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September 24, 2012

Arunachal expedition to Mount Gorichen flagged off

     Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh has been put on the adventure tourism map with the state’s Governor General (retired) JJ Singh flagging off a 26-day expedition to the 6488-meter-high Mount Gorichen, one of the highest mountains in the eastern Himalayas. This is the first expedition organized jointly by the state’s sports and youth affairs (SYA) department and the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (APIMF). The 13-member team, led by Dr. K Romeo Meetei, includes three Everesters -- Anshu Jamsengpa, Tine Mina and ITBP inspector Lobsang Sherpa. Jamsengpa and Sherpa have reached the summit of Mount Everest Summit twice. Sherpa has 12 successful expeditions under his belt. The team has mountaineers from Arunachal Pradesh , Sikkim , West Bengal, Meghalaya, Mizoram , Assam , Jammu & Kashmir and Indo Tibetan Border Police. Five mountaineers from Arunachal Pradesh, including K.N. Damo, Deputy Resident Commissioner, Delhi , who is the liaison officer and field advisor of the team because of his experience during his college days, and Nima Lama, besides a six-member support team of Sherpas from Darjeeling . The team will leave Bomdila on September 27, reach Jang on September 29 to proceed to Dushinthang, Mago, Jithang and Merathang. It will reach the base camp at Chakarsam at 5000 meters on October 3. It is scheduled to reach Camp-1 and Camp-II on October 7 and 9 and reach the summit on October 11. The flagging-in ceremony will be on October 19th. Damo, the only one to conquer Mount Gorichen thrice and who has five mountaineering expeditions under his belt, informed that Mount Gorichen is one of the technically difficult peaks of the world because of its terrain, rock face, avalanche and crevasse zones and ice wall. The mountain is second only to Mount Kangto (7050 meters) in the world, he added. Conveying his best wishes to the team on behalf of the state’s people, General (retired) J.J. Singh with experience of trailing behind insurgents in this hilly state advised participants in the expedition to maintain team spirit. “Climbing a peak is an achievement, but to come back safe and sound is a greater achievement”, the Arunachal Front quoted General Singh, as saying, adding what matters is team spirit but not individual achievements. “Respect the mountains, don’t challenge the terrain and weather, and don’t become over confident,” advised Singh, a mountaineer trained under world renowned mountaineers, late Tenzing Norgay and late Nawang Gombu. Recalling late Norgay’s valuable advice: “Don’t look up to the top while climbing. Look around and enjoy the surroundings. Walk with a natural gait and don’t exhaust yourself, he advised them to stick to basic mountaineering rules. Announcing that he would constantly monitor the progress of the expedition, like he has done during the Everest expeditions of Tapi Mra, Anshu Jamsenpa and Tine Mina, the governor enquired about the medical arrangements, means of communication and equipments. Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) president Col. H.S. Chauhan, in his address, said that Arunachal Pradesh has huge scope for adventure sports and IMF is keen to be partner in exploring the scope which simultaneously would help tap the potentials of the local youths. Col. Chauhan, who has traversed across the state from Tuting to Bumla as an Army officer, advised the participants never to underestimate the mountains, nature and the weather and take precautions. Arunachal Mountaineering and Adventure Sports Association (AMASA) president Tsering Wange thanked the governor for his untiring assistance and encouragement in promoting adventure sports and mountaineering activities in the state. He informed that state’s Tourism Minister Pema Khandu and Sports Authority of Arunachal Pradesh chairman Tapak Toku have conveyed their best wishes to the team for a success. Secretary to Governor Ankur Garg, special secretary (Finance) Swati Sharma, SYA director D K Dinglow, state’s first Everester Tapi Mra and sports and youth affairs officials were also present.
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