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Several peaks to scale, not just Everest: HMI

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  16 Jan 2018 12:00 AM GMT

Cheni, Jan 15:There are several mountain peaks in the world to scale and not just Mount Everest, said a senior official of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district. He said the institute has recently decided to offer courses in mountaineering on actual cost basis to meet the increasing demand from students, corporate executives and foreigners.

“While aspiring to climb Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world, is understandable, one should not be just fixated on that alone, neglecting the chance of climbing other peaks,” Wing Commander Devidutta Panda, Vice Principal of the HMI, told on a recent visit. He was referring to the trend among trainees who want to scale only Mount Everest, particularly after a young girl, Poor Malavath, climbed that peak in 2014. Poor, at the age of 13 years, became the youngest girl in the world to scale Mount Everest.

Panda has climbed all the major peaks in Asia, Europe and Africa including Mount Everest twice. He has a total of 16 mountaineering expeditions under his cap. He was the Deputy Leader of Indian Air Force Everest Expedition 2011 when he along with seven other members, including two women climbers, summitted the peak. According to him, it would cost around Rs 25 lakh for a person to climb Mount Everest.

Queried about other trends, Panda said there is good demand for mountaineering courses and trainees hail from different states. The good demand has prompted the HMI to introduce some courses on actual cost basis.

The subsidised fee ranges between Rs 4,250 and Rs 7,750 depending on the kind of training and includes the cost of training, equipment, boarding and lodging. The HMI holds its training sessions in Sikkim adding to its costs. (IANS)

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