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Savita Kanswal, Indian woman who climbed Everest, dies in avalanche

On May 12, 2022, Savita Kanswal waved the national flag atop Mt. Everest after just 16 days of her climb.

Savita Kanswal, Indian woman who climbed Everest, dies in avalanche

Savita Kanswal (Source: The National Bulletin)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 5 Oct 2022 5:38 PM GMT

It was in May of this year when mountaineer Savita Kanswal scaled the mighty Everest on the 16th day of her climb, becoming the first Indian woman to achieve the feat in such a less amount of time. On Tuesday, 4th October, she, unfortunately, passed away in an avalanche.

Savita was with other trainees and instructors from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, where she herself was an instructor, in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, when they were met by a deadly avalanche that took the lives of the ace climber, amongst others.

On October 4, an avalanche struck a group of 41 mountaineers who had just finished ascending the summit.

Kanswal, an instructor at NIM, went to Draupadi Ka Danda-II with a group of student climbers.

By ascending Mount Everest and Mount Makalu in just 15 days earlier this year, Kanswal broke a number of records.

NIM enrols 1,500 students a year in a variety of disciplines and is regarded as one of the leading mountaineering schools in the nation.

One person described the avalanche episode as unusual. It was the first avalanche-related occurrence in the region where the training courses had been conducted for more than 50 years.

A slab avalanche is thought to have occurred, which happens when big slabs of snow or ice flow down the mountain face without giving anyone a chance to escape.

The avalanche was the fourth to hit the area in the past two weeks. Between September 22 and October 2, three avalanches were reportedly reported in the Kedarnath region, however, there were no confirmed fatalities.

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