There are women and then there are super-women. They are not bound by convictions of a patriarchal society; they are bondless, bold and believers. The women of the Indian armed forces fall in the latter category.
A group of 24 women from the Indian Navy did something that proves that even sky is not the limit for Indian women.
Led by Cmdr Priya Khurana, the all-women team charted a new trekking route along the Pindari Glacier in the higher terrains of Uttarakhand.
In case you do not know, Pindari Glacier flows south of the Nanda Devi mountain in the Himalayan range.
It is the source of the Pindari River which meets Alakananda at Karnaprayag in the Garhwal district. Just for the record, at 7,816 mtrs Nanda Devi is India’s highest peak.
The new route is significant since the original trekking route, which was popular with adventure seekers, was destroyed in devastating 2013 floods in the state.
The expedition organized by the Indian Navy from Mar 24 to Apr 2 was meant to introduce the women officers to extreme adventure sports.
And they did a fine job of it.
Trekking began from Loharkhet on Mar 26. The 24 women braved the treacherous terrain full of boulders and snow blocks, and passed Dhakuri, Khati and Dwali.
The arduous trek was challenging for the best of trekkers but the women did not give up. They kept on moving forward and navigated their way through six landslide zones.
And on Mar 30, the team reached the Pindari Glacier zero point at 3353 mtrs.
The glacier which has a width of 1.5 kms and a length of 3.2 kms is so significant that the locals call it the ‘Soul of Kumaon’.
All images courtesy Chandni Bhatnagar, who was part of the 24-member team.