Giripremi mountaineers becomes first Indian group to climb Mount Meru

Pune Pulse Giripremi Mount Meru
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PUNE: The mountaineering club known as Giripremi, based in Pune, has made history by becoming the first Indian group to successfully climb Mount Meru. This challenging mountain, located in the Garhwal Himalaya, stands at a towering height of 6660 meters and is renowned for its difficulty.

As per the information provided, on September 2, 2023, at approximately 8am, Giripremi’s Ganesh More, Vivek Shivade, Varun Bhagwat, Mingma Sherpa, Vinod Gusain (senior instructor at Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi), and their colleagues Bihari Rana and Ajit Rawat proudly raised the Indian flag at Mt. Meru. This achievement marks the first-ever successful expedition to Mt. Meru (South) by an Indian group, as well as the first-ever successful expedition to Mt. Meru from the West in the entire world.

Accompanying the Giripremi team, Dawa Sherpa and Furtensing Sherpa also successfully climbed the mountain, while Lakpa Sherpa provided support by climbing up to Camp 1. The expedition was led by Umesh Zirpe, an experienced mountaineer from Pune. Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarkashi has been instrumental in supporting Giripremi throughout their journey.

In May, the Giripremi team previously attempted to climb Mt. Meru from the same West Face, but had to turn back just 200 meters of the summit due to inclement weather conditions. From August 25, the team was stationed at the base camp located at Kirti Bamak glacier, which sits at an altitude of 4800 meters. Initially uncertain about the weather, as the Himalayas experienced an unusually high amount of rainfall, the team was fortunate to see an improvement in the conditions, allowing them to focus on their climb and overcome the tremendous challenges of the expedition.

Following acclimatization climbs, the team embarked on their summit bid on the evening of September 1 from Camp 1 at an altitude of 5500 meters. The route to the summit posed a grueling challenge, with a nearly vertical incline of approximately 90 degrees, featuring a combination of rocks, solid ice, and powdered snow. After relentless climbing for 10 hours, demonstrating exceptional skills in rock and ice climbing, the team reached the Mt. Meru.

This successful summit represents a momentous achievement in the world of mountaineering. The climbing team comprised accomplished mountaineers such as Ganesh More (a summitter of Mt. Everest and Mt. Chyo Oyu), Vivek Shivade (a summitter of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Ama Dablam, and Mt. Manda), Varun Bhagwat (a young mountaineer who has conquered Mt. Bhrigu Parvat), Mingma Sherpa (a seasoned mountaineer with multiple ascents of eight-thousander mountains), and Vinod Gusain (the senior instructor at Nehru Institute of Mountaineering). Mt. Meru is widely regarded as more challenging to climb than Mt. Everest, with multiple routes to reach its three peaks. 

Madhupriya Dhanwate

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