Dipankar Ghosh. Picture by Anup Bhattacharya
For an avid mountaineer, the call of the mountains is hard to resist. So Dipankar Ghosh finds himself back in the mountains every year to scale new heights. After conquering Everest and Lhotse, Dipankar has now set his eyes on Mount Makalu in Nepal, the fifth highest peak in the world. He will be leading a team from Bally Bhagirathi Mountaineering Club, scaling hitherto unchartered peaks.
“No civilian has ever climbed this peak before. In 2009, members of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute had climbed this peak. My expedition will be the first Indian civilian expedition,” he said.
Dipankar’s passion for climbing peaks has taken him to numerous expeditions. In his 23 years of mountaineering, he has been to 39 expeditions, of which he has scaled 27 summits. “My family travelled a lot and every year we went to places like Kedarnath and Badrinath. I started to take a liking for the mountains from these trips,” said Dipankar. A neighbour, Samar Maira, who was a mountaineer, inspired Dipankar to take classes in rock climbing. After trying out an introductory course in rock climbing at Susunia in Bankura, Dipankar decided to join Bhadrakali Padatik, a mountaineering club, and did a basic mountaineering course from the Western Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Manali. In 1994, Dipankar completed the advanced mountaineering course from Jahar Institute of Mountaineering in Jammu and Kashmir. He also learned how to become a trainer from Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling. Finally, in 1997, Dipankar learnt how to search and rescue people from the mountains from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering.
While training, Dipankar went for his expeditions. His first one was to Tent peak in the Kumaun Himalayan range, which was unsuccessful. But success stories followed soon. Dipankar and Rajiv Bhattacharya reached the summit of Everest in 2011 and of Lhotse in 2012. “Everest is still a known peak for many mountaineers but it is mountains like Lhotse and Makalu that are more challenging because they are not frequently visited,” said Dipankar.
While he dreams to reach the Makalu summit of 8,462 mts, Dipankar is busy arranging for funds. The cost per person for this expedition is Rs 8,75,000. He runs a business but that cannot fund his adventures. “It is unfortunate that mountaineering in West Bengal still does not attract sponsors,” he said. Dipankar thanks his circle of friends, who help him out when he needs to go for expeditions. “It is the mental zeal that forces me to go for an expedition every year and I get a lot of support from my friends,” he said. Physical fitness is also necessary and for that Dipankar practices for nearly three hours every day. “I jog, do weight training and also gym six days a week. From October to April we do not go for expeditions which is why its important to keep myself fit,” said Dipankar.
Apart from mountaineering, Dipankar has a passion for photography, which is why he carries five cameras with him during expeditions. “I often take risks on the mountain cliffs just to get a good shot. Once I nearly fell off a ledge when a sheet of ice broke while taking a photograph,” he said. His photographs have won prizes at salons and competitions across India.
More about Dipankar
- DoB: August 15, 1965
- Born in: Howrah
- Education: B Sc
- Family: Joint family
- Loves: Photography
- Hates: Nothing in particular