As I was looking for something of interest to read through on the net, I stumbled upon this personal account of a photographer going on an expedition to Himalayas, I found it particularly worth sharing and so here are some experiences shared by the photographer from his journey.
About 60 years have passed since Tenzing Norgay, the Sherpa guide, and Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand had set their foot on the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest this month.
Yet decades later, the enthusiasm in mountaineers to conquer the gleaming white peak is too strong to make them overshadow the risk involved in trekking to base camp. Mountaineers have to go through crossing the infamous Khumbu icefall and set-up as many as four camps before even embarking on a journey to climb the 8,848-meter (29,028-feet) summit.
Percy Fernandez was chosen as the expedition photographer to accompany nine other cadets as part of the National Cadet Corps Everest Expedition organized by the Indian government for “promoting the spirit of adventure among the youth,”.
In order to train for the climb Percy undergone a two months rigorous mountaineering program at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand state. As part of the training they also participated in expeditions to Deo Tibba, a 6,001-meter peak in Himachal Pradesh, and Kamet in Uttarakhand, which stands 7,756 meters above sea level.
The nine cadets’ team also underwent winter training for getting acclimatized to the freezing temperatures dropping as low as minus-32 degrees Celsius (minus-25.6 F) at the Siachen Glacier, before heading on the expedition on April 9.
After receiving all the necessary training required for tackling the challenges of this expedition, a 14-member climbing team, led by Colonel Satish Sharma of the Indian Army. The team also comprised of four other experienced officers from the Indian Armed Forces who had been to the Everest before and have successfully climbed some of the most challenging Indian peaks.
The climbing team starts their journey with walking gradually from Bhandar in Nepal on the same route used by Mr. Hillary and Mr. Norgay to reach the Everest base camp, helping them acclimatize.
Once the team set-up at base camp, they went up to the Khumbu icefall (between 5,400 and 5,800 meters) twice, slept at Camp II (6,350 meters) for a couple of days, reached Camp III (7,000 meters) before returning to base camp for the summit expedition. Camps were set up at these heights during individual expeditions, leading them to properly acclimatize with their environment.
One climbing teams including seven members reached the summit at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday with the second team reaching it the next day at 6:30 a.m. local time.
You can also go through a series of photos that have been sent by Percy Fernandez from the Khumbu Glacier at base camp.
Source: NY times