Scaling Heights

There are many reasons to switch on the television on January 26 and salute the patriotic spirit. One of them is Discovery's one-hour-long documentary that presents an account of one of the most challenging and successful Everest expeditions undertaken by seven women officers of the Indian Army. Filmed in collaboration with the Indian Army, Everest: Indian Army Women's Expedition will be telecast on Saturday, January 26, at 9 pm.

The show documents the expedition from the beginning, when the team was being selected, to the raising of the National flag on top of the Everest. The training lasted a year and the final team of seven women and ten male climbers along with support staff was finalised after two phases of selection, at Siachen Base Camp and Manali.

Led by Colonel Ajay Kothiyal, the expedition was flagged off by Lieutenant General Ramesh Halagali, Deputy Chief of Army Staff, on March 12, 2012. Advanced high-altitude cameras were used to record the epic climb. "The conditions were unusually difficult that time. More than 200 mountaineers had aborted their mission and went back to their countries because of these adversities," said a team leader from the base camp. At first, the team attempted to reach the summit on May 19, 2012, but was forced to come back to the base camp due to hostile weather conditions and heavy winds. The second attempt made on May 23, 2012 was successful. Major N Linyu and Captain Smitha became the first women from Nagaland and Karnataka, respectively, to climb Mt Everest.

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