Udhampur, 05 July: Gen Dalbir Singh, the Chief of Army Staff flagged in the Indian Army Everest Expedition 2016 in a grand ceremony at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantonment. The COAS congratulated the team for display of grit and perseverance in achieving the arduous task especially after the Nepal Earthquake last year had damaged traditional routes.
The expedition team led by Lt Col Ranveer Singh Jamwal, undertook the mission of summiting Everest in 2016 and had been flagged off by Lt Gen MMS Rai, Vice Chief of the Army Staff, on 29 March 2016. The team thereafter staged forward early to be poised to exploit the earliest window in the current climbing season. Consequently, the Indian Army was the first major team to summit in a textbook style execution.
The first team to summit was led by Lt Col Ranveer Singh Jamwal, along with Sub Rinzin Dorjai, Havildar Hazari Lal, Havildar K Siva Kumar, Naik Ankur Rawat Naik Dorjay Gyalson and Naik CB Thapa and reached the summit at 6:00AM on 19 May 16.
The second team led by Major Mirza Zahid Baig along with Nb Sub Unnikannan APV, Havildar Arjun Kumar Thapa, Havildar Min Bahadur Tamang, Naik Min Bahadur Rana, Naik Pratap Singh and Rifleman Umesh Rai successfully summited Everest the next day on 20 May 2016.
On 29 May 2016, five members of the team also participated in the world’s highest marathon, the prestigious 42.2 KM long ‘Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon’, which commences from Everest Base Camp and terminates at Namche Bazar. The entire team completed the event within the first ten in the ‘Foreigners Category’ by bagging the fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth positions.
Post the Nepal earthquake of Apr 15 wherein the Everest expedition was curtailed midway, Army thereafter decided to re launch the unfinished mission of summiting the Everest in the current year. Towards that end, COAS commended the efforts of the expedition team and observed that the young minds of the nation would draw inspiration from their achievements.