New Delhi: Border guarding force ITBP has created a record by accomplishing 200 successful mountaineering expeditions on various Indian peaks and the world’s tallest, the Mount Everest, since it was raised in 1962.
The force, which is tasked with manning the 3,488-km long India-China border, hit the unique figure in the last week of September after a special climbers’ team conquered Mt Kakstet in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.
The mountain-trained force had begun mountaineering expeditions in 1970 and since has been sending teams for these adventure sports every year.
Due to its high-altitude deployment along the China border, the force has traditionally been trained for such exercises and has a special training school in Auli in Uttarakhand for this specific purpose.
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) teams, an official spokesperson said, apart from putting its flag half-a-dozen times on the Mt Everest in the Himalayan ranges, have climbed formidable peaks of Kamet, Kanchenjunga, Panchachuli, Nanda Devi, Shivling, Chaukhambha, Saser Kangri and Mount Gya over these years.
“This is a rare feat achieved by any force or adventure sports unit in the country. The force has recorded 200 summits across difficult mountain peaks in border Himalayan states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh,” the spokesperson said.
In view of the achievements in the field of mountaineering, six ITBP mountaineers have been awarded with Padma Shri while ten mountaineers have been awarded with Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award.
The spokesperson said ITBP mountaineering expedition teams are given rigorous physical training and extensively skilled on all technical aspects required to tackle difficulties while ascending through glacial fields, knife-edge icy ridges, rocky spires that climbers have to negotiate on way to higher altitude camps and summits.
The about 50,000-personnel strong force has its border posts located on altitudes ranging from 9,000 and 18,700 ft.
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