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Press Release by Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF)

8th June 2019

Nanda Devi East Mountaineering Expedition


 This press release is in connection with the recent tragedy where a group of 7 foreign mountaineers along with the Indian Liaison Officer detailed by IMF have been missing and are presumed to have been killed while on a mountaineering expedition to Nanda Devi East. The IMF is deeply concerned about the manner in which the Rescue & recovery is being organized by the District Administration.

On Friday, 31st May, IMF was informed by the tour operator about the situation and IMF immediately requested DM Pithoragarh to initiate search operation. On 1st June our team of expert mountaineers who had come back from climbing up to 5500 M in the surrounding area and were fully acclimatised were deputed. They reached Pithoragarh and reported to the DM on the same day. The embassies of the respective countries were also informed vide at the same time. A senior IMF functionary was deputed to coordinate and act as the IMF spokesman to communicate with various agencies.

On 2nd June, our team of mountaineers provided inputs to the DM and the IAF crew regarding possible areas of search basis which 4 foreigners (who had carried out the initial search of their team members and were otherwise unharmed and waiting in Base Camp) were brought to Pithoragarh by IAF  helicopters. Next day i.e. 3rd June, two of the foreign mountaineers were taken up to the area where the climbers were missing and they brought back photographs which were analysed and it was found that there were 5 bodies which could be seen after zooming in. IMF mountaineers were not taken up despite strong request and advice to the District Administration.

On 4th June, it is understood that no operation was conducted and despite suggestions from our team and Deputy Leader of the Expedition to involve them in the planning and operations, District Administration did not involve the IMF further but kept it on Standby. On 5th June IAF helicopter along with ITBP personnel have attempted to retrieve the bodies spotted by the IAF helicopter but was unable to do so because of unfavourable conditions/ preparedness.

It was the considered opinion of IMF experts that the location of the bodies spotted are towards the Pindari glacier side and any ground approach from the Nanda Devi East Base Camp would be practically impossible. Therefore it was expedient to launch an expedition from Pindari side on the well-charted route and IMF was ready and waiting to launch this expedition immediately.  A verbal request for permission was to this effect was made to the DM Pithoragarh on 5th June followed up by written applications for permission to the District Administrations of Pithoragarh and Bageshwar on 6th June.

Not having heard from the District Administration, On 7th June, we followed up with a telephonic request to Chief Secretary. Our request to the Uttarakhand Government was as follows:-

"We wish to convey that IMF is ready to launch a ground expedition from the Pindari glacier side to locate and prepare them for air evacuation (winching) of the bodies. For this, we have a team of highly experienced mountaineers standing by to move at short notice.

We have requested DM Pithoragarh and DM Bageshwar to obtain/accord permission to launch such an expedition. “

Permissions from the State and District Administration are awaited, while we have a window of 15-20 days to complete the operation before the monsoon arrives. 

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Athletes Combined National Ranking All India Sport Climbing Competitions As On 30 April 2019

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The Apex Special Edition on Accidents and Safety is now available for download. The newsletter includes articles based on all the key discussion areas from the IMF Meet on Risk Management held earlier this year.

Please download through the given link.

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Indian Mountaineering Foundation announces

Mountaineering  Festival  2018-19

Himachal Pradesh                                                 23 Jul- 12 Aug 2018

Sikkim                                                                        15 Oct- 03 Nov 2018

Uttarakhand                                                            20 May-8 Jun 2019

Ladakh (J&K)                                                          22 Jul- 11 Aug 2019

Highlights of Mountaineering Festival • Fully Functional Base Camp set up by IMF during Festival period • Climbing Equipment available on rent • Guides/ Climbing Leaders available at Base Camp • Over the counter permit facilitation • Liaison Officers positioned at Base Camp • High Altitude Trained Doctor at Base Camp • Rescue teams positioned at Base Camp

Write to for details

Registration Fee: Rs. 1000/- (Indians) ,$100 (Foreigners). Register Now at 

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India's first Official Mountain Film Festival
- 42 short adventure and mountain related films all shot in India will be screened over two days - 10 & 11 Feb 2018
- Films on mountaineering , treks and exploration, mountain biking, kayaking, bouldering, time lapse and astro photography, air running, mountain wildlife , mountain people as well as mountain stories. 




Other Attractions
- Photo Exhibition by Mr Ashok Dilwali
- Adventure Zone : Zipline, Tyrolean traverse, Artifical wall climbing, Rope Course
- Display and sale of adventure gear & publications
- Food stall

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Background: The Chadar is popular winter trek with the objective of walking over the frozen Zanskar river.
In recent years some areas of the river do not freeze over through the winter resulting in situations where
trekkers have to traverse sections which have not frozen.

Advisory released by the IMF on January 3, 2018 :

1. The Chadar trek is typically rated as an easy or moderate trek recommended for first time trekkers.
Based on the current circumstances where the river is in a semi frozen in some sections the trek must
be rated as difficult or demanding.

2. Treks rated difficult or demanding should be conducted in small groups with safety gear to ensure
that multiple safeguards are in place. Adventure lovers who are signing on to do the Chadar in the
2018 season should understand the trek rating and also ensure that the trek operator is adequately
proficient in managing the risk associated with traversing a river with multiple unstable sections.

Elections were held at IMF during the AGM 2017 on 18th Nov 2017.

The following were declared elected:-


Col HS Chauhan

Governing Council Members:-

Shri Manik Banerjee

AVM AK Bhattacharya

Wg Cdr Amit Chowdhury

Maj SK Dhami

Smt Reena Dharamshaktu

Shri SD Gandhi

Shri Yemben Laba

Shri Sukhinder S Sandhu

Col SC Sharma

Shri Mahavir Thakur

Brig MP Yadav

Newly elected Individual Members:-

Shri Dhruv Joshi

Shri Wallambok Lyngdoh

Shri Ranveer Singh Negi

Shri Jagmohan Singh Rawat

Col Vijay Singh




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Grand Prize: The Great Indian Tamasha    by   4Play

Best Mountain Art Film :  Prayer Flags - Mountain Clouds in North East by Anurag Jaitley   

Best Mountain Culture Film :   Mandakini Women Weavers by Mukti Dutta 

People Choice Award:  Wild Women by Kopal Goyal 

                                       Sauramandala: The Breswana Project by Praveen Pillay  

Best Mountaineering Film - Thalay Sagar by Golovchenko Dmitry

Best Water Sports Film : All India Overland by Neil Productions

Best Mountain Biking Film : Munsiyari Mountain Biking  by Herve Doulat

Best Climbing Film : Ganesha Hard Route by Kopal Goyal

Best Skiing Film: Dream Trip Kashmir by Switch Back Entertainment

Best Mountain Wildlife Film: Seeking Snow by Eshika Fyzee

Best Environment Film : Healing Himalaya by 4Play

Jury Special Prize :  Mountain Mothers Tahir Gazanfar

Jury Special Prize :  An Uncertain Winter by Munmun Dhalaria