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India to send navy team to Mt Everest

Ten Indian officers will lead the world's first Navy team to attempt to conquer Everest in June 2004.

india Updated: Dec 09, 2003 15:18 IST

In the first ever attempt by a naval team in the world, a 10-member Indian Navy grouping will head to conquer Mount Everest in June 2004.

As a build up to the expedition and to sharpen their preparedness, a team led by Cdr Satyabrata Dam successfully scaled Mt Kamet(7756 m) -- the second highest peak in India- and the nearby Mt Abi Gamin (7354 m) in Garhwal region. It will be leaving for Nanda Devi in August and Siachen glacier in December.

"Our expedition to Kamet and Abi Gamin were a run-up to the bigger goal- the Mt Everest. Since it was undertaken in pre-monsoon period, it was technically challenging", Dam, who returned today after leading an eight-member team, said at a reception hosted by Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral John C D Silva.

Beaming with pride, Dam said that the team weathered freezing temperatures, frightening terrains and incessant blizzards, terming it as a "a perfect test for the big challenge ahead".

He said that the Everest-bound team will comprise the best climbers selected from three warm-up exercises to scale the world's highest peak, during which the members will deviate from the usual path and take the toughest possible route.

Having set sights on the treacherous Nanda Devi, the team captain said the trip is unique in the sense that it is the first in over 26 years after an Indo-Japanese team climbed the peak in 1976.

Dam, one of country's top mountaineers, has scaled 27 major Himalayan peaks in a career spanning 25 years. He has also been part of many international expeditions to ranges in Europe, Africa and Australia.

First Published: Dec 09, 2003 00:00 IST