Payo, Hemant face wind hurdle

Weather permitting, steel city duo eye Saturday summit

By Our Correspondent
  • Published 26.05.17
Payo Murmu and Hemant Gupta at an Everest camp. Telegraph picture

Bad weather seems to have disrupted Jamshedpur climbers Hemant Gupta and Payo Murmu's plans to climb Mount Everest, albeit temporarily.

The Jamshedpur climbers had reached camp 4 (26,085ft) on Wednesday and were scheduled to push for the summit in the morning on Thursday. However, strong winds and heavy snowfall forced them to return to camp 2 (21,000 ft).

According to Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF), which is keeping tabs on their progress, the climbers decided to descend after the weather showed a slight improvement.

"Hemant (26) and Payo (51) are presently anchored at camp 3 (23,625ft) and depending upon weather conditions, were expected to leave for camp 4 Friday morning," TSAF manager Pranav Mamgain said, adding that as per the new schedule, the duo were likely to summit on May 27.

According to information from Kathmandu-based Asian Trekking Agency, which is conducting the Everest expedition, Hemant reached camp 3 first on Thursday and Payo followed him after an hour.

"Both are safe at camp 3," Mamgain said, adding that he weather had somewhat improved although it was too early to predict an exact summit date.

Payo, who has a slow climbing speed and wasn't supposed to partner Hemant but trek separately, had improved her climb.

"She (Payo) did not keep pace with Hemant when both left for camp 2 (after descending from camp 4 on Wednesday). But now she is reported to have improved her speed," Mamgain added.

Both climbers left together (from the 17,600ft base camp) on May 18 after Asian Trekking Agency arranged an extra oxygen cylinder for Payo.

Earlier, they went through light acclimatisation drills till April 18. From April 18 to May 5, the acclimatization drill was upgraded to gruelling.

Hemant, who is from Kota in Rajasthan, and Payo who lives in New Baridih in the steel city, were allowed to attempt Everest for the second time after their families gave consent to TSAF.