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Women mountaineers raise toast to adventure at Annapurna range

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Jamshedpur :The 10-member team led by ace mountaineer Bachendri Pal that undertook the seventeen days of challenging elevations on the tough tracks of Annapurna range. The team has returned home with moments of thrilling experiences. Tata Steel flagged off the Indian Women’s Expedition to Annapurna range that began on October 14, 2013 in Nepal.

The Annapurna adventure has been proved as a highly spectacular route in the Annapurna region since it opened to foreign trekkers in 1977.

Pal and Premlata Agarwala, oldest Indian woman and first from Jharkhand to scale Mt Everest, recounted the thrilling experiences while interacting with the media at Tata Steel Adventure Foundation’s office on Wednesday.

“It was first time that a night attempt was made in an expedition to Annapurna range. The expedition was aimed at giving an opportunity to women to discover themselves.

The programme ensured that the group returned highly energised and enthused. They also learnt that nature is not only a great teacher but also a great purifier and healer,” noted Pal.

Pal, Chief of Tata Steel Adventure Foundation, noted that she and Premlata discussed of the possibilities of taking the team for trek in the night.

Though this was a big risk and till then no mountaineer had ever tried to trek in the night in this route. Even the guides and other mountaineering teams on the way did not approve of this step, but Premlata, a seasoned mountaineer, was confident and inspired the team members to take the night journey.

She played a crucial role in encouraging the team to carry forward the journey. She added that the night trek in this particular track has given a strong message to the women fraternity.

In narrating her thrilling experience, Premlata said the team left Thorang Phedi (base camp) at 6 pm on October 22 and reached Thorang La Pass at about 11 pm. “We reached Muktinath at 6 am the following day.

This magnificent trek travels through the fine village inhabited by a wide diversity of people from different ethnic groups, offering spectacular and majestic view of the white Himalayas.

This arduous adventure covers the north of the main Himalayan range and will pass through the high and dry Tibetan Plateau. The highest point of the trek is Thorang La pass at the top of the Annapurna range at 5416m high (17872 ft).

The Thorang La pass is a challenging ascent, surrounded by some of the most magnificent high rise mountains of Nepal Himalaya and this would be the peak experience for the climbers.

The daring women not only braved hurdles and chilling temperature but also took the risk to walk in darkness during the expedition to the grueling Annapurna range in Nepal.

Pal noted that Tata Steel had always been supporting the cause of women empowerment through one of the most unconventional and unique ways.

Through such expeditions we aim to provide each of the participants with an opportunity to discover their true potential and in turn become exemplary figures for many other women.

The ten women contingent from the various states in India were Premlata Agrawal L Annapurna (Jamshedpur), Shobha Hansdah and Payo Murmu (tribal women from Jharkhand), Naina Dhakar (Chhatisgarh), Jyoti Sharma (Delhi), Kalpana Dash (the first woman Everester from Odisha), Om Keshav Singh Kirti (Bihar) and Pal herself.

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