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Team Everest on Tibet route

Darjeeling, Dec. 31: A 20-member team of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute here will attempt to scale Mount Everest from the Tibet side next April.

“The expedition has been planned for two reasons,” said Vijay Singh, the institute’s principal and leader of the upcoming trip.

“We will not only relive the memories of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s ascent to the top of the world more than 50 years ago but also spread awareness about the need to keep the Himalayas clean.”

Team Everest hopes to make it to the summit, at 29,028 feet above mean sea level, in the second week of May, “provided the weather holds out”, said Singh.

The estimated cost of the entire trip is Rs 1.04 crore and Singh said: “Funds should not be a problem.”

“We have already held discussions with some of our prospective sponsors and they have shown a lot of enthusiasm in our venture,” he added.

Though most expeditions take the Nepal route, the institute’s team has laid out its summit strategy via Tibet.

“We have started the process of securing the permission from the authorities concerned. The way things are moving, we will soon complete the formalities,” said Singh.

“We will have to be at our fittest for the expedition to be successful,” Singh said.

As part of the acclimatisation programme, the team will leave for the Khoti Khang base camp, at 15,000 feet above sea level, in March.

“A rigorous training programme will prepare us for the daunting April enterprise,” said the head of the mountaineering school.

Singh also hoped that the team’s efforts would encourage young adventure lovers to take up mountaineering seriously.

The institute was set up in 1954 following Tenzing’s successful summit on May 29, 1953. Tenzing was appointed director of field training at the outset and he occupied that post till his death on May 9, 1986.

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