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Mt Kanamo beckons 20 trek junkies

- Bachendri to lead team at one of the world’s highest villages

Jamshedpur, Aug. 2: A 20-member team of Tata Steel employees and youths from Kalinganagar in Odisha will be part of an expedition to Mt Kanamo in Himachal Pradesh.

The expedition team will be led by legendary climber and chief of Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) Bachendri Pal and include manager Hemant Gupta and an instructor.

The Kanamo peak, 19,566 ft above sea level, is located above Kibber, one of the world’s highest villages. The expedition will kick-off from Kibber.

Pal, a Padma Shri, said she was looking forward to the expedition and considered it as yet another challenge. “Yes, the trip is another challenge for me. We are all geared up for the expedition to Mt Kanamo,” she added. Pal, the first Indian woman to summit Mount Everest, is leaving on August 7 while the rest will head for New Delhi on August 9.

“Madam (Bachendri) will first go to Dehradun for picking up equipment before joining the team in Delhi on August 10,” said TSAF secretary P.P. Kapadia.

Shedding light on the itinerary, he said, the team would start from Kibber on August 16 and touch Kalka, Shimla, Kalpa and Kaza. The expected summit date is August 20.

“There will be two camps on way to the top,” Kapadia told The Telegraph.

The participants are in high spirits. “I am very excited and have already started preparations. I've bought a pair of climbing shoes. I have never been to any expedition. I want to see nature from close quarters,” said Deepak Kumar (33), an employee of Tata Steel's security department.

U. P. Singh (44) from the company's CRM (cold rolling mill), said he was a part of TSAF outdoor leadership course in 1989 and loved to trek. “I am looking forward to this exciting trip,” he added.

According to Kapadia, most team members were rookie climbers while some had taken part in TSAF’s outdoor leadership programmes conducted in Garhwal Himalayas. The team is also expected to spend sometime in Kibber, located at a height of 13,796 ft, about 18km away from Kaza (11,980 ft), the sub-divisional headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.

“Team members are learning about the lifestyle and culture of people living in one of world’s highest village,” the TSAF secretary added.

The expedition was originally scheduled for Kibber but was extended till Mt Kanamo.