KOCHI: A 10-member team from the Southern Naval Command (SNC) has conquered the 6,443-metre-high Mount Menthosa, the second highest peak in the Lahaul-Spiti province of Himachal Pradesh. The mountaineering team, which returned to Kochi on Monday was felicitated by Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla. The team led by Lt Commander Shivesh Kumar Sanam unfurled the tricolour as well as the naval ensign atop Mount Menthosa on October 16. The team comprised of three officers and seven sailors from different units of the Southern Naval Command.
The flag-in ceremony marked the formal culmination of the expedition with the team leader returning the ceremonial ice axe and naval ensign. Vice Admiral Chawla congratulated the team on its success and said all members had shown great courage and determination in overcoming the adverse terrain and extreme weather conditions.
Prior to embarking on the expedition, the team had a stint at IMF, New Delhi, to sharpen their mountaineering and climbing skills. The actual climb started from Urgos village in the Lahaul Spiti region. The local weather conditions, extremely low temperatures (-25°C), soft snow conditions and wind speeds of 20 knots proved challenging. The team started its summit attempt at 2 am on October 16. From the summit camp, it took eight hours for the team to reach the summit which they accomplished by 10:30 am. The team returned to Urgos village over the next three days.
The team members Lt Commander Shivesh Kumar Sanam, Lt Cdr Sahil Verma, Lt Cdr Neelam Kandpal, Petty Officers Mahesh Kumar and Bhaskar Pal, Leading Seamen Vysakh KS, Abhishek Inge, OD Sharma, Praveen Sardar and medical assistant Sagar Salunkhe.