Bachendri sibling targets Everest

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By JAYESH THAKER
  • Published 12.03.12
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The sister did it with elan and the brother is eyeing a similar peak with confidence.

Rajendra Singh Pal, brother of ace climber Bachendri Pal, will attempt to scale Mount Everest later this month. Having failed to summit in 2001, Pal is least inclined to let the opportunity go a begging this time.

The 52-year-old will have for company Meghlal Mahto and Binita Soren and the three are being sponsored by Tata Steel. They will leave Jamshedpur for Kathmandu, one of the gateways to Everest, later this month.

“Well, this is the second opportunity for me to annex Mt Everest. I was part of the Millennium Everest Expedition team led by Santosh Yadav. We managed to reach 23,000 ft before avalanches did us in and we had to return to the base camp. I was very disappointed then,” said Pal, manager, adventure programmes, Tata Steel.

Thanking Tata Steel for sponsoring the trip, Pal told The Telegraph he was always inspired by his elder sister Bachendri. “She (Bachendri) is the guiding force behind my career as a mountaineer. I have drawn a lot of inspiration from her,” he added.

The stout climber is already in tune with the task ahead. Training and guiding participants of Tata Steel Adventure Foundation’s (TSAF) outdoor leadership programmes in the Garhwal Himalayas has kept Pal in fine fettle. “I find myself in a nice groove. The task is challenging but I would be able to overcome it with my experience,” Pal said.

A veteran mountaineer, Pal has done both basic and advanced mountaineering course from Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (Darjeeling) and Indian Western Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (Manali) respectively with A grade in 1987. He also successfully completed basic skiing and mountaineering course under Indian Institute of Mountaineering (Gulmarg) the same year.

Pal also underwent method of instruction course from Western Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (Manali) in 1988 and a search and rescue course at Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (Uttarkashi) in 2000.

The highly experienced Pal has also reached some major peaks during his career spanning 25 years. He was part of the TSAF team which scaled Black Peak (21,000ft) in 1991, Mt Sri Kailash (22,744ft) and Mt Sudarshan (21,500ft) in 2000. He missed the peak of Mt Kamet (25,447ft) by a whisker in 1989. Paul managed to make it till 23,500ft.

TSAF is also confidant that Pal, Binita and Meghlal will come back with success. “Pal is one of the most sincere, dedicated, disciplined, reliable and capable officer in the adventure programmes department. As a mountaineer, he is technically very sound. His knowledge about climbing and mountaineering is also very sound,” said foundation secretary P.P. Kapadia.

Meghlal and Binita had last month accompanied Everester Premlata Agarwal to Mt Aconcagua.