Scaling adventurous heights

Brave Woman


Vasumathi is one of those rare ones to have scaled the heights of the Siachen Glacier, an army restricted area. "I didn't want to come back. The mountains kept beckoning me and I am just rearing to get back among them," she told Metrolife.

Vasumathi was in Siachen as part of an Indian Mountaineering Foundation expedition.  She, along with 23 others, were taken on the special tour by the Indian Army. "The Siachen glacier has shrunk about three kilometres thanks to global warming. This area is being touted as a tourist hot spot," observes Vasumathi.

Mountaineering is fast becoming a popular sport world over. Sport wall demos, as a sport, are catching the fancy of a lot of young people. "Everybody is adventurous at heart, it's just that you have to tap those resources and encourage others to do the same," says Vasumathi, who has inspired people, both young and old, to go to the mountains.

Vasumathi's Siachen glacier expedition took her to a pass between the Salthore range and Karakoram range. Well-geared in scarpa boots and crapons, protective gears, the team was rigorously trained on ice for seven days before they took off on the expedition from Khardungla pass (the highest motorable pass in the world). "It is a motorable pass.

So first we went by car and then walked it. I did come down with a couple of bruises but all those were worth the experience," she says.  In all Vasumathi climbed fifteen thousand and half feet and traversed 122 km on foot, from one base camp to another in eight days.

The team was accompanied by infantry troops and sherpas who were expert cooks. The army provided them with oxygen cylinders and some excellent equipment.  If she is not climbing mountains, Vasumathi is busy keeping herself fit. She plays squash, sweats it out at the gym and rounds up her exercise with a brisk walk in the morning.  

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