MT Manda I Peak: a group of climbers make history and become the first Indian to climb the difficult route of Mount Manda

MUMBAI: Mountaineers in Pune climbed the 6,510-meter summit of Mount Manda-I in the Himalayas on a route considered very difficult, a member of the group said on Tuesday.

The team from “Giripremi”, a mountaineering club, achieved the feat on Saturday and became the first Indian to reach the top of the northern ridge, he said.

Overall, it was only the second successful ascent on this route, said Umesh Zirpe, club member and expedition mentor. A Japanese team had managed to reach the top by this route earlier.

“We also attempted this summit in 1989 and 1991, but we were unable to succeed. The unpredictable weather, steep climb, narrow ridge, possibility of rockfall and crevasses make climbing a challenge,” Zirpe told PTI over the phone.

Giripremi climbers have reached eight of the 14 peaks reaching over 8,000 meters in the past decade, he said. The last ascent, although at a lower elevation, was as difficult as that of Kanchenjunga or Everest, according to Zirpe.

Sumeet Mandale, Vivek Shivade and Pawan Hadole reached the summit on Saturday with their mountain guides Mingam Sherpa and Nim Dorje Sherpa.

The expedition was led by Anand Mali. The north ridge route is difficult as it has a narrow ledge ridge at the top with steep slopes down the valley, Giripremi said in a statement.

In many high altitude expeditions, the ropes are laid in advance by the guides. Here, the sherpas and climbers themselves “paved the way,” he said, adding that this was rare.

Nikunj Shah, 20, was the youngest member of the squad while Zirpe, 57, was the oldest.

Before attacking Manda, Team Giripremi also climbed nearby Mount Bhrigu Parvat at 6,041 meters on September 13. His climbers first climbed that peak three decades ago, he said.

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