April 12, 2011

INDIA: Seniors climb Tail Baila to support 2012 Everest expedition

PUNE / The Indian Express / News / April 12, 2011

By Aaditi Jathar Lakade

In a unique way to express support to the Pune Everest expedition taking place in 2012, five senior citizens from the city climbed 300-foot high Tail Baila on Saturday.

The team consisted of Ushaprabha Page (67), Vishwanath Bhide (74), Dattatraya Deval (65), Nirupama Bhave (64) and Prakash Patil (62). The team members began climbing the peak at 7 am and Page was the first to reach the peak at 9 am followed by others. “The motive behind the climb was to motivate the young team of Everest expedition so that they become the first all-Pune team to reach Mount Everest,” Bhide said, who is regular trekker for the past 30 years.

Bhide said the climb was exciting as he has never been to Tail Baila before. “I have done rappelling and rock climbing before, but Tail Baila is known as one of the toughest peaks with long rock climbing and rappelling patches. Being a regular trekker, I was physically fit and had to simply get some information on rock climbing,” he said.

Page, another regular trekker, had been to Tail Baila for the first time. “We chose Tail Baila as it is near Lonavala and close to Pune and within our capacity, though most of us climbed the peak for the first time,” she said.

View of Tail Baila by M.D. Pathak

Umesh Zirpe, team leader of the Everest expedition, recalled that they had observed the fitness of the team members for a couple of days and were sure of their fitness level. “After some basic awareness about rock climbing and logistics, we were sure of the team’s success,” he said. Zirpe added that the senior citizens have given us their blessings with this climb.

Bhave and Deval are members of Pune Cycle Pratishthan, Bhide is a member of Pune Mountaineers, while Page and Patil are members of Giripremi, the group behind Pune Everest expedition in 2012.

Other members who helped in making the climb successful include Krishna Dhokle, Avinash Kandekar, Ganesh more, Bhushan Harshe, Anand Mali, Surendra Jalihal, Chetan Ketkar, Rahul Yelange, Tekraj Adhikari, Omkar Oak, Dilip Salastekar, Ashish Mane, Sachin Deng, Mahesh Kalbhor, Paresh Naik, Kiran Salastekar, Kaustubh Thakar and Anil Dandekar.

© 2011 The Indian Express Limited.