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Mountaineers point out challenges after Uttarakhand tragedy

Death of 10 trekkers from Bengal in two accidents in Uttarakhand raises concerns in fraternity

Subhajoy Roy | Published 29.10.21, 08:12 AM


Mountaineers from Bengal said restrictions on using good communication devices is a major challenge faced in the Indian Himalayas.

The death of 10 trekkers from Bengal in two accidents in Uttarakhand has raised concerns over what could have gone wrong on their trips.


“A challenge in climbing the Indian Himalayas is unavailability of good communication devices. Satellite-based messaging devices used by most mountaineers while climbing major peaks in other countries are not allowed in India. The Inreach Delorme device that allows a climber to send messages is not allowed in our country because of security reasons,” said Satyarup Siddhanta, who climbed Everest in 2016.

This device can send the latitude and longitude and thus provide the exact location of the person in need of rescue.

Debraj Dutta, who has climbed Everest and is chairman of the east zone committee of Indian Mountaineering Foundation, the apex body for regulating mountaineering in the country, said BSNL has made a satellite-based phone that trekkers and mountaineers can use. “The device, however, does not share the latitude and longitude of the user,” he said.

The foundation is procuring 20 such phones. Trekkers and mountaineers can hire the devices.

Siddhanta and Dutta both stressed the need to invest in good equipment, including sleeping bags, feather jackets, tents and crampons.

While one group of victims had set out to trek from Harsil in Uttarakhand to Chitkul in Himachal Pradesh via the Lamakhaga pass (17,329ft), the other team had plans to reach the Kanakata pass (14,708ft) in Uttarakhand.

Last updated on 29.10.21, 08:12 AM

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