Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, Edmund Hillary did it for the first time, then so many others but these two from UT Jammu and Kashmir and both also did it and they are from the Indian army!
Nahida Manzoor showed the way as she was the first Kashmiri woman to Climb Mount Everest. She hails from Srinagar.
The summiteers included Havaldar Mohammad Iqbal Khan, Havaldar Chander Negi and Mahafooz Ilahi from JIMWS (Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports) based in Pahalgam.
Two of them Mohammed Iqbal Khan and Hav Mohd Rafiq of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry were from Kashmir Valley. It was Mohad. Rafiq who unfurled the tricolor on the summit which is a challenge to any mountaineer.
Pride is born as a mountaintop on a valley and this these two toughies knew since it is not easy when an expedition is taken to climb this giant of a peak.
Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think he can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: I served in the Indian Army and secondly when I got a chance I got to the top of the world by climbing Mt. Everest. These two will remember both the experiences throughout their lives!
These two men and their team mates would have definitely faced all the possible hardships which are part of this hazardous climb fully well knowing that a lot many incidents in the past have happened but they had decided that there’s no quitting, we can’t have quit in us. There was never an option to stop and quit! They were never taught such a thing in the training period in the institute.
Forward they went and then came backwards as it often happens in snow clad ways, the feet with the climbing boots with spikes had to be nimbly put over soft snow and tricky glaciers, they were no less determined to get on with the big adventure in a sepia-toned manner. The moves were symphonic over the crevasses and gorges, glaciers, blizzards, then the steep climb over the rock shelf’s, smaller peaks and rock faces, performances of movement and character that reached almighty crescendos.
We the lesser mortals are enjoying their brilliance by shaking our heads, shrugging our shoulders, and smiling nervously and saying wow! This was amazing stuff.
They were never taught to never say that you can’t do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can’t be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds. We are each the masters of our own reality; when we become self-aware to this: absolutely anything in the world is possible. And they made it possible. By no means an easy task that had been undertaken.
Today they may be excitedly saying even if we are very happy in the valley, something inside us always desired to leave the valley and climb to the top! And we just did it.
You can’t prepare for the summits by wandering through the valleys! The only way to get to the top is to get away from the valleys! They perhaps had decided to do so because everyone loves reaching the peak upon exiting the valley and more importantly they knew that faith in their own ability was a golden ticket to the mountaintop. It was an opportunity that they did not want to leave and along with Chander Negi, all three from south Kashmir’s Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports (JIMWS) brought laurels to the Union Territory by getting to the top of the peak that is every mountaineers dream to climb.
This expedition was a joint one and this was what happened in the planning stage:
The joint expedition of JIMWS, at Pahalgam in Anantnag district of south Kashmir, in collaboration with Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) was an expedition that was planned for the first time..
This was the first international expedition by JIMWS and this was also the first of its kind joint expedition by two mountaineering institutes under the leadership of Principal of JIMWS Colonel I S Thapa and deputy leader, Principal, NIM, Colonel Amit Bisht.
The climbing included Havaldar Mohammad Iqbal Khan, Havaldar Chander Negi and Mahafooz Ilahi from JIMWS and Havaldar Anil Kumar and Deep Sahi from NIM, along with Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa, Pemba Tshering Sherpa, Parita Sherpa, Tshering Tashi Sherpa, Dorje Sherpa and Any Chhombi Sherpa.
Two back-to-back cyclones Tauktae and Yaas in a span of 10 days had an impact on the dangerous venture with blizzards, heavy snowfall, frequent quick change in weather conditions and avalanches a common occurrence. But the team went on with the aim solidified n their mindset that they had to reach the top
The joint team had begun the expedition from Delhi on April 1 and reached the Everest base camp in Khumbu glacier where they practiced for days to acclimatize themselves to the conditions. Subsequently they began climbing the peak on May 30, he said.
The team reached Everest base camp (5,364 metres) and after proper acclimatization went for the climb of Mt Lobuche East (6,119 metres) as part of the acclimatization routine.
For the first time, the flags of both the national institutes along with Indian national flag were hoisted on an international peak. Incidentally this is a very tough peak.
So the duo from the J&K Li proved that they were extremely tough nuts and got their name on the board as another two Kashmiris to get on to the top of the biggest peaks in the Himalayas. It’s a lone peak of highpoint and is a natural focal point in the landscape, something by which both climbers and the chief assists oriented themselves. In the continuum of landscape, mountains are discontinuity culminating in high points, natural barriers and unearthly earth. But it’s an adventure though fraught with dangers certainly not for the timid hearted. They have set an example of sorts for the others to follow. Kashmiris are tough and love this high risk sport. I’m sure that seeing these two many more would be coming out to enjoy this dangerous fun.
They also proved yet another thing one can’t prepare for the summits by wandering through the valleys! The only way to get to the top is to get away from the valleys! One has to look up and see the top and whisper to himself/herself that is where I should be! If that urge comes in then there is no stopping, if others have done it then why not the others! Standards set are always there to be emulated! Well done Iqbal and Rafiq, you definitely make all of us proud! The people in UT J&K love their heroes so add on to the list the names of these two!