A team of six Indian Army mountaineers reached the summit of Mount Everest early on Thursday, led by seasoned climber Lt. Col. Ranveer Jamwal. The successful climb comes after two years of back-to-back disasters that forced mountaineers to stay off the peak.
Concurrently, another Army team led by Major Nooruddin Ahmed is attempting to summit Mount Lhotse, the fourth highest peak in the world.
“An Indian Army team led by Lieutenant Colonel Ranveer Jamwal has successfully summitted Mount Everest at 6:07 am on Thursday even though weather remained inclement,” an Army official said.
Five members of the team will be participating in the ‘Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon’, considered one of the toughest trail marathons in the world, on May 29 and the expedition team is scheduled to return to Delhi on June 10.
Lt. Col. Jamwal, son of a Havaldar, began his career in the army as a jawan in the Dogra regiment and made it to the Army Cadet College (ACC). He was commissioned as an officer in the Jat regiment. This is his third Everest expedition with the earlier ones in 2012 and 2013.
“He has the record of having led 17 people, including the six today, to the summit,” an official said.
The 30-member expedition team — comprising five officers, four Junior Commissioned Officers and 21 Other Ranks — was flagged off by the Vice Chief of Army Lt. Gen. MMS Rai in New Delhi on March 29, 2016.
This is the same team that was at the Everest Base Camp when an earthquake of 7.9 magnitude struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, causing widespread destruction and triggering massive avalanches on Everest.
The avalanche hit Mount Pumori destroying the camps of many expedition teams, killing 22 international climbers and local sherpas, and leaving over 70 injured, some of them critically.
The Indian Army team quickly regrouped and began helping in relief work. As various agencies gradually moved their mountaineers down, the Indian Army team was among the last to leave Everest Base Camp, an official said.