Jamshedpur, Oct. 5: The 2013 edition of Tata Steel Adventure Foundation’s all-women outdoor expedition, which was hanging in the balance owing to ace climber Bachendri Pal’s outdoor commitments, is back on track.
The Everester has managed to spare time for leading a 10-member team to a trek in Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, later this month.
Uncertainty had been looming on the Tata Steel-funded outing for quite some time as Pal had her hands full. Besides supervising relief operations in flood-hit Uttarakhand, the Tata Relief Committee team leader is also working on TSAF’s winter outdoor leadership programme in Garhwal Himalayas.
“I always had the Nepal expedition in mind. But, time was a binding factor. However, I have managed to steal time for a 20-day trek. While some team members have already confirmed participation, others are expected to do so soon,” Pal told The Telegraph.
Currently, the ace climber is supervising relief operations in Bhatwari block of Uttarkashi district and will reach Delhi on October 13 before flying to Kathmandu.
The trekkers will also assemble in Delhi.
“The expedition is challenging but we are experienced enough to pull it off. We’ll start the trek from Kathmandu a couple of days after our arrival. We will walk till Pokhara along the Annapurna Circuit, which also includes Thorang La Pass located at an altitude of 17769 ft,” Pal said.
Everester Premlata Agarwal, TSAF’s senior instructor L. Annapurna and city’s Payo Murmu have already confirmed participation.
TSAF staff are now busy finalising the remaining participants, some of whom are based in New Delhi, Bihar and Odisha. “Names of other team members will be confirmed within two-three days,” said TSAF secretary P. P. Kapadia.
This will be the eighth expedition in which Pal will lead daring belles. She had led an all-women expedition in Hardwar-Calcutta rafting expedition in 1994 and followed it up by an Arunachal Pradesh to Siachen trans-Himalayan trip in 1997.
After a gap of seven years, the women had set out for Mount Island Peak in 2004. Then from 2006 to 2008, the team went to Karakoram Pass-Stok Kangri, Thar Desert and Mount Kilimanjaro, respectively. The outdoor destination in 2011 was Snowman Trek in Bhutan in 2011.