A team of five mountaineers from Bengal is scheduled to scale Mount Ama Dablam next month. With the Nepal government opening the doors to mountaineers from other countries, this expedition is likely to be one of the first outside India after the pandemic broke out.
“We decided to give it a shot when the Nepal government started allowing mountaineers from October. All the explorers have seen Ama Dablam from the Everest base camp and appreciated its beauty. It is the most aesthetic mountain in the Himalayas. We thought of scaling it this time,” said Malay Mukherjee, who will go on the expedition along with Debashish Biswas, Satyarup Sidhanta, Rudra Prasad Halder and Kiran Patra.
“When we started talking to the Nepal government a few weeks back, they said we were the first ones to approach them post the pandemic,” Mukherjee said. Meanwhile, a team of climbers from Bahrain, led by Prince Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, has climbed Mount Manaslu.
Popularly known as the ‘Matterhorn of the Himalaya’, the 6,812m mountain has a usual ascent from the south-western ridge. The challenge starts from Camp I as narrow edges of granite ridge get quite technical for climbers. It becomes even tougher as climbers cross camps II and III. First climbed in 1961 by a team of four climbers, Ama Dablam has so far not been scaled by anyone from Bengal.
The team, which is gearing up for the climb after a gap of nearly 10 months, is scheduled to leave for Nepal in the first week of November. “There are restrictions in Nepal and they are asking for seven days’ quarantine now. But the Nepal government is likely to revisit the norms mid-October,” said Satyarup Sidhanta.
“Normally, the expedition takes 25 days, but we are trying to cut down on the duration depending on the weather. The biggest hindrance is finding a sponsor during the pandemic. Most of the companies have cut down their budget and it is tough to get a sponsor now,” said Sidhanta.