Friday, January 27th, 2023 03:30:27

A Rare Feat

Updated: April 20, 2013 5:49 pm

Anshu Jamsenpa has already marked her name in mountaineering by scaling Mt Everest twice in a span of just 10 days. Not to rest on laurels, she has set out to conquer the highest peak of the world third time in May 2013


For 33-year-old Anshu Jamsenpa, nothing is impossible. Anshu, a mother of two children, is all set to scale Mount Everest third time, which will be a record of sorts.

It was only two years back on May 12, 2011, when she had her first rendezvous with Mt Everest, but she did not stop there after scaling the summit, when most of the mountaineers would have basked in glory. After returning to her base camp, she started again to climb the highest peak of the world and successfully did it second time on May 21, 2011, just nine days after her first successful bid.

After two years, she is back to scale her favorite peak- Mt Everest. This time as the deputy leader of first Northeast expedition to Mt Everest. If she is successful, she will be the first Indian woman to climb Mt Everest not once, but thrice.

Talking to Uday India over phone, Anshu said, “I am happy, but I am also worried because I have so many responsibilities. People expect great things from me.”

President of India Pranab Mukherjee flagged off her Mt Everest expedition team from the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on 20 March, 2013. They flew to Kathmandu on March 22 and from there to Lukla on March 27. From Lukla, they started their trekking and reached a small village known as Thengboche en route to Mt Everest base camp (17500 ft). They are expected to reach Mt Everest by second week of May.

About her first experience, Anshu says, “The weather was terrible with jet winds lashing us. We could hardly stand there. We quickly unfurled the Tricolour, Arunachal logo and AMASA (Arunachal Mountaineering and Adventure Sports Association) flag, clicked a few pictures and started descending. On way back near upper balcony (28,200ft), we found Japanese climber Takashi Ozaki dead.”

Her husband Tsering Wange, who also has achieved the rarest feat of being the first Indian to do the world’s highest sky jump from Macau Tower, South China on September 3, 2005, says, “I want my wife to excel in what she loves, I wish her all the best and being her partner I must support her too.”

Her life changed when she enrolled in a course at the Manipur Mountaineering Institute in June 2009. Her instructor told her to go to the Everest, which gave a boost to her inner desire to scale the highest peak of the world. “I made up my mind then. First, I completed the adventure course, which was followed by basic and advanced mountaineering courses. Thereafter, I went for a pre-Everest expedition in the Sikkim Himalayas. I had to train almost four years before I could make it to Mt Everest,” reveals Anshu.

But life has never been easy for Bomdila girl, a small town in the hinterland of Arunachal Pradesh. Apart from the mental and physical challenges, Anshu faced financial problems, too. “Everest expeditions are expensive and no sponsors were forthcoming. My husband, Tsering Wange, and I had to sell an ancestral plot in our village at Dirang,” she says.

But after scaling Mt Everest twice within a span of just 10 days, her life changed forever.

She was felicitated in Kathmandu by the Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Government of Nepal on June 1, 2011 followed by Assam Chief Minister on June 4, 2011, at Guwahati. She was later felicitated by Governor and Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur Chief Minister and Sports Minister and West Bengal Sports Minister.

She was also felicitated by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 6, 2011 in New Delhi. While showering praise on Anshu for her mountaineering feat, the Prime Minister said, “You have made the whole of India proud. I am amazed that being a mother of two you have made it to the top of the world twice in a span of just 10 days.” The Prime Minister also gifted her a cheque of Rs 5 lakh as financial incentive for her feat.

She has been a strong propellant of adventure sports and adventure tourism in the region. She has advocated for early commissioning of National Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports (NIMAS) which is coming up at Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh. She has also taken up the issue of opening the virgin Arunachal peaks like Mt. Kangto (7090 metres), Mt. Nyegi Kangsang (7050 metres), Mt Gorichen (6488 metres) for expeditions.

Anshu was also conferred with ‘Young Indian Leader Award’ in New Delhi on June 30, 2011. She received the prestigious award from Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, in recognition of her record achievement.

Anshu Jamsenpa was also conferred with the prestigious ‘Adventurer of the Year’ Award by Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Omar Abdullah on September 12, 2011 in Srinagar.

She was also felicitated during Brain Jam held in Guwahati on November 13, 2012. The audience cheered when video clips of her Everest expedition came alive on the big screen. Anshu was felicitated by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, on December 20, 2011 during a function ‘Clean India Campaign’ organised at Ashok Hotel in New Delhi. Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam felicitated her in the presence of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit and several Union ministers. She was also made the co-chairperson of Travel Trade Group of Clean India Campaign, chaired by then Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi.

On January 31, 2012, she became the first person from Arunachal Pradesh to be featured in Limca Book of Records. On February 20, 2012, she was decorated with Arunachal Pradesh State gold medal by Union Defence Minister A K Antony during Arunachal Statehood Day in Itanagar.

Anshu Jamsenpa has been nominated for an International Women Achiever’s Award instituted by the Government of USA. On June 2, 2012, Anshu Jamsenpa was felicitated with Woman Achiever of the Year 2011-12 by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) at Guwahati.

Olympian Mary Kom and now Anshu have brought laurels for the North East. Caring mother of two kids- Pasang Droma and Tenzin Nyiddon, the whole country wants her third expedition to Everest a great success. She is likely to scale Mt Everest by the second week of May this year. Moreover, she is keen on starting an adventure institute in Arunachal Pradesh devoted to the development of adventure sports and adventure tourism. She is also planning to train youths in mountaineering and other adventure activities. She says, “I wanted to bring name and fame not only to my state but to my whole country.”

By Joydeep Dasgupta

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