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City climbers to scale rare peaks

Five mountaineers from the city will soon head for two rarely climbed peaks in the Himalayas as part of expeditions by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF).

The foundation is the umbrella body for trekking and mountaineering in India and selects members for its expeditions from across the country.

Goutam Ghosh of Calcutta police, Debraj Dutta, Gautam Saha and Subrata Chakraborty of Himalayan Club and Prosenjit Samanta of Parvat Abhiyatri Sangha have made the cut to climb Indrasan (6,221m), in Himachal Pradesh, and Mt Changuch (6,322m), in Garhwal, in September.

While Samanta, Saha and Dutta will try to scale Indrasan, Ghosh has been selected deputy leader of the Changuch expedition, of which Chakraborty will also be a part.

The last successful foreign attempt on Indrasan was in 1961. Krishnagar Mountaineering Association recently claimed to have climbed the peak. Changuch has also been rarely attempted and is called a “virgin peak”.

“We have selected technically difficult peaks this year,” says P.C.S. Rautela, the honorary secretary of the IMF. “We get the highest number of climbers from Calcutta and other parts of West Bengal.”

Selection is on the basis of applications received by the body. “We shortlist about 20 names from which the leader of the expedition prepares the final team,” adds Rautela.

Mounting an expedition is the result of months of planning and study. But Dutta came to know about his selection only on August 8.

“I was asked to report in Delhi on August 29. There was barely time to go through old climbing reports and maps,” he said. He still does not know the route the team will be taking and who the other team-members are.

Rautela says the letters are supposed to be sent two months in advance but there are delays because of “late cancellation, though it is not intentional”.

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