Bachendri Pal to lead all women team aged above 50 in a 5 month long Himalayan expedition
- The 10-member team will commence the journey from the misty mountains of Arunachal Pradesh at Bomdila and will then enter Bhutan.
The first Indian woman to conquer world's highest summit Mount Everest, Bachendri Pal will lead a 10-member team of women aged above 50 in a five-month long expedition from eastern to western Himalaya beginning in May.
The 'FIT@50 Women's Trans Himalayan Expedition ’21' will start in the first week of May from Arunachal Pradesh and cover around 4,500 kilometres across about 40 mountain passes including the 17,320 feet Lamkhaga Pass, considered one of the toughest.
Organised by the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports under the FIT India banner, the expedition is slated to conclude in the Karakoram range of Jammu and Kashmir in the second week of October.
"The expedition will inspire and motivate women of all age groups to include fitness activities in their daily lives to stay healthy," the legendary Indian mountaineer told PTI.
"In the pandemic era, women’s health and fitness plays a key role both in the families and towards nation building. The expedition will provide a hope and create a new path for senior citizens, including 50 or even 60 , to pursue their dreams. It will also signify women empowerment," she added.
The team members, drawn from across India, comprise three women Everest summiteers, retired professionals and homemakers.
The 10-member team will commence the journey from the misty mountains of Arunachal Pradesh at Bomdila and will then enter Bhutan.
From there, the expedition will traverse through Bhutan, cross over into Sikkim and cover Chitrey, Kala Pokhari and Sandakphu.
The team will then move into Nepal, where the route enters Dhaulagiri range and cover Salpa Pass, Lamajura Pass and also cross Thorang la (17,769 ft) around Annapurna Massif.
From western Nepal, the trail goes from Jumla and enters Kumaon district in Uttarakhand at Dharchula. From here, the expedition will cross Lamkhaga Pass (17,320 ft) -- one of the toughest passes, which connects Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh with Harshil of Uttarakhand.
The team will then traverse to Himachal and then will trek through Spiti to cross Kaza, Kibber and cross Parang La (18,307 ft).
The expedition will conclude in the Leh-Ladakh region where the team will cross Khardungla (18,380 ft), Saser La (17,753 ft), Depsang La (17,869 ft) and finish at Karakoram Pass (18,175 ft).
Bachendri Pal, Leader (67 years, Jamshedpur), Chetna Sahoo (54, Kolkata), Savita Dhapwal (52, Bhilai), Shamala Padmanabhan (64, Mysuru), Gangorti Soneji (62, Baroda), Chaula Jagirdar (63, Palanpur), Payo Murmu (53, Jamshedpur), Dr Sushma Bissa (55, Bikaneer), Major Krishna Dubey (59, Lucknow), and Bimbla Deoskar (55, Nagpur)
Support staff: Mohan Rawat (41), Amla Rawat (47) and Randev Singh (30), all from Uttarakhand.