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Memoirs of veteran mountaineer Romen Banerjee

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By Arnab Mitra and Ila Garg

Born on June 20, 1951, and brought up in North Kolkata, Romen Banerjee is a veteran mountaineer. The scenic beauty of mountains had always attracted him, since his childhood days. He grew up to be the first civilian of India to conquer Mt Everest in 1971.

At the age of 20 when he was a second-year commerce student, he took conquering peaks as his mission. He along with six other members of Balak Sangha mountaineer club started their mission from the highest peak of the world, that is, Mt Everest. He successfully scaled the deadly heights of Mt Everest with the help of two sherpas, namely, Ang Tshering and Pemba Doorjie. It took him 11 days to reach the peak and complete his first mission.

It was on June 19, 1971, that he finally reached the peak, and was subsequently honoured by the West Bengal government for becoming the first Indian civilian to conquer Everest. This victory was enough for him to start off with the expedition of conquering all the prominent peaks of the world. His achievements include scaling the peak of Kanchenjungha in 1973, Nanda Devi in 1974, Sandakphu in December of 1974, Dodda Betta in 1975 and broad peak in 1977. He then joined IMF in 1981 and alongside managed two schools in Garwal.

Banerjee, at present, works as a teacher in Himalayan Mountaineer Association. He is also a member of IMF Eastern region. He actively participates in different camps and continues to inspire young mountaineering enthusiasts. 

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Japanese Climber Dies on his Eighth Attempt to Climb Mt. Everest

A Japanese climber, who lost nearly all his fingers in an attempt to climb Mount Everest earlier, has died on his eighth attempt to summit the mountain.

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Mount Everest - Pixabay

A Japanese climber, who lost nearly all his fingers in an attempt to climb Mount Everest earlier, has died on his eighth attempt to summit the mountain.

Nobukazu Kuriki, in his mid-thirties, fell ill and was descending on Monday when his team lost contact with him, his team said in a Facebook post.

Mount Everest,1975 climbing route on Southwest Face. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

 

Kuriki is the second climber to die on Everest in recent days, after a Macedonian national died at a higher altitude on Sunday.

“Kuriki stopped responding to radio communication and we couldn’t see his headlamp when we looked up from the bottom in the dark. The team near Camp two climbed up his route to search for him and discovered Kuriki who passed away due to low body temperature,” the Facebook post said. He had reached 7,400 metres.

Kuriki suffered serious damage from frostbite during his 2012 attempt on Mount Everest’s West Ridge, losing all his fingers and a thumb. He could use his right thumb for grip but wasn’t able to fully use an ice axe — a critical part of a mountaineer’s safety equipment.

The company which organised Kuriki’s expedition said arrangements were being made for his body to be returned to Kathmandu, the BBC reported.

He had been documenting his journey with video updates on Facebook. His message on Sunday read: “I feel the pain and difficulty of this mountain.”

Also Read: Search mountain Home is Where Mountains Are ! Rundown of 7 Mountains in India

 

Nearly 350 climbers have been given permits to climb the 8,848 metre Everest this year, assisted by more than 500 Nepali guides and porters. (IANS)