Blind mountaineer to conquer Himalayan peak

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Jamshedpur, Sep 19 (UNI) A visually impaired Indian climber is going to scale 19100 feet in the Himalayas.

Forty-two-year old Atul Ranjan Sahay, an employee of the corporate services wing of Tata Steel, has already conquered 16000 ft high Himalayan peak of Aadi Kailash. He is all set to climb Mount Rudragaira in Garhwal region early next month, along with 18 other normal fellow climbers.

The expedition is being conducted by Tata Steel adventure foundation, headed by Bachhendri Pal, the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest.

Ms Pal told UNI today that she was confident about the success of the expedition.

''In my knowledge no other visually challenged Indian climber has scaled such a height. It will be a great job and Atul can do it,'' she said.

Mr Sahay, trained by Darjeeling based Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, said his climbing might create a record for amateur visually impaired category, but he was not thinking about it.

''I always like to prove the point that God has bestowed on us immense potential. Climbing peaks despite the disability of blindness gives me an opportunity to prove this,'' he said.

''By my prior experience I know that it is never easy to climb a Himalayan peak because of unpredictable weather conditions but then the power of human potential can be proved only on the threshold of human endurance. I am confident I will conquer the peak,'' said Mr Sahay, who started learning mountaineering in 1994.

He said the expedition was expected to be completed by October 10.

''Four days will be taken to reach the base camp from Gangotri.

The actual climbing will start thereafter,'' he added.

The climber said this would be a great learning opportunity for him.

''There will be minimum possible use of porters and each climber of the team would be assigned responsibilities to carry out various tasks. He would be responsible for preparing expedition report, its publication and media management. This will make me learn about the abstract concepts of leadership, team building, problem solving and effective communication,'' he said.

According to the Indian Mountaineering Foundation the highest peak scaled by a professional visually impaired Indian climber is 21363 ft high Stock Kangra in Himanchal Pradesh. The world record of a blind mountaineer is in the name of Erik Weihenmayer, who scaled Mount Everest on May 25,2001.

UNI RAJ PL SK KP1437

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