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Air Force plans to conquer Everest

Bravehearts of the Indian Air Force (IAF), the custodian of the country’s air surveillance and security, are now all set to make history in the snow-capped Himalayas. Anirban Roy reports.

world Updated: May 22, 2008 02:11 IST
Anirban Roy

Bravehearts of the Indian Air Force (IAF), the custodian of the country’s air surveillance and security, are now all set to make history in the snow-capped Himalayas. The IAF has planned to undertake a unique skydive jump over Mount Everest in September this year, the first of its kind in its history.

“Many people have scaled it. We will try to jump on it,” Wing-Commander R.C. Tripathi, the director of IAF Adventure in New Delhi told the Hindustan Times. Wing Commander Tripathi is himself a skydiver and has been jumping regularly from an altitude of 30,000 feet. Mt Everest is 29,035 feet above the sea level.

The IAF has recently created history by flying around the world. Four IAF officials are now in Nepal to take part in the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon, world’s highest run (at an altitude of 5,364 metres), which is scheduled to be held on May 29 from the base camp of Mt Everest. “Keeping up the IAF traditions to nurture and inculcate spirit of adventure, we are here to participate in adventure activities in the Himalayas,” Wing-Commander Tripathi said before flying to the Everest base camp. This is for the first time any team from India is participating in the prestigious marathon, which is generally held to celebrate the International Everest Day on May 29. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, had on May 29, 1953 conquered the 8,848-metre Mt Everest for the first time. Hillary’s 18-year-old granddaughter, Amelia, has also reached Nepal to take part in the marathon.

anirban.roy@hindustantimes.com