Recently, an all-women Naval mountaineers had a summit at Mount DeoTibbaon on 10 June 2018. This is the second time the Indian Navy mountaineers summit after the Mt. Everest summit in 2017. It also represents the strength of women in the Indian Armed Forces to conquer any difficult situation.
Mount DeoTibba is located in the Pir-Panjal range in Himachal Pradesh. It is the second highest peak with a height of 6001 metres after Indrasan peak (6221 metres). This is considered one of the most difficult peaks to climb. It has a very rough terrain including heavy snowfalls and whiteouts.
The 14 member expedition crew was led by Lt Cdr Kokila Sajwan. The other team members were Lt Cdr Seema Choudhury, Lt Cdr Nanadini Dam Roy, Lt Cdr Pooja Sharma, Lt Cdr Rekha Shree, Lt Cdr Pooja Sharma, Lt Cdr RashuTyagi, Lt ChammKumari, Lt Saino Wilson, Surg Lt Himwant Kaur, Lt Surabhi Sharma, Lt Srishti Thakur, Lt Vipasha Sharma and Lt Krithika Sharma.
The expedition was flagged off by Vice Admiral A K Chawla, AVSM, VSM, NSM who is the chief of personnel on 28 May 2018 from New Delhi. This expedition will open doors to scale more mountains and peaks and helps to provide a better opportunity to hone their mountaineering skills. It is to assure that women would excel in all fields including mountaineering.
The team started from Bara Hazari which is a road head to the base camp which is located at an altitude of 4250 meters from the valley. They trekked through Chikka and Seri. They further advanced to a higher base camp which is located at an altitude of 4700 meters. Finally, they reached the Summit which is located at an altitude of 5250 meters. After a strenuous 12 hours climbing, they reached the Summit on 10 June 2018 at 13:00 hours.
Reaching the Summit was not an easy task for the crew. They had to face hard terrains, steep climbs, wide crevasses, harsh and spine-chilling cold with heavy snowfall and whiteouts. Hanging glaciers and towering peaks were some other challenges faced by the crew.
This was the expedition after the announcement of scaling Mount Bhagirathi. It is a great honour and a golden feather for the Indian Navy’s great adventures. It will pave the way to conquer higher peaks of Mount Everest. Indian Navy is breaking the barriers for their women personnel by giving them full support to do every adventure as men do. The recent example of this is the voyage around the world by all women crew of Indian Navy. This is the perfect example that women soldiers are equally efficient and strong as their men counterparts. It is expected that the mountaineering crew will conquer much more tough terrains as they consider this as the first step. It also shows that women can handle situations in tough terrains and waiting for their role in combat in these regions.