Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest, had to say this when she first saw the mighty peak:
“We the hill people have always worshiped the mountains…my overpowering emotion at this awe-inspiring spectacle was, therefore, devotional.”
This was when India scheduled the fourth expedition to Mount Everest in 1984. Bachendri Pal was one of the six women and eleven men who were selected. During their ascent, Bachendri’s team almost met a disaster when an avalanche buried its camp, and more than half the group abandoned the ascent because of injury or fatigue.
“I was sleeping in one of the tents with my teammates at Camp III at an altitude of 24,000 ft (7,315.2 m). On the night of 15–16 May 1984, at around 00:30 hours IST, I was jolted awake; something had hit me hard; I also heard a deafening sound and soon after I found myself being enveloped within a very cold mass of material”.
“My heart stood still. It dawned on me that success was within reach. And at 1.07 pm on 23 May 1984, I stood on top of Everest, and I was the first Indian woman to have done so,” writes Bachendri Pal, recollecting her tryst in the book Everest: My Journey to the Top.
Smt. Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest appreciated the hard work #CISF puts in to protect & secure! Presented her autobiography “Everest – My Journey to the Top” book to CISF personnel @ IGI Airport, Delhi. pic.twitter.com/GmoN9gUc9Z