April 23, 2020
“She was so approachable! She sat with us and told us how to time our summit climb perfectly and what to watch out for on the terrain. That helped us enormously when we were climbing in adverse weather conditions!”
Perhaps a fleeting glimpse in an airport or on a street? A base camp on a mountain seems like the last place you’d bump into people – even more so, a legend. We were in for a complete surprise when we walked into our guest house at Kibber in Spiti Valley, for Kanamo trek!
The guest house owner, Dorje, had exciting news for us:
Bachendri Pal and her team were at Kanamo Base camp!
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Being the first Indian woman to scale Everest in 1984 and leading an all-woman team to Everest in 1985- Bachendri Pal, is a legend in mountaineering circles.
With not only Everest under her belt, she lead an all-women team down a Trans-Himalayan trek from Arunachal Pradesh to Indra Col – the northern most tip of India. This expedition covered 4,500 kilometres in 225 days and traversed more than 40 mountain passes!
She comes from a village in Uttarakhand called Nakuri. Fearlessly taking the road not taken, she chose to be a professional mountaineer instead of a school teacher.
After summiting a few smaller peaks, she was chosen to be part of India’s first mixed gender attempt to scale Mt Everest and that’s when she made history.
Ma’am made it a point to meet us the next day, before our summit climb, and even gave us some tips for the summit climb!
She told us that Kanamo Peak was non-technical but an endurance test. Which, in fact, it did turn out to be especially with the inclement weather we faced! Her words of encouragement and her gesture is what had kept us going at that time.
⛰ Full story pulished on Indiahikes website!
Other Kanamo experience that I had: read here!