Kathmandu, March 30
With the world climbers heading towards Mt Everest region to begin this season’s climbing activities, more than 60 army personnel from different countries have set their sights on the top of the world.
Army personnel from the United Arab Emirates and India have already applied at the Department of Tourism for climbing permits to attempt to climb Mt Everest, according to the organisers of the expeditions.
The main attraction on Mt Everest will be a 15-member team of the UAE-based armed forces. “The team led by John Doyle will have 12 members from UAE as it aims to be the first UAE team on Mt Everest.” Earlier in 2011, Saeed Al Memari became the first Emirati to successfully summit Mt Everest.
The team under the Armed Force Everest Expedition-2016 also plans to hoist the nation’s flag on the summit to mark the 40th anniversary of the unification of their services, according to Himalayan Holidays Trekking, a local organiser of the expedition. “Apart from Mt Everest, a three-member team led by Mohammed Saeed Mohammed Alyah Alnaqbi also plans to summit Mt Nuptse.” The UAE army personnel under David Mark Rasmussen-led ‘Desert Troop: Operation Everest’ expedition also applied for climbing permits for two members, as they will film the team, which aims to be on summit on May 6, the 40th anniversary of unification of the UAE Armed Forces.
Another attraction on Mt Everest will be the NCC girls Everest Expeditions as Himalayan Expeditions Ltd applied for climbing permits for Indian Army expedition teams at DoT. “Col Gaurav Karki of Manekshaw Officers Enclave in New Delhi will lead a 14-member team of Indian army that has eight female soldiers.” Another team of Indian army personnel will be led by Vishal Ahlawat, according to DoT.
A 14-member team of Indian army is also set to attempt to climb Mt Everest by re-utilising their old permits this season.
“The Indian Army Everest Massif Expedition Team 2016 through Arun Treks will be led by Major Ranveer Singh Jamwal.” A few members of the Indian army team will also climb Mt Lhotse this season.
Till date, the department has received applications from 24 expeditions comprising 206 mountaineers seeking climbing permits for Mt Everest this season, according to Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at DoT.
A version of this article appears in print on March 31, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.