IAF women officers scale new heights, summit Mt. Kamet


New Delhi : Women officers of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are scaling heights…literally, in preparation to summit Mt.Everest next year.

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Young Flight Lieutenant Nivedita Choudhary and Squadron Leader Nirupama, who are members of the all-women IAF officers’ Everest expedition, have just returned after scaling the 7,557-metre Mt. Kamet and 7,354-metre Mt.Abi Gamin respectively in Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand, close to the border with China.

Choudhary and Nirupama have become the first women officers of the country’s armed forces to achieve the feat. Kamet is the third highest peak in India after Mt.Kanchanjunga and Mt.Nanda Devi.

The two officers were part of the 35-member mountaineering expedition to the two peaks that was flagged off in New Delhi Tuesday by Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal P.K. Barbora.

The team also had two Indian Army officers and four members from the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF).

The Kamet and Abi Gamin expeditions were one of the precursors to the all-women IAF officers’ attempt to scale the Everest next year, Wing Commander Tarun Singha told reporters.

The team set out on the expedition April 15.

Several IAF expeditions have been mounted since 2009 to train the IAF women mountaineering team for the Everest expedition. This was the third expedition for the team after Mt.Stok Kangri (6,153 metres) in August last year and Mt.Bhagirathi-II (6,512 metres) in September-October 2009.