16 Sep :Successful expedition team of Army Engineers returned after scaling Mount Satopanth peak today. The team was flagged in by Lieutenant General Gautam Dutt Engineer-in-Chief .
A 26 member team, led by Colonel Anand Swaroop which includes six officers including a lady medical officer, successfully scaled the peak at 06.50 AM on 02 September 2008. Prior to undertaking the expedition, detailed planning and rigorous training was carried out to ensure success with no casualties. The team established four camps enroute to carryout acclimatization, training and for moving up of stores and rations. Despite inclement weather and hard terrain conditions forcing the expedition team to move to lower heights, the peak was scaled well ahead of planned time. The Bombay Sappers Satopanth expedition was an interesting challenge and also a perfect prelude to the Bombay Sappers mountaineering expedition to Mt Shishapangma in 2009.
Mountaineering as an adventure activity has been inculcated in the Indian Army since long. In addition to team sprits, it envisages physical endurance, mental toughness and robust attitude in one go. The Corps of Engineers have been pioneers in the filed of mountaineering and in continuation with this glorious tradition, the Bombay Sappers launched an expedition to Satopanth 7075M(23,211 ft) in Garhwal Himalayas. The expedition had two aims: to give soldiers with significant previous mountaineering knowledge, the experience of high altitude mountaineering (to go on to attempt a major 8000m expedition thereafter) and to introduce a number of less experienced climbers to expedition mountaineering.
Mount Satopanth, the second highest summit in the Gangotri Group is located in the remote Garhwal Himalaya Range in a disjointed side-group separating the Gangotri and Chaturangi Glaciers. It is 35 kms North West of Gangotri, a holy shrine of Hindus. It falls in District Uttarkashi, in Uttara Khand. Satopanth means ‘True Path’ This great mountain finds mention in Kedar Khand, alongwith village Mana (the last human inhabitation), which is situated 25 kms towards North East and North West ridge by an Austrian team in 1938. It is well known for its icy slopes with hanging glaciers and ridges with sharp ends, which make it highly challenging for the mountaineers.
The expedition was flagged off by Lieutenant General RR Goswami, the then Engineer-in–Chief, Indian Army on 06 August 2008. Lieutenant General Noble Thamburaj, General Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Command and Colonel Commandant, the Bombay Sappers, was also present at the flag off ceremony.
Flag – in ceremony for the expedition team was conducted today by Lieutenant General Gautam Dutt, Engineer –in-Chief. He complimented the team for the success and informed the gathering that efforts to revive the spirit of adventure within the Corps of Engineers had brought positive results. He said that true to the motto SARVATRA, the Corps of Engineers had been excelling in multifarious activities in war and peace. In peace time the Sappers have always been in the forefront in the field of sports and adventure activities. The Sappers have yet again proved themselves to be in the forefront of adventure activities being undertaken in the country- He also said that several other adventure activities including sailing, water rafting, safaris and more mountaineering expeditions are being planned.