by three instructors who made observations and gave necessary directions. Post selection based on this expedition, IMF is set to conduct two more expeditions before it announces its final group of climbers for the Everest expedition in 2020.
Keep an eye out for our ‘Xpedition Series’ every Wednesday, where we are on a mission to curate tales of mountaineers, to share stories of explorations and their will to RISE above the limitations.