Six para-athletes scale Mt Bhageerathi

Six para-athletes scale Mt Bhageerathi
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Highlights

City-based Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF), with support from Border Security Force climbers, has helped six physically disabled persons scale Mt Bhageerathi II.

Hyderabad: City-based Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF), with support from Border Security Force climbers, has helped six physically disabled persons scale Mt Bhageerathi II.

The team of climbers including six para-athletes, with different levels of disability, flagged off on August 10 from Gangotri and four of them scaled Mt Bhageerathi (21,365 ft) on August 24. Besides the six para-mountaineers, the team included 2 AMF members Arshad and Aryavardhan - both above knee amputees from Telangana. The team was headed by 2 IC Manoj Painuli and Deputy Commandant BS Rawat was the deputy leader of this expedition.

"Both the boys, Arshad and Aryavardhan were very enthusiastic and forthcoming in their effort to climb despite being above knee amputees and first timers. Initially they did 9km and later, they did up to 16km on a single day in snow and ice. They have a very bright future in para-mountaineering and can surely summit Mt. Everest by 2020 with training," said Rawat.

The base camp was at Nandanvan 14,655 ft altitude, and the training took place all the way up to camp at 17,552 ft altitude. The team completed their training by climbing Mt. Bhagirathi II up to 18,000 ft until heavy snowfall stopped them.

The weather conditions were very tough for the mountaineers. They experienced heavy rain, hail and later, snowfall at heights of 18,000 ft and above. They saw moraines, boulders, rivers, steep uphills and negotiating difficult landscapes and crevasses for trekking. They had only a two-day window to summit due to weather conditions.

They trained in ice craft, snow craft and moraine walk, glacier walk. They carried their own rucksacks with basic amenities and got acquainted with climbing gear and shoes. The more they walked more their lung capacity increased and concentrated on building balancing muscles, says Aditya Mehta, the founder of AMF. As part of awareness programme for the unique initiative AMF has set yet another challenge of creating a world record by scaling Mt Everest in 2020.

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