IAF to become first to climb highest peaks in seven continents

By Ritu Sharma, IANS,

New Delhi : The Indian Air Force (IAF) is all set to climb “Seven Summits”, the highest peaks in the seven continents, and become the first air force in the world to achieve the feat.

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Living up to its motto of “touching the sky with glory”, the expedition team of the IAF, led-by Wing Commander R.C. Tripathi, climbed Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world at 8,498 metres, in 2005. The team this year climbed the lofty peak of St. Puncak Jaya in Indonesia measuring 4,884 metres.

“The team will summit the highest peaks across the seven continents in the world. The aim is to create a world record as with this the IAF will become the first air force in the world to have conquered all the seven summits,” a senior IAF official told IANS.

The other peaks on the list of the summiteers are Mt. Aconcagua in South America, also called the Stone Sentinel and the highest peak outside Asia at 6,962 metres, and Mt. Mckinley, called The Great One, in North America.

“The team of the air warriors will also scale Mt. Elbrus (5,642 metres) in Europe, Mt. Kilimanjaro (5,891 metres) in Africa – which is also an inactive volcano and Mt. Vinson Massif in Antarctica.

“The mountaineering expedition will end with scaling Mt. Mckinley in May 2010,” the official added.

The other members of the team are Squadron Leader Namit Rawat, Squadron Leader Rishi Sagar, Warrant Officer Nizamuddin and Junior Warrant Officer N.R. Choudhary.