Continuing its commitment to present India and its multiple manifestations, Discovery Channel has partnered with the Indian Army to present a complete account of one of the most challenging and successful Everest expeditions undertaken by seven Indian Army women officers.
The most extensively filmed Everest expeditions of an Indian contingent, Discovery Channel will premiere the exclusive one-hour programme ‘Everest: Indian Army Women’s Expedition’ on the eve of India’s Republic Day, Friday, January 26, 2012 at 9 PM with a repeat on Saturday, January 26 at 9 PM.
Covering the entire expedition from all dimensions, right from the team’s selection, training and preparation to the ultimate raising of the national flag atop Everest, the programme chronicles the Indian Army women officers’ daunting journey and all the challenges the team faced in achieving the greatest mountaineering goal. The programme will give viewers the most personal insight of an Everest expedition and never-seen-before experience of courage, disappointment and glory. The viewers will also get to appreciate the long tradition of mountaineering within the Indian Army and its distinguished spirit of adventure and challenge.
A rare and remarkable 100 per cent successful expedition, a Discovery Channel cameraman, while covering the entire journey through all challenges like avalanche, turbulent weather and crevasses, scaled the summit of the peak along with the seven women officers making the expedition even more distinguished.
Rahul Johri, SVP and General Manager – South Asia, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific said, “Climbing Everest is an ultimate test of human spirit and determination. It is one of the most distinguished achievements for Discovery Channel to reach the summit and capture this exhilarating expedition by the Indian Army women officers. The channel will continue to inspire and entertain Indian audiences through such distinct programmes and high-quality productions.”
‘Everest: Indian Army Women’s Expedition’ will offer a wide angle view into the environment of the world’s highest peak. It will bring out the complete narrative of adventure and courage as these Indian Army women officers climb Everest for the first time. The contingent scaled the summit from the South Ridge route which was used by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Discovery Channel cameras captured unique moments rarely seen before on television. Using the latest high-altitude shooting technology, the footage includes an avalanche, the unfortunate death of a Sherpa in a crevasse and rock falls on the near-vertical Lhotse Face. Besides the Discovery Channel cameraman, Gary Jarman Lamare, following the contingent, cameras were also strapped to the helmets of some of the climbers to film the programme.
It took a full year of training and two-phase selections, one at Siachen Base Camp and the other at Manali, to find and prepare the final team of seven women and ten male climbers along with the support staff. The team was led by Col. Ajay Kothiyal (KC, SC, VSM) and consisted of seven Indian Army women officers: Capt Deepika Rathore (Rajasthan), Capt Namrata Rathore (Uttarakhand), Capt Prachi R. Gole (Maharashtra), Maj N Linyu (Nagaland), Maj Neha Bhatnagar (Rajasthan), Capt Poonam Sangwan (Haryana), and Capt Smitha (Karnataka).
The officers had diverse professional and personal backgrounds – Engineering, Communication and Medical. Given their diverse skill sets, each officer was entrusted with different responsibilities. ‘Everest: Indian Army Women’s Expedition’ will delve into how each of these officers played a unique role which was crucial to the well being of others within the team and to the success of the expedition.
- Joining hand for a cause: Everesters for promotion of adventure sports in Himachal schools (spiritofventurer.wordpress.com)
- 50 Years on Everest, by Phil Powers, American Alpine Club (adventureblog.nationalgeographic.com)
- On Top of the World (mohighlibrary.wordpress.com)
- It ain’t cheap to climb Everest (atoptherox.wordpress.com)