A dedicated team of climbers from Maharashtra celebrated India's 76th Independence Day with a remarkable feat on the lofty terrain of Ladakh. Scaling the challenging Mount UT Kangri, towering at 6070 meters, they unfurled a total of 76 Indian flags atop the peak.
Embarking on their journey on August Kranti Day, August 9th, the team commenced their trek from Roomtase village on the 11th. Covering approximately 90 km over two days, the climbers focused on acclimatization to the high altitude. Starting from the village, perched above 4300 meters, they trekked for two hours to reach an elevation of 4800 meters. Spending the night at the base camp, they braced themselves for the testing conditions that lay ahead.
Confronting relentless gusts of wind and temperatures hovering around 0-1 degrees Celsius, the expedition posed significant challenges. However, the climbers' thorough preparation, both physically and mentally, propelled them toward success.
Mount UT Kangri, a prominent presence in Ladakh, is distinguished for its imposing height of 6070 meters. Ascending this peak necessitates a wealth of experience, alongside robust physical and mental endurance.
On the following day, the team advanced from the Base Camp to Camp 1, known as the Summit Camp, situated at an altitude of 5350 meters. The arduous journey, spanning 5-6 hours, unveiled breathtaking natural vistas. UT Kangri, blanketed in snow in the distance, was framed against the backdrop of a flowing river on one side and enveloped by verdant grass and encircling mountain ranges.
Enduring the challenges of diminished oxygen levels, subzero temperatures, fierce winds, snowfall, and treacherous moraines is customary at such elevated altitudes.
In the previous year, the same team raised 75 Indian flag pylons on a trio of impressive summits: Mt Unam (6111m), Mt Jo Jango (6250m), and Kang Yatse-2 (6240m), during the Amritmahotsav Independence Day commemorations.
Notably, in earlier instances, climbers Nilesh Mane and Vaibhav Aiwale marked the 72nd and 73rd Independence Days by conquering Africa's highest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro (5895m), and Europe's tallest summit, Mt Elbrus (5642m), respectively. Their remarkable feat of hoisting the Indian flag at these summits earned them recognition from both the India Book of Records and Asia Book of Records.
Marked as a medium-difficulty ascent, Mount UT Kangri draws numerous enthusiasts. Tackling its steep 70-degree incline necessitates essential equipment such as ice axes and crampons.