A month from now, eight men from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police will set out to do what no one has done before as a team — ski down Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak at 8,848 metres.
They are part of a 28-member ITBP team led by DIG Harbhajan Singh that is setting out to scale Everest.
They wanted to do this last year and then this March, from the China side, but were refused permission by the Chinese authorities. This time they are attempting this from the Nepal side.
It isn’t exactly easy.
There have been 17 failed attempts to successfully ski down Everest. Only one has been reportedly successful from summit to base camp. A lone Slovenian, Davo Karnicar, claimed to have made an uninterrupted descent in October 2000. While others have skied off the summit, they have either not completed the journey or have covered large parts on foot because of extreme weather conditions or other factors.
This expedition will also be the first-ever Indian attempt to ski down the Everest.
“We have been working on this for three years. Though the exact date has not been finalised, it is confirmed that we will set off between August 10 and 13 and should complete it by the first week of October,” said an optimistic DIG Singh.
As part of their preparation, the men successfully skied down the 6,096m Mount Kasket in Ladak and the 7,354.80m Mount Abhigamin in Uttarakhand. “Our preparation has been great, so hopefully, this October, we’ll return after mission accomplished,” said one of the skiers.
Before leaving, the team will gather in New Delhi on July 15. The mission will cost around Rs 3 crore.