TSAF’s Asmita Dorjee Triumphs, Summits Mt. Everest

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This was Asmita’s second attempt to climb Mt. Everest without supplementary oxygen

She is the protégé of Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to scale Mt. Everest

New Delhi, May 23, 2023: Ace climber and Senior Instructor at Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) Asmita Dorjee, 39, successfully scaled Mt. Everest, in the early hours of May 23, 2023. Although she initially aimed to climb without supplementary oxygen, she had to use it from camp 4 (8000 m height) due to health concerns. Few people have achieved this feat due to the challenging conditions, including thin air, strong winds, and extreme cold.

Starting her journey on April 3 this year, Asmita reached Everest base camp on April 14 after an 8-day trek through the Khumbu region. On May 18, Asmita began her final summit push, crossing the dangerous Khumbu icefall and reaching Camp 2 on May 19. She started her final summit journey at 10 pm on May 22 and successfully reached the summit on May 23 at 8:20 am (IST). She is currently descending towards base camp. Asmita was accompanied by her sherpa guide, Lakpha Nuru, a very experienced sherpa guide from Nepal.

Chanakya Chaudhary, Chairman, Tata Steel Adventure Foundation and Vice President (Corporate Services), Tata Steel, said: “This is a momentous occasion for Asmita and the entire team at TSAF. Since Mt. Everest was first scaled by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay seven decades ago, it has remained one of the most challenging sports for amateur and professional trekkers the world over and an ultimate test for both physical and mental endurance. We are extremely proud of Asmita who didn’t give up after falling short by just 100m, during her attempt to reach the summit without supplementary oxygen last year. Asmita’s achievement today has added another glorious chapter in the history of India’s and TSAF’s tryst with Mt. Everest. I am confident that we will continue to groom more champions like Asmita with the ultimate aim of not only promoting adventure sports but also creating a healthier and resolute nation in the process.”

A little over a year ago on May 13, 2022, Asmita had attempted to climb the world’s tallest mountain without supplementary oxygen, a rare feat even among veteran climbers. She also climbed Mt. Manaslu (8163m) without supplementary oxygen on Sep 30, 2022 and became the 2nd Indian woman to do so.

Born in a Sherpa family in Thesu, a tiny village above Namache Bazaar in the Everest region, Asmita Dorjee had made the scaling of Mt. Everest her life goal since she lost her father Ang Dorjee to the mountain in 1984, who was also the Sherpa of Bachendri Pal during her 1984 climb. As a ward and understudy to the first Indian woman to touch the Mt. Everest summit, Asmita received her Basic Mountaineering Course in 2001 and subsequently Advanced Mountaineering Course in 2003. Since then, she has been working as an instructor at TSAF, conducting outdoor leadership courses and expeditions.

Asmita has climbed and attempted more than 8 peaks above 6,000 metres. She has successfully climbed Mt. Satopanth (7,075m), Mt. Dharamsura (6,420m), Mt. Gangotri 1 (6,120m), Mt. Stok Kangri (6,070m), Mt. Kang Yatse 2 (6,270m), Mt. Djo Zongo (6,240m). She climbed Mt. UT Kangri (6,030m) in winter and attempted Mt. Stok Kangri in winter and reached 5,700m.

These expeditions served as the building blocks of her mountaineering journey. An expedition to the highest summit requires a lot of preparation which she started in April 2019. She has been training for the last three years, focussing on improving her strength, endurance, and stamina. She has climbed various 6000m and 7000m peaks as part of her training and has additionally done cycling and running for long distances. She has also done a lot of trail running in TSAF base camp at Uttarkashi and Dalma hills in Jamshedpur. The experiences and learnings from other Everesters at TSAF have played a key role in her preparations.

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