As new records begin to be written on Mt Everest, a 25-year-old
woman from India's Arunachal Pradesh state has become the first
Indian to peak the world highest mountain this spring. She has
also achieved the feat of becoming the first woman climber from
India's northeast region.
Tine Mena, who comes from Roing, a remote village in the Indian
state, stood on the top of the world at 11 a.m. Monday. However,
due to communication trouble, the news of her ascent was not
confirmed till Wednesday, said Nabin Trital, executive manager of
Explore Himalaya, the Kathmandu-based mountaineering agency that
facilitated Tine Mena's climb by finding her expedition partners
so that the high climbing permit fee could be shared.
"She is elated and hopes to return to Kathmandu this week," said
Chhiring Dorjee Sherpa, the base camp manager as the climber began
her descent Wednesday.
A second woman from Arunachal Pradesh, 32-year-old Anshu Jamsenpa,
is also attempting the summit as part of a different expedition.
Tine Mena said her summiting was intended to raise awareness about
climbing and adventure sports among the youth in Arunachal, which
though a mountain state, had little public knowledge of or
exposure to adventure sports.
She was selected by Arunachal's Sports Directorate after she
showed climbing potential during a trekking expedition to the
Indo-China border and was sent to the Himalayan Mountaineering
Institute in Darjeeling to undergo a mountaineering course.
Two years ago, the state government of Arunachal Pradesh had also
assisted the expedition of male climber Tapi Mra, who became the
first climber from the state to summit Mt Everest.
This season, a record 31 men and women from India are attempting
to tame Mt Everest.
Besides a 14-member Indian Air Force expedition dominated by
women, there are 17 individuals, including the husband and wife
duo of Vikash and Sushma Kaushik, who would become the first
Indian couple to reach the summit if they succeed.
The mountain has already claimed two lives: Rick Hitch, a
55-year-old American,and Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay, 82, a former
foreign minister of Nepal.
On the sunny side, this season saw Nepali climbing legend Apa
Sherpa break his own record of having summited Mt Everest the
highest number of times to reach the top Wednesday for his 21st
(Sudeshna Sarkar can
be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)