Eight mountaineers from Bangladesh and Nepal have formed an expedition to become the first group to climb the 21,443 foot-high ‘Dogari Himal’ peak in the Himalayas to commemorate 50 years of the two nations’ diplomatic ties.
The Bangla Mountaineering and Trekking Club organised a press conference at the National Press Club on Friday about the expedition. Three of Bangladesh’s mountaineers will set off from Dhaka for Nepal on Oct 3 and will be joined by their fourth member – Iqramul Hassan – from the ‘Great Himalayan Trail’. Hassan will suspend his current outing to join the rest of the team members in Kathmandu.
MA Muhit, who has climbed Everest twice, will lead the four-member Bangladesh team.
Of the three other members, Bahlul Majnu and Iqramul Hossain, have scaled several Himalayan peaks over 7,000 metres in height, while Riyasad Sanvi took mountaineering training in India before climbing mountains in Nepal.
Mountaineer and guide Mingma Gyalje Sherpa will lead the Nepalese contingent in the expedition.
If the weather permits, the team plans to make the climb in 28 days. However, the peak has never been climbed before and the expedition will be the first to even attempt it.
“There has never been an expedition to the Dogari Himal and the trail is completely unknown,” said Muhit. “Once people have gone on expeditions, they will know where to set up the base camps and which faces to climb. But, as there have been no previous attempts, we know nothing. Even Mignma does not know where the base camp will be. We might have to make several. The path is completely new. We will have to discover everything once we get there. We will have to understand what the hazards are.”
Recalling his successful climb of the Chekigo peak in 2010, Muhith said, “In 2010, the peak I reached was the Nepal-Bangladesh Friendship Peak. It was overseen by the Nepal Mountaineering Association. There were 13 previous expeditions there. All 13 failed, but ours succeeded. But we knew the route that time. This time we know absolutely nothing.”
He said that success on the expedition will bring the relationship between Bangladesh and Nepal to another level.
“We planned this expedition last year. Our friend in Nepal, Mingma Gyalje, said we should plan it for a time when we could mark the bilateral relations between the two countries. Mingma said he would find an appropriate peak and inform us.”
The Bangla Mountaineering and Trekking Club and Imagine Nepal are planning the expedition together. Ispahani Tea, Square Toiletries and First Security Islami Bank are covering the costs for the expedition. Biman Bangladesh Airlines is also giving the climbers a 25 percent discount on their air tickets to and from Kathmandu.