After a long gap of more than five months, Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) has launched two new expeditions this month to help climbing enthusiasts beat the Covid-19 blues who were until now forced to stay indoors due to self-imposed and mandatory travel restrictions. The two treks, comprising the twin-peak challenge of Kang Yatze II & Dzo Jongo and Sham Valley in Ladakh, are led by experienced mountaineers including ace Indian mountaineer and TSAF’s mentor Bachendri Pal.
Twin Peak Challenge which will see the participants scale two peaks, Kang Yatze II & Dzo Jongo is led by experienced and certified instructors Dharmendra Singh, Asmita Dorjee, Rathu Mahato and Sushanto Mahato. The maximum altitude for this trek is 20,505 ft, making it a unique challenge expedition reserved only for experienced climbers. The duration of the trek is 15 days and is scheduled from 21 August to 5 September. A total of 8 participants will go on the expedition.
The second trek is being led by Ms. Pal along with another Poonam Rana (who has also scaled Mt Everest before) along with trek instructors Mohan Singh, Navendra Singh Panwar and Randev Singh. Sham Valley Trek will last for 6 days and will take participants to an altitude of 12,713 ft. It is scheduled to start from 24th Aug to 29th Aug, 2021. A total of 13 participants have signed up for this relatively easier trek.
The two expeditions hope to provide the much-needed break for amateur climbers who have been forced to avoid travel and other forms of outdoor activities since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. All necessary precautions and protocols have been put in place to ensure the safety of the participants and organisers alike.
The Tata Group through TSAF and Tata Trusts has been a pioneer in developing sport climbing in India. The first wall at Indian Mountaineering Foundation was sponsored by Tata Steel in 1994 & named as ‘JRD Tata Wall’. The two climbing world cups, hosted in India, were organised by a private club and sponsored by Tata Trusts. The Tata Steel Adventure Foundation Climbing Centre was set up in 2014 and has since developed into one of the best available facilities in India to promote the sport and nurture young talent. TSAF has also been supporting many under-privileged children by providing training, nutrition, lodging and education.
In December 2019, TSAF had launched ‘Tata Steel Sport Climbing Championship’, a three-day open competition for young climbers between the age group of 6 and 16. TSAF has since made this championship the flagship annual climbing event in India that will introduce this new and emerging international sporting event to the country’s youth. The annual sporting event will also be a new platform to involve the community at large and facilitate a wide adoption of climbing in India and create a network of institutions and stakeholders to increase the reach of the sport.