Pune group writes history, successfully climbs Mt Manda-1 for the first time

The 6,510 metre-tall (21,358 feet) mountain is located in Garhwal Himalayas in the Uttarakhand state
Last Updated 21 September 2021, 12:22 IST

A new chapter in the history of Indian mountaineering was written after a team from Pune-based mountaineering and adventure club Giripremi scaled Mt. Manda-1 for the first time on September 18, one of the most technically-challenging peaks in the Himalayas.

The 6,510 metre (21,358 feet) tall mountain is located in Garhwal Himalayas in the Uttarakhand state.

Giripremi’s Sumeet Mandale, Vivek Shivade and Pawan Hadole along with Mingam Sherpa and Nim Dorje Sherpa scaled Mt. Manda-1 mentored by veteran mountaineer Umesh Zirpe and led by Anand Mali.

"It was the first-ever successful expedition on Mt Manda-1 from India and only second successful expedition after the Japanese expedition in 1984 from the North Ridge Route," Zirpe told DH over the phone from Uttarakhand on Tuesday.

Mt Manda-1 is one of the three peaks of the Manda group located in Kedar Ganga Valley. It has witnessed seldom climbing expeditions. Giripremi teams had tried climbing the mountain in 1989 and 1991 but couldn’t reach the summit.

“In 1989, I led the unsuccessful expedition to Mt Manda-1 and was part of another unsuccessful attempt in 1991. I understand the challenges Mt. Manda-1 possesses. In my opinion, Mt. Manda-1 is as challenging as Mt. Everest or Mt. Kanchenjunga. The unpredictable weather, steep climb, narrow ridge, the uncertainty of rock falls, ice falls and crevices make the climb difficult," said Zirpe.

After a long wait of 32 years, Giripremi’s younger generation of mountaineers managed to scale the mountain with a steep climb of 70 to 80 degrees above the altitude of 5,000 meters altitude.

Interestingly, the climbers also did route opening and rope fixing along with Sherpas. This is a rare site in the current trend of commercial and guided mountaineering expeditions. Along with Mt. Manda-1, Giripremi’s team consisting of Anand Mali, Varun Bhagwat, Ruturaj Agawane, Ankit Sohoni and Rohan Desai climbed Mt. Bhrigu Parvat (6041 metres) on September 13. Coincidently, the first successful ascent on Bhrigu Parvat was also by Giripremi's team 30 years ago. Both the expeditions were successful due to the exceptional logistic support provided by White Magic Ltd.

(Published 21 September 2021, 12:22 IST)

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