In a replay of sorts of the Hollywood blockbuster, Vertical Limit (2000), a Mumbai mountaineer was rescued after she fell into a crevice in a glacier in Uttarakhand.
Jaishri Dumbre, 33, who was rescued in a two-hour operation on June 16, had fallen into the one-feet-wide and 100-feet-deep gap, when she had gone to relieve herself.Dumbre, who has completed an advanced course from Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM), Uttarkashi, was part of a 35-member group from the institute that was ascending towards Draupadi Ka Danda mountain at a height of 18,600 feet.
The incident occurred in the wee hours of June 16 when Jaishri went outside her camp at 15,800 feet.
She was accompanied by two other mountaineers, which is mandatory for members of the expeditions.
“Summits start early, therefore, mountaineers gear up in the wee hours. Jaishri could not locate the crevice that was covered with snow and slipped inside,” said Devendra Rawat, an eyewitness and documentary filmmaker. Rawat’s camera crew shot the rescue efforts, the video of which was shared with HT on Thursday.
As soon as Dumbre slipped into the crevice, her fellow mountaineers raised the flag. Senior instructor Digamar Singh Panwar immediately started the rescue operations. “Initially, we were worried as we were unsure of how deep into the crevice she had fallen into. Luckily, she was stuck midway,” told Shivraj Panwar, an NIM member, who was part of the team that rescued Dumbre.
Panwar said Dumbre was pulled out in the third attempt. “In the first attempt, a fellow climber tried to go inside, but couldn’t succeed. In the second attempt, I went inside the crevice but could not pull her out. In the third attempt, I went inside again, poured hot water around her to soften the ice. Only then we managed to pull her out,” Panwar added. As the ice melted around her, Jaishri regained strength and consciousness. Panwar tied her hands with a rope and slowly pushed her upwards. These were the training the members had received during the NIM course for mountaineers.
Dumbre, who has completed an advanced course from NIM, left for home on Thursday.
A premier mountaineering institute run by the government, NIM saw students such as Bachendri Pal, first Indian woman to scale Mount Everest.
“My birthday falls on June 12, though. From now onwards, I will celebrate it on June 16, the day when I was reborn,” Dumbre said.
“I will continue with mountaineering since it’s my passion,” the mechanical engineer who recently moved to Pune from Mumbai, said.
Dumbre said she has been a climber for the last eight years and regularly visiting NIM.
(With inputs from Mumbai)