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Everest, not too far away

- Duo head for Island Peak

Ace mountaineer Susen Mahto and amputee climber Arunima Sinha are gradually inching towards Mt Everest.

After an arduous trek and acclimatisation at various points, the duo were on their way to scale Island Peak at 20,070ft on Monday.

“Susen called me Monday morning to tell me that they have started to proceed towards Island Peak. They are expected to reach the summit by Thursday,” said Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) secretary P.P. Kapadia, adding that both were in fine fettle and confident of the task at hand.

“The trek to Island Peak base camp at 16,728 ft started on April 7 and the team reached the destination the same day,” said the secretary, adding that Mahto sounded excited while giving the feedback of their progress.

The team will take the same old route from Island Peak to reach the Everest base camp at 17,652 ft. Depending upon the weather, Susen and Arunima are expected to reach the apex on April 28, informed Kapadia.

“Arunima is facing no inconvenience as she had been thoroughly trained by Bachendri Pal. Susen, on the other hand, is experienced and has already scaled various peaks during his stint as a TSAF instructor,” Kapadia told The Telegraph, adding that he was keeping a tab on the progress of the climbers.

Uttar Pradesh girl Arunima, a national-level volleyball player who was thrown out of a train in Bareilly in April 2011, had to get her left leg amputated at Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University in Lucknow.

Getting used to her artificial limb took time, but she learnt to dream big. She was under the wings of legendary climber Pal for a year and got trained at Garhwal Himalayas.

Premlata Agarwal, Meghlal Murmu, Rajender Singh Pal and Binita Soren are climbers from Jharkhand who have already scaled the world’s highest peak. If successful, Arunima will be the first Indian woman amputee to scale Mount Everest.


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