April 17, 2007 (FIDSNS)
Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major PVSM AVSM SC VM ADC, Chief of the Air Staff ‘flagged off’ the IAF Platinum Jubilee Celebrations Mountaineering Expedition Team to Mt Cho Oyu today in an impressive ceremony at Air HQ (Vayu Bhawan), New Delhi.
Mt. Cho Oyu, the sixth highest peak in the world will be attempted by a team of fifteen air warriors from the North West route in China in Apr-May 07. Expedition to Mt. Cho Oyu is part of the major events planned as Indian Air Force celebrates its Platinum Jubilee.
The team led by Wg Cdr RC Tripathi VM will leave for the expedition on 19 Apr 07. Mt. Cho Oyu stands astride the Nepal/Tibet border, just 30 miles West of Mt. Everest. The climb route is from Tibetan side of the Nangpa La pass which used to be old trading route to Nepal.
The expedition team will be entering Tibet via Kathmandu and Lhasa and thereafter driving over the Tibetan Plateau to the North side of the mountain. From the last roadhead, a three days approach march would lead to the Base Camp. The team will establish three higher camps after the advance base camp before attempting the final summit push some time by end of May 2007.
Earlier, IAF created history in the mountaineering fraternity by hosting the tricolour on top of Everest on 30 May 2005. The air warriors of the Indian Air Force (including lady officers) have been pursuing mountaineering activity as a part of adventure for more than three decades. Today Indian Air Force has a nucleus of qualified mountaineers ready to take on the challenge of climbing any peak in the world.
The Air Chief encouraged the mountaineers and told them that not only did they have the blessings of the Air Force – the whole Nation was behind them and wished them all success.