Mountaineers’ passion to reach new high

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MOUBangalore, June 19;As the world continues to celebrate 60 years of the successful ascent of Mt. Everest by Tensing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, a team from Bangalore is headed to Europe to climb Mt. Elbrus, the highest in the Caucasus, Russia.

Mt. Elbrus in the Caucasus range peaks at 5,642 metres (18,510 ft) and is one of the Seven Summits — the seven highest peaks in seven continents. Though some have scaled it in the past, they were part of Russian expeditions. This 12-member team, leaving Bangalore on June 20, will be the first all-Indian team set to climb Mt. Elbrus.

Seven peaks on the list

Bangalore Mountaineering Club (BMC) founder and organiser Neeraj Malve said the climb is second on the list of seven peaks, after their trip last year to Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. The next expedition is likely to be Mt. Aconcagua in South America, followed by Mt. Denali in North America.

“The team hopes to climb the highest summit in each continent, culminating in an Everest expedition in 2015. It will end with Everest as it is the hardest and most expensive at over Rs. 30 lakh per person. The team will build up mental and physical strength through each summit to prepare ourselves for the finale.”

Team member Priya Radhakrishnan, project manager at Ericsson, said: “The team is motivated and we are all excited [about] the journey.”

Shared interests

The team of 12, five of them women, is in the age group 28 to 56. While Kittane Ramdas Manmohan is the oldest, Manning Christopher James is the youngest.

Susmita Maskey, who has scaled Everest twice, and Suchithra Acharya, who has been to the Everest Base Camp, are part of the team led by Satyarup Siddhanta, who has climbed numerous peaks including Mt. Meru and to the Everest Base Camp.

He is also a certified mountaineer from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling.

Mr. Malve founded the Bangalore Mountaineering Club in 2004 to bring together people with an interest in adventure sports and provide a forum for mountaineers to pursue new

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