Sunday, November 04, 2007

Swiss-Dutch team climbs 6010m peak

image Gangtok, Oct. 28: A Swiss and Dutch team has conquered the 6,010m-high Mt Thingchingkhang in West Sikkim. This is the third successful ascent to the peak in just over a year and is expected to give a big boost to adventure tourism in the state.

The expedition led by the 57-year-old Swiss mountaineer Robert Allenbach included his wife Susana Cornelia, a medical assistant, Robertus Laan, a Dutch national living in Switzerland and Paul P.E. Van Rivere from the Netherlands. They have returned to base after reaching the summit earlier this week.

The expedition was organised by Adarsh Tours and Travels, an agency promoting mountaineering in Sikkim.

Allenbach is an Everester, having scaled the highest peak (8,848m) in the world way back in 1978. A technical engineer by profession, Allenbach has also participated in a number of expeditions in Ladakh.

According to Allenbach, the final stretch of the ascent was technically the most challenging because the team had to negotiate a steep vertical gradient for about 100 metres. The climbers praised Adarsh Tours and Travels for successfully organising the expedition, which included managing the camps and providing support crew.

On October 16, a three-member team from the US had also scaled the peak. That expedition was managed by Yak and Yeti Travels, an adventure tour operator here.

Yak and Yeti Travels had also helped a German team conquer Mt Thingchingkhang last year, soon after it was opened to expeditions by the Sikkim government along with four other peaks.

The Sikkim government earns $350 for each expedition by foreign teams comprising no more than four members and $500 if the number is eight or less.