The Indian Army has always been upbeat about adventure activities. In keeping with its fine traditions, the Blazing Sword Division’s General Officer Commanding on Wednesday flagged off a mountaineering expedition from Chuna here to Mt Gorichen, one of the highest mountains in Eastern Himalaya located in Arunachal Pradesh, at an altitude of 2,1450 feet above the mean sea level.
It is one of the difficult peaks of the Himalayas to climb owing to its difficult terrain, rock faces, avalanche-prone zones, ice-walls and intricate technicality involved in reaching the summit. In Arunachal and also in Eastern Himalayas, it is second only to Mt Kangto.
The team of 23 members is led by Lt Col Munish Bhardwaj of Indian Army’s Blazing Sword Division, an avid mountaineer who has been part of previous expeditions to Macholi in Jammu and Kashmir in 2003 and Mt BhagirathII in Uttarakhand in 2010.
The team has been through intense and arduous selection process and is a band of highly trained mountaineers from Blazing Sword Division. The team is further assisted by technical experts from Army Adventure Wing and National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (NIMAS), Dirang.
The team flagged off from Chuna, will embark on a challenging expedition route to Jithang, Merathang and Chokarsham. It has plans to set up base camp at Chokarsham at an altitude of 16,500 feet and two camps North of Chokarsham in the glaciated area before planning to summit Mt Gorichen Main at an altitude of 21,410 feet on September 18 or 19, depending upon the weather conditions.
Adventure sports in the Army has been one of the foundations of a soldier’s basic curriculum for time immemorial. The expedition to Mt Gorichen provides an opportunity to train and exercise soldiers in extreme conditions, thus testing their physical and mental robustness to its optimum level and preparing them to face similar challenges in case of any future conflict.
The expedition will also prove to beam inspiration for future mountaineering expeditions to various untravelled peaks in the Himalayas.