Arunachal’s mountaineer returns home to a hero’s welcome

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Itanagar. May 10: After the devastating earthquake that shook Nepal, almost 18 mountaineers who were on the ‘Everest Again’ expedition lost their lives with hundreds of others who were severely injured. 

Amongst them was Arunachal's ace mountaineer and pride of India Anshu Jamsenpa, who survived avalanches triggered by the devastating earthquake during her Everest expedition last month, returned home to a hero’s welcome at Delhi International Airport by Arunachal Resident Commissioner V Abhraham, DRC KN Damo, protocol officials, friends and well wishers.
During the official reception organized at the VIP lounge, the Resident Commissioner lauded her courage and bravery and termed her safe return fighting against all odds as nothing less than a miracle. “Anshu is pride of India”, he said.

He also appreciated her grit, courage and the hard work rendered in clearing debris and helping the injured fellow mountaineers. The DRC had earlier climbed Mt. Gorichen with Anshu.

Speaking to the media, Anshu narrated about her ‘Everest Again’ expedition which was flagged off by Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju at Itanagar on April on 7 and by Ranjit Rae, the Ambassador of India in Kathmandu during her final leg on April 14. She was attempting her double ascent of the world’s highest mountain peak, news agency The Arunachal Times reported.

Narrating her experience, Anshu said, “On April 25, me along with co-climbers were trekking some 500 mtrs below Everest Base Camp (EBC) when the earthquake occurred triggering a massive avalanche in the Everest region. Our Everest Base Camp was totally damaged and destroyed with debris strewn all over. The EBC looked like the Khumbu Icefall and was transformed into a series of death traps that few expert climbers would dare to climb”. To continue with the expedition would have been very risky, even suicidal, she said.

The tragic avalanche that killed 18 mountaineers and injured hundred others at the EBC was nothing compared to what was devastated in Kathmandu and elsewhere in Nepal, this I came to know only later on, stated Anshu.

Emergency teams using helicopters evacuated the most seriously injured from the base camp, while scores trapped higher up the Everest were also rescued, she said.

She went on to say, “On April 30, Tulsi Gautam, Director General of Nepal Tourism advised me and other climbers not to abandon the expedition saying that repairing works were underway and Everest expedition would be allowed to continue. However, Ang Dorjee Sherpa, Chairman of Sagarmata Pollution Control Board (SPCC) announced the closure of the treacherous Khumbu route for the season on the advice of icefall doctors”.

Following the SPCC’s decision, the Everest expedition that was hampered by deadly avalanche last year, has now been closed for the second consecutive year. With the shutting down of Everest for the season, Anshu and all other mountaineers, who needed no chopper rescue started their return journey with whatever was left of the expedition.

Anshu was the only mountaineer, who had been granted dual permit by Nepal Government to enable her double ascend attempt to create a world record for India.

CS Chalam of CCMPL and Satish Kataria, Managing Director of Catapooolt also acknowledged and saluted the exemplary courage shown by Anshu during the time of distress and reaffirmed their all possible support to her endeavor. Tsering Wange, President of Arunachal Mountaineering & Adventure Sports Association stated that scores of messages from different parts of India and abroad kept pouring in seeking information and updates about Anshu’s health and safety.

On behalf of Anshu and the team, the AMSA president thanked the MoS Home, Raj Bhawan, Itanagar, sponsors, well-wishers, friends and relatives, who kept her spirit high during her trying times.

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