Two youngsters, Binita Soren and Sheela Rani Mahto from Jharkhand have become the first women mountaineers to climb the Mount Saser Kangri IV, located in the Eastern Karakoram Range of Himalayas in Ladakh. And both women were joined by another young Jharkhandi man, Meghlal Mahto at the Mt. Saser Kangri; with their inspiring efforts all three of them have etched their names in the mountaineering folklores. Only a couple of months ago, we had a house-wife from Jamshedpur, Premlata Agrawal conquering the Mount Everest; really these are great achievements for the brave mountaineers of our state.
Mt. Saser Kangri, at the height of 24331 ft., is the highest peak of the Eastern Karakoram Range. Among the mountaineering fraternity, it is considered one of the toughest peaks in India, to be conquered. If one has to take into account, its avalanche ridden mountain range, its closeness to the dangerous military zone Siachen Glaciers, its extremely inhospitable terrain and not to forget the proximity to the Chinese border; only then one could imagine the kind of mountaineering challenges that it offers. Needless to mention that considering these challenges, up till now only four expeditions have been recorded for the peak, and of these four only one has been the Indian civilian expedition, also the present expedition was the only the second Civilian Expedition.
In this civilian expedition sponsored by Tata Steel Foundation and organised by Mumbai-headquartered Himalayan Club between July 10 to August 21; out of the four ascents recorded so far, all three brave Jharkhandis scaled and triumphed over the highest peak on August 8.
- Binita Soren, a 24 years old, belonging to Village Kesorsora, Block Rajnagar; District Saraikela-Kharsawan. She has earlier completed Basic and Advance Mountaineering Courses with A Grade. She was part of Karakoram 18381 ft. Expedition and climbed Mt. Stok Kangri 20305 ft. under legendary Bachendari Pal in 2009. A graduate from Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial College in Karandih, she comes from a family of farmers. In fact, Binita became the second adivasi girl from Singhbhum Region to complete the Mountaineering Course from the prestigious Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), Darjeeling; earlier in 2004, Anita Soren from the same village was the first girl to complete said rigorous training course. She had also completed a basic course from Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi in 2005.
- Sheela Rani Mahto, 18 years old, from Village Tumung, Block Rajnagar, District Saraikela-Kharsawan. She has completed her Basic Mountaineering Course with A Grade and she too climbed Mt. Stok Kangri in the same expedition.
- Meghlal Mahato, 29 years old, from Village Pahapur, Block Rajnagar, District Saraikela-Kharsawan. He has done Basic and Advance Mountaineering Courses with A Grade and also climbed Mt. Stok Kangri in the same expedition. One can not take away the achievement of Meghlal, whose efforts too would inspire many youngsters.
Their expedition was under taken under the extreme bad weather and heavy snow fall, and the combination of all the above mentioned factors only make their achievements much more sweeter; only that is to be feted and admired by all of us. Well done, the Jharkhandi troika, we all are proud of you.
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