Journey to Mt. Everest 2013
After joining Indian Administrative Services in 2011, he got Sikkim as his Cadre and subsequently, he came to know that the state was devastated by Sikkim Earthquake in September 2011, which took many lives. He decided to learn mountaineering, when he came to know that local mountaineers also helped in rescue operation during the earthquake.The wish to reach and serve the people at grass-root level in emergency situation like earthquake motivated him to learn mountaineering, which subsequently, developed into his zeal to climb the highest peak of the world, Mt. Everest. Born and brought up in plains and having spent long time at sea, he was totally unfamiliar with hills and mountains but once decided, he started preparing for climbing and did training courses from Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (Darjeeling) after joining Sikkim in July 2012.
He came to Sikkim those days for one year of District Training, which is part of overall training of IAS Officers before joining respective cadre state as full-fledged officer. He continued his preparation for climbing as well as effort for getting government sponsorship along-with his district training in Sikkim and within one year of district training period in Sikkim, he successfully reached on the top of the highest peak of the world on 19th May 2013. Mt. Everest was his first peak, which he climbed in spite of advice from many people that it’s very dangerous to try Mt. Everest at first instance and so, he should first try few smaller peaks.His view of the world from the top of Mt. Everest: “While standing on the highest point of the Earth; it’s fascinating to see the boundless Earth in its round form. Facing towards India, on the left side- you see mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga, on the right side- Mt. Makalu and at the back- the vast Tibetan plateau. The limitless horizon on all sides, under your own two eyes, gives you the feeling that the mother Earth doesn’t know its boundary….alas if it would have been a reality… a country less, boundaries & so, ever peaceful earth…!”
All India Services Everest Expedition 2015 Spring
To commemorate the Golden Jubilee Year of first Indian Ascent of Mt Everest in 1965, an “All India Services Expedition to Mt. Everest” was organized in 2015. The Expedition was organized by Indian mountaineering Foundation (IMF), the apex body for Mountaineering related activities in India under Ministry of Youth affairs & sports, Government of India. The aforesaid expedition was recognized and supported by “Ministry of Youth affairs and Sports” as well as “Ministry of Personnel and Training”, Government of India.
The Team comprised of five All India Services officers from five different states of India. The leader of aforesaid expedition was Mr. Ravindra Kumar, an IAS officer of 2011 Batch from Sikkim. He had already climbed Mt. Everest in May 2013 and became the first IAS Officer of India to climb the highest peak of the world. Mt. Everest is his first peak in life, which he attempted and climbed in his first attempt in May 2013.
This was first time in India that a group of officers from “All India Services” had joined hands together and was committed to take such a courageous venture. Expedition was also first of its kind to climb the peak of Mt. Everest carrying the message of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ to raise awareness about health and hygiene in the world from the world’s highest peak. The Expedition was flagged off by Prime Minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi, on 27th March 2015 in New Delhi. After flag off, the expedition team arrived Kathmandu on 30th march 2015. The team commenced trekking in 1st week of April 2015 and reached Everest Base Camp at 17600 feet around mid April. The team was scheduled to attempt the summit of Everest in second half of May 2015 after completing a series of acclimatization in the mean time.
But Nepal earthquake and resultant avalanche shattered the attempt by killing and injuring many people at Everest Base Camp. Team Leader Mr. Ravindra Kumar, with his tremendous inner courage, managed to rescue few lives along with his team advisor Mr. Kazi Sherpa in extremely dangerous post avalanche scenario at Everest Base Camp and Himalayan Rescue Association appreciated his effort for the same.
Other Mountaineering Expeditions and Trekking
He is fond of long distance trekking but the first trek of his life was trekking around hills of Mussoorie during training in IAS Training Academy in 2011. Later he continued his trek during district training in Sikkim. He has done extensive trekking in North Sikkim as well as West Sikkim. In North Sikkim, he has trekked extensively and has covered on foot the distance of about 125 km from Mangan (district head quarter of North Sikkim) to last Army post called “Bunker” near China border. Similarly he has extensively trekked in West Sikkim and has covered last trekking spot near Nepal Border.
Recently, he also completed Sandakphu Trek in Darjeeling District of West Bengal, which is located at India-Nepal border and is the highest point of West Bengal.After returning from Everest, he continued climbing also as and when he got time & chance in addition to his regular job in “Indian Administrative Services”. Subsequently,he climbed Mt. Thingchenkhang (6010 mtr) in November 2014 and B.C. Roy Peak (17800 feet) in Feb 2015 as part of Pre-Everest Expedition for ‘All India Services Everest Expedition 2015. Both peaks are situated in West Sikkim Himalaya.
Other Adventure Activities
Other than mountaineering, he has been keenly interested and has taken part in many other sports and activities like bungee jumping, flying fox,para sailing, SCUBA diving, skin diving,horse riding, river rafting etc.in the past. He is also “Black Belt in Karate” which he had achieved during his college days in Mumbai. He has also been a good swimmer in the past and has won many prizes in different styles of swimming during his college days.
How to prepare for climbing Mt. Everest….!
As many of you have been sending individual messages asking for guidelines for climbing Mt Everest since I returned from this peak in May 2013, so thought to write here in brief, so that aspirants won’t have to wait for my reply in each case:
Following few suggestions may be followed, which I feel, are bare minimum requirements for Mount Everest Aspirants:
- 1st thing is to make yourself fit so that :
1. You can jog continuously for at least 10 kms in one stretch.
2. You can trek for at least 5kms with a ruck-sac at the back weighing at least 15 kgs.
- Once you can do this then join HMI Darjeeling or NIM Uttarkashi or any other good Mountaineering Training
Institute to do Basic Mountaineering course.
I suggest you to do Advance Mountaineering Course also after completing basic.
- Once you complete above courses with “A” grade then look for some sponsor to arrange for Rs 20 Lakhs rupees which is approximate cost of Mt. Everest Expedition per head.
- Quitting drinking and smoking (if you do) would help you in preserving strength.
- Practising Yoga or deep breathing exercise would help in strengthening your lung.
May You climb from peak to peak.
With Best Wishes