Heartiest congratulations to the CB-13 team!!
Its a pride moment for Giripremi as the team of 6 young Giripremians have made Mt. Chandrabhaga 13 expedition successful in a reattempt after the first attempt was called off due to worsened weather conditions.
Vivek Shivade, Pawan Hadole, Sanket Dhotre, Jayant Wakode Lokesh Shinde & Varun Bhagwat had been training for the peak for 6 months. Thanks to Giripremi's senior mountaineers Ganesh More, Rupesh Khopade, Bhushan Harshe Anand Mali for all the insightful training guidance during these times. The team received very crucial muscle strength training at Sammy Health Studio, which proved vital on the tough and arduous terrains of Dhaka glacier. team's mentors Umesh Zirpe & Avinash Faujdar had continually guided team in planning, fund raising and most importantly about maintaining the harmony in team throughout the expedition.
On July 7th, the team left from Pune to Manali. The team spent 2 days at Manali to arrange equipment, buy ration and other essentials.
On 10th, the team left for Batal along with the guide Namgyal Negi & kitchen staff: Bharat dai & Kancha. Batal is a village in Lahaul region, around 120 kms from Manali. The team spent 2 nights at Batal for acclimatization and then moved to Base camp which is located in Dhaka glacier at an altitude of 4300 m.
Next 2-3 days, the team acclimatized and completed the load ferry to camp 1 (4900 m). Unfortunately Sanket & Lokesh could not continue to camp 1 due to health issues. While the rest of the team shifted to camp 1. The team took a rest for another day at camp 1 and next day shifted to Camp 2 (5200 m). From Camp 2, Vivek, Jayant & Varun along with the guide, climbed for the final load ferry up to the col, which is located at 5500 m. From the col, actual technical climbing was to begin. They left ropes, rock pitons, snow stacks, ice screws etc. for the next days job.
Team came back to camp 2, rested for 6-7 hrs and at 1:00 woke up for the summit push preparation. Pawan cooked Musli while rest of the team got ready. At around 3:30 AM, Vivek, Pawan, Jayant, Varun began their march for the summit. The guide followed team after an hour.
Very soon Pawan had to discontinue due to his backache. The rest of the team kept going as Pawan went safely to Camp 2. It was very disheartening as two strongest climbers Sanket and Pawan were no more continuing.
At around 7:00 AM, the team reached Col and from there onwards, Vivek and the guide fixed around 200 m ropes. Rest of the members followed with the help of jumar. The weather had started to turn bad ; Jayant was exhausted and also got hit by a rock on the knee. He himself opted to stay at 5800 m so that others could go faster. Vivek and Varun continued further. Varun was on his first ever expedition but was in his enthralling form and both of them seemed determined to go up confidently. But they hardly went 100 m above when the weather worsened even more. Considering the worsening bad weathers, anticipating the difficulty in descending down in such conditions and overall health status of all team members, Vivek decided to call off the movement and ensure everyone's safety back to basecamp.
The team returned back on 20th to the basecamp and then to manali on 22nd; unenthused, disappointed but safe and in sound health.
Next day, the team thoroughly prepared for their return journey and went to visit Hadimba temple. And thats where came the climax point!!
Vivek was always in absolutely sound fitness conditions throughout the trip. So, after discussing with Umesh sir, Khem Raj sir, Namgyal Sir (guide), Pawan and his friend Pranav in Manali, about the possibility of reattempt all the way from manali; it was decided that Vivek should go for the reattempt with one guide. Umesh sir through his vast experiences suggested to hire one technical helper from extra safety point of view.
Everything got decided just within 2 hours and the team got excited (slightly nervous too as it could also be a bit risky). Finally on 25th, at 3:00 AM, Vivek left from Manali along with Chandi (guide) and Gopal. The weather window was small and probably only one. 28th-29th. Thanks to Ganesh More, who sent the detailed weather report to the team. The expedition (Manali to Manali) that took 13 days in first attempt, had to be finished in 5 days now. On 25th team reached batal at 10:00 AM and immediately trekked to basecamp. Next day to Camp 1. And next day directly to Col. The idea of putting a camp 2 to col proved vital as the trio could reserve their crucial initial energy directly for the technical ice climb.
After having well rested for 12 hrs and well fed on dhal bhat power, the team left col at 2:30 AM for the summit attempt. Snow from previous attempt was gone and all that left was ice. They confidently kept going up without fixed ropes and without getting roped up. At around 5:00 AM, they had already covered crucial 500 m of ice and now had to negotiate the rock and scree.
It was extremely difficult to climb with cramp ons and ice ax in that slippery scree and hard rocks. So they kept the ice gears in their backpack and continued climbing.
Entire route was guided by old fixed ropes trapped beneath ice and scree. So it was relatively easier to find a route but at times multiple ropes in totally arbitrary directions confused the climbers. Slowly and steadily the team reached the landmark chimney at around 6180 m. Until this point the team climbed without using the existing fixed rope or their own ropes (which they were carrying in their backpacks) But the last section of 60-70 m was very challenging rock climb.From here the team used the fixed ropes to go to the summit.
At 9:00 AM, three of them reached the summit. Tricolour fluttered at 6264 m winds! Giripremi flag was raised high up on the summit!! The joy and the satisfaction on their faces must have been unexplainable. The mission which just 10 days ago was aborted, to everyone's surprise; was now accomplished! And in a super speedy times!! Kudos to Vivek and the whole CB 13 team for their dedication, efforts and most importantly the will power to get done what otherwise could have left undone!
But for the success, only climbers efforts don't count. The supporters of the expedition were plenty. The well wishers were countless. Without their support and blessings, such arduous expeditions just cant be successfully, safely completed. Our sincere thanks to Mr. Khem Raj Thakur, owner, Mountain expeditions, Prini; for making excellent expedition arrangements for the team and providing thoughtful guidance to the team. We extend our greatest thanks to Mr. Namgyal Negi, Mr. Balkrishna Thakur (Chandi) for their wonderful guidance throughout the mountain days. We also thank Mr. Gopal Thakur, Bharat and Kancha for their continuous support in keeping all the team members fit. All the team members were generously supported by Kosha adventure clothing, with their brilliant outdoor adventure clothing sets. Yuktie Jhangiani, Co-founder, Kosha, has been not only encouraging the team with her updates but also prayed for the successful 2nd attempt. Gypsy tents offered extremely durable and comfortable tents for the team. Harshad food products, owner Bhagyasree Savarkar provided the team instant energy products. The team was supported magnanimously by Mr. Rajesh Asher, Mt. Mahesh Thakare, Nikhil Apte, Smita Kale, Samved Mathpati, Chetan Munalli, Sitaramayya Uppala. We also thank Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Dr. Sachin Vyavahare & Mr. Vivek Naralikar, who conducted medical fitness tests for all the participants.We express our gratitude for all their support and hope to continue to achieve higher heights in near future.
Mountaineering is an extreme sport. It's play grounds are far from the civilization. It demands high quality equipment for safety and survival. It's probably the sport which has longest time frame. Generally, an expedition continues for several days and sometime months. All these factors impose a burden off high costs on this sport.
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