ITBP team scales Mt Everest; begins world record ski down

ITBP team scales Mt Everest; begins world record ski down

 A six-member team of the paramilitary ITBP today scaled the world's tallest peak Mount Everest, as part of their record making feat to ski down the summit from the Chinese side.

The squad, which was flagged off from the national capital on April 6 by Delhi Lt Governor Tejinder Khanna, reached the summit at 0830 IST today and unfurled the tri-colour to mark the event.

"The six-member squad will now begin the ski down from the Chinese side, which the force is attempting this time as part of its golden jubilee celebrations," Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) spokesperson Deepak Pandey said.

ITBP chief Ranjit Sinha talked to the successful mountaineers through a satellite phone just after they climbed the peak.

The team was led by Second-in-Command Ratan Singh Sonal while the other members of the successful squad are troopers Pradeep Kumar Negi, Pasing Sherpa, Devendra Singh, Birendra Singh and Kishore Prasad Gurung.

Lt Governor Khanna, meanwhile, also sent in his felicitations to ITBP Director General Sinha.

The 23-member ITBP team was flagged off for the mountaineering and ski expedition to Mount Everest from the Chinese side, considered tougher than the more-frequently taken route through Nepal.

If the paramilitary team successfully skies down from the 8,848-metre peak somewhere later this month, it would become the first Indian expedition team to do so.

The ITBP, a border guarding force along the 3,488-km long Sino-Indian frontier, has scaled the Everest three times earlier but this is the first time they are skiing down from the Chinese side to create a world record.

More than 15 attempts to ski down the Everest from the Chinese side have failed in the past owing to various reasons and in order to keep a record of this expedition, the ITBP team would be wearing camera-mounted helmets specially procured from Japan.

The second batch of the 23-member ITBP team will soon begin to climb the summit.

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