Indian ladies hot for Everest
16:09 p.m. EST Apr 8, 2004
The first ever all-women Indian expedition to Everest is planned to be launched next year by the Indian Army.
More than 100 women in uniform had volunteered for the expedition and the 24 member team will be chosen from them.
Though Indian women have climbed Everest in mixed expeditions, this is the first time that an all Indian women team will be making a bid for the peak.
On May 17, 1984, Bachendri Pal was the first Indian woman on top of Everest after an avalanche nearly killed her and her climbing group at 24,000 feet. This year, Bachendri will lead a 10-member women’s team to Island Peak.
In 1993 Santosh Yadav became the first woman to climb Mt Everest twice, in the Indo-Nepalese all-women's Everest expedition.
In 2000 an all Sherpani (Sherpa women) team ascended Everest. The expedition leader, Lhakpa Sherpa, who was 27 at the time, became the second Sherpa woman to summit Everest on May 18th of that year.
Since then, Lhakpa has summited Everest three times. Most recently she reached the top last spring with her younger sister, Kipa Sherpa, 15, who became the youngest person to summit Everest ever.
The Indian Army is also launching an expedition to Kangchenjunga from the eastern ridge route in north Sikkim this October.
This spring there will be also be 2 Norwegian women and two Irish women going for firsts for their respective coutries.
Image of the Everest 2000 all-Sherpani team courtesy of hindu.com