From a Correspondent
JORHAT, June 26: Mount Everest summit climber ba Phukan, who clinched the title along with two other Assamese climbers Manish Deka and Tarun Saikia this year, is all set to climb the Mount Vinson Massif, the highest peak of Antarctica at 4,892 metres. This was disclosed by mountaineer ba Phukan during a felicitation programme organized by the Upper Assam Mountaineering Institute at Jorhat on Sunday to honour the three esteemed climbers who had in 2016 scaled the Mount Everest and brought laurels to the State. Manish Deka could not be present in the programme.
Interacting with jourlists on the subject of scaling Everest, ba Phukan said, “I had in 2015 scaled the highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro and subsequently Mount Everest in 2016. It has been only a month of return from Nepal and now I desire to complete the challenge of scaling the seven summit of highest peaks in different continents of which Mount Vinson is one. It will cost me around 40 thousand US dollars equivalent to almost Rs 26 lakh.”
Replying to anomalies of the Assam Mountaineering Association, Phukan said, “The Association has been set up to deprive local talents and instead make grounds for those who are selectors to become climbers. For example in 2015 almost six selectors became climbers. Whereas some Nepal based agencies that support climbers with equipments, Sherpas, food, oxygen and permit charge around Rs 16 lakh to Rs 18 lakh but the Assam Mountaineering Association got the same quotation for Rs 25 lakh each. In 2015 after depriving me from selection they spent around Rs 33.41 lakh in the me pre-Everest training out of the total grant of Rs 2.25 crore by the Assam Government and another Rs 25 lakh by the then Youth Affairs Minister and present Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal and again another Rs 69 lakh in 2016 but the result is very negligible.”
Tarun Saikia said, “There is a minor controversy regarding the actual height of Mount Everest. After the recent massive earthquake in Nepal the Sherpas are wary of the fact that the mountain may have escalated a metre or two making it stand at 8,850 metres above sea level. However, the Nepal government still issues certificates of achievement at 8,848 metres. The diameter of the summit is around 50 sq ft on a gradual level and it is about 80 metres from the Hillary step to cross over to reach the summit. Acclimatization of the body to the extreme harsh weather is the key to success to climb Everest.”