The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, May 25: A Manipuri has scaled the Mt Everest for the first time, making it history for the tiny and strife-torn state.
Nongmaithem Suraj Singh, who hails from Palace Compound of the state’s Imphal East district, was part of the army team christened “Snow Lion”, which scaled the peak last Thursday.
Thirty-five-year-old Suraj, son of late Jamini Singh and late Nongmaithem ongbi Khumanleima, is a Central government employee and posted in Sikkim.
All 10 members of the team, including two women, made it to the summit at 7.10 am on May 22. They safely returned to the base camp in Nepal yesterday afternoon.
“We climbed from the Nepal side and it was a wonderful experience to be on top of the highest point on the planet,” Suraj said briefly from the base camp.
An earlier attempt by a Manipuri climber, G Anita Devi on May 5, 1993, was beaten by harsh weather conditions. Anita was just 72 m short of the summit.
Nepal had restricted climbing from May 1 to 9 to prevent disruption of the torch relay as per China’s request ahead of the Beijing Olympics.
Since it was first conquered by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, Mt Everest has been ascended at least 3,000 times.