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21 Jul 2018

22-member team to scale Mt Kang Yatse in Alpine-style expedition

22-member team to scale Mt Kang Yatse in Alpine-style expeditionAmitava Banerjee | MP | 20 July 2018 | Darjeeling: A team from Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), Darjeeling is all set to embark on its first ever Alpine-style expedition from August 1. 

A 22-member team will be climbing the Mount Kang Yatse-1 (6400 m) in Ladakh. The expedition will be formally flagged off from Darjeeling on Saturday. 

An Alpine-style expedition is one where no porter is used beyond the Base Camp. The expedition members carry out all activities such as load ferry, route opening and cooking among other necessary things.

"Such expeditions are faster and are less expensive than traditional expeditions. Though it is tougher than regular expeditions, Alpine-style climbs help boost confidence," stated Devidutta Panda, vice-principal, HMI, who is also the leader of the expedition. 

The expedition will be flagged off by SA Baba, Principal Secretary, Youth Service Department, Government of Bengal on Saturday. 
Kang Yatse — (elevation 6,400 metre) is a mountain located at the end of the Markha Valley in Ladakh.

Two teams will depart from Darjeeling on July 25 and August 1. The expedition will take a month from August 1. Apart from members, the 22-member team also includes instructors, 2 cooks, the Curator of HMI museum and a representative of D(HMI), MoD. 

"For this expedition, we are not taking help from any agency. During advance course at the HMI, we teach the students expedition planning and execution. 

In this expedition, the instructors will get a first hand experience of planning and executing an expedition on ground zero. There will definitely be some shortcomings from which we can learn. Many instructors have not done Alpine-style expeditions in the past," stated the vice-principal, who is a two time Everester himself.

The expedition members will be going to Delhi, Manali, Leh and then onwards to the base camp of the mountain. 

The successful ascent of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953, by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary was a major boost to mountaineering in India. One year after this historical event, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was established on November 4, 1954 — a result of personal initiative of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India and Dr BC Roy, the then Chief Minister of West Bengal to promote mountaineering in India. 

The HMI in its sixty fourth years of existence has trained approximately 40,000 personnel including 2,000 overseas trainees. Since 1954 the Institute has organised 13 mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayan regions and overseas including the Alps under the leadership of the Institute heads.

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