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Too many takers for Himalayan trek

Headed to the Himalayas, thanks to Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF).

TSAF seems to have its hands full with over 700 adventure junkies registering for a trek to Sayari Top (12,000ft) in Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand, next summer.

Eighteen teams with at least 40 members each have booked the TSAF outdoor leadership course, forcing the adventure outfit to close registrations for the stint to be conducted from February 21 to June-end.

“Over 700 adventure buffs, including women, will be going to the Himalayas to undertake our programme. Requests are still pouring in, but we have stopped taking any more teams. We have our hands full and enrolling more groups will complicate matters,” TSAF secretary P.P. Kapadi said, adding separate schedules have been made for the adventure buffs.

According to him, two teams from Tata Steel Rural Development Society (Gopalpur, Odisha), two batches of Tata Steel geologists and three from the company’s technical and commercial wings will head for Uttarakhand.

These apart, a team each from the raw materials and wire division in Mumbai, Tata Steel employees and their family and Tinplate representatives have also registered for the jaunt.

But, apprentices and junior engineers of the steel major — a youthful crowd — form the bulk. They have as many as seven teams.

Another group from Rishta Project, a Tata Steel Family Initiative Foundation venture promoted by US-based Packard Foundation, is also heading for the Himalayas for the first time.

A TSAF official said each team would get 10 days training. “The groups will remain anchored at the new base camp at Kaflo, 5km from the Gangotri, for two days to get acclimatised. The remaining eight days will be spent trekking (up and down) the Sayari Top,” he said.

The official added there could be snowfall in February-March, which would add thrill.

“Our instructors are back to Jamshedpur after the winter outdoor leadership course in Uttarakhand. They joined others in the local outdoor leadership events at Tumung and Dimna Lake,” he added.