IAF flags in Bhagirathi II mountaineering team

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New Delhi, Oct 25 (ANI) : Director General (Administration) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Marshal Naresh Verma flagged in the Air Force Mountaineering Expedition to Mt. Bhagirathi-II here on Sunday.

The expedition was organized as a part of the IAF's plan to train women air warriors mountaineering team for Mt. Everest expedition to be conducted in 2011.

This was the second expedition for the IAF women team after Mt. Stok Kangri (6153metres) carried out successfully in August.

On October 14, the five member team led by Wing Commander Bhavna Mehra successfully summitted Mt. Bhagirathi-II located at a height of 6512 metres in the Gangotri region of Uttarakhand.

The five brave air warriors who climbed the peak were Flight Lieutenant Lalita Mishra, Flight Lieutenant Punita Aswal, Master Warrant Officer Nizzamuddin, Junior Warrant Officer Suresh Pal and Corporal DK Vyas.

According to the IAF, on October 3 the team acclimatized in the area at a rapid rate and proceeded to set up their base camp at Upper Nandanvan, negotiating the treacherous terrain of Gangotri Glacier.

The team was welcomed with a spell of heavy snowfall on reaching the abode of Gods. At the first sight of the clear skies after two days, the team set out to open the route and establish higher camps.

Camp-I was set up at the height of 5060meters. For the summit camp the team could somehow put up three small tents in a precarious position on a steep slope October 9.

Next few days saw the real toil when the lead climbers of the team with two sherpas took turns to secure the route to summit by fixing ropes.

On October 13, the first summit party took their position for the final climb and in the wee hours of October 14 saw the team commence its climb in the area with the icy cold temperatures of less than -10 degree Celsius.

After a marathon effort of about 10 hrs of continuous climb over steep slopes of snow and ice with a dangererous loose rocks looming large, and ready to fall the team was poised at the summit with the tri-color and the IAF flag. (ANI)

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