Adventure – Mission Seven Summits

Issue: 09-2009By Directorate of Adventure Air HQ, IAF

Pursuant to its efforts to make an impact on the mountaineering front, the IAF plans to conquer the ‘Seven Summits’—the highest peak in each of the seven continents

A Major milestone was achieved in 2005 when an expedition team of the Indian Air Force (IAF), led by Wing Commander R.C. Tripathi, hoisted the national flag as well as the IAF pennant on top of Mount Everest (8,848 m), also recognised as the ‘Third Pole’. Thus, the IAF became the first air force to not only conquer the world’s highest peak but to have hoisted the national flag at all the three poles:

  • North Pole in April 1996
  • South Pole in December 2001
  • Mount Everest in May 2005

In January, garnering yet another feather for its cap, the IAF contingent scaled the 16,024-ft Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia.

The quest to climb the highest mountains of each continent has captured the imagination of avid climbers throughout the world. The seven summits offer a fantastic challenge with each mountain affording a unique experience. There are very few people in the world who have the distinction of climbing the seven summits.

Pursuant to its efforts to strive for excellence and make an impact nationally and internationally on the mountaineering front, the IAF has planned to conquer the ‘Seven Summits’, that is, the highest peak in each of the seven continents (see box ‘Raring To Go’). Of them, Mount Everest is the most difficult, and since the IAF has successfully scaled it, it should not now be difficult to attempt the remaining peaks—more so when the nucleus of mountaineers in the IAF has achieved peak fitness and preparations to take on the challenge.