On May 19th 1965, two men spent the night at 27,930 feet – the highest camp on Mount Everest. Next morning at 9.30 am, Capt A.S Cheema and Sherpa Nawang Gombu reached the summit. In the following nine days the Indians made three successful attempts on Everest and created a record which remained unbroken for seventeen years – they placed nine men on the summit of Everest in a single expedition. Nawang Gombu became the first man to climb Everest twice in 1963 and 1965.
But, it had not been easy for the Indians and they had to fight hard for their success.
In 1960 a team led by Brigadier Gyan Singh fell 700 feet short of the summit. In 1962, the expedition was led by Major John Dias. Capt M S Kohli who led the successful Indian team in 1965 was one of the unlucky climbers that year – along with Sonam Gyatso and Hari Dang, the team reached 28,600 feet. A raging blizzard on 30th May 1962 pushed them back and the three climbers were lucky to escape with their lives reaching the highest camp at 10 pm at night, literally crawling through the snow!
|Camp in the Western Cwn with the Lhotse Face beyond|
To commemorate this great climb, a series of events will be held throughout the country and in Kathmandu in May 2015. This will include screening of the 1965 Everest film, release of the Golden Jubilee stamp and the commemorative volume “Nine Atop Everest. The ten living members of the 1965 team will also be felicitated at the different venues.
|Pumori behind the climbers|