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Proud moment for J&K: Despite COVID scare, three climbers from south Kashmir’s mountaineering institute scale Mount Everest

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SRINAGAR: COVID scare notwithstanding, three climbers from Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports (JIMWS), Pahalgam, scaled Mount Everest on Tuesday.

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This is for the first time that JIMWS mountaineers have scaled the highest peak since its inception in 1983.

 
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The trio who achieved the feat include Mohammad Iqbal Khan, Mahfooz Elahi, both residents of Jammu and Kashmir, and Chandra Singh Negi, a resident of Uttarakhand. 

While Khan and Negi are from the Indian army, Elahi is a civilian instructor at JIMWS.

The expedition was led by Colonel l S Thapa, an ace climber who has scaled Everest twice. Colonel Thapa is currently the principal of JIMWS. 

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Besides, three climbers from the National Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) were also part of the team.

“All three climbers are instructors at our institute. We have scaled many peaks earlier. This is for the first time when we have scaled Mount Everest. In fact, they were supposed to scale it on May 21, but due to inclement weather they could not do it. At 6.20 am on Tuesday, they scaled the highest peak,” Javaid Ahmad, training in-charge, JIMWS, told The Kashmir Monitor.

The summit was scheduled for 2020 but due to COVID, it was rescheduled for 2021. “We were planning to scale the peak last year. Then the Covid pandemic broke out and we had to postpone it,” said Javaid.

Despite the COVID scare, the climbers trained very hard during winter for this summit. “They trained during winter relentlessly and finally it yielded fruit,” said Javaid.

Established in 1983, JIMWS is a national mountaineering institute under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence. Most of the instructors are deputed from the army who train students in mountaineering and skiing. 

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Every month, 60 students are admitted for training. During winter, the institute trains students in skiing, and in summer focus is on mountain climbing.

This is not the first time when residents of Jammu and Kashmir have scaled Mount Everest.  

In 2019, two Jammu and Kashmir policemen, who were a part of the 11 member climbers’ squad, scaled Mount Everest. Selection grade constables Nazir Ahmed and Falial Singh, who took part in the expedition, have successfully reached their summit along with their fellow climbers of All India Police Sports Control Board Team.

Earlier in 2017, history was scripted when three class XII girl students from the cold desert of Ladakh scaled Mount Everest.