Bachendri Pal is an Indian mountaineer, the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest. Early life
Bachendri Pal belonged to a family of very moderate means, in 1954, a village named Nakuri in Uttarakashi District of Garhwal Hari.K.Govind hill at NIM, she climbed Gangotri(21,900 ft) and Rudugaria (19,091 ft). In that time, she got employment as an instructor at the National Adventure Foundation(NAF), which had set up an adventure school for training women to learn mountaineering. Ascent
In 1984, India had scheduled its fourth expedition, christened “Everest ‘84’”, to the Mount Everest. Bachendri was selected as one of the members of the elite group of six Indian women and eleven men who were privileged to attempt an ascent to the Mount Everest, Sagarmatha in the Nepali language[Nepalese] The news filled them with a sense of ecstasy and excitement. The team was flown to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal in March 1984; and from there the team moved onwards. Recalling her first glimpse of the Mount Everest, Bachendri once reminisced: “We the hill people have always worshipped the mountains … my overpowering emotion at this awe-inspiring spectacle was, therefore, devotional.” The team commenced its ascent in May, 1984. On the night of 15–16 May 1984, Bachendri and her tent mate were sleeping in one of the tents at Camp III at an altitude of about 24,000 feet. At around 00:30 hours (IST), at around 24,000 feet, she was jolted awake; something had hit her hard and she also heard a deafening sound; and at the same time she found herself being enveloped within a very cold mass of material. A serac on the Lhotse glacier, above the Camp III had slid down, and fallen on the camp raking havoc at the camp. Her tent mate using his knife could slash his way out of the mass of ice. He, thereafter, assisted Bachendri to dig her way out of the mess. Many members of the team were injured, and became unnerved; and they climbed down to the base camp. Despite an injury on her head,...
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