The mountain peak got its name from the Sanskrit word Maha-Kala, which means ‘Big Black’ and is a by- name of Lord Shiva. Shiva is sometimes an evil, cruel destroyer but at other times he tends to be gentle and kind hearted. The mountain has another name in local dialect “Kumba Karna”, which means The Giant. Makalu has proven to be a challenging climb, as only five of its initial sixteen attempts were successful.
Prior to its first ascent in 1955, it was admired and studied by several Everest expeditions, but like other giants in the Khumbu region, it was not attempted until the summit of the Everest was first climbed in 1953. In 1955, armed with modified and tested equipment, the French team climbed Makalu from the North face and North East ridge, via the saddle between Makalu and Kangchungtse (The Makalu La), establishing what is now considered to be the standard route.
It is in commemoration of previous superlative expedition feat that the gallant soldiers of Indian Army are embarking towards their first expedition to Mt Makalu (8485M). The team will climb the fifth highest mountain in the world which is being led by Maj Manoj Joshi and comprises of four Offrs, two JCOs and 11 Other Ranks.
As a precursor to it, an expedition to Mount Kamet (7756M), Joshimath District Chamoli, Uttarakhand was conducted under the aegis of Army Adventure Wing in August-September 2018 followed by Winter Trg in in Sunderdunga Glacier, Kumaon Himalayas during Nov-Dec 2018 where the teammade the the first recorded winter ascent on Mt Bhanoti (5645M).
First IA mountaineering Expdn to Mt Makalu (8485M) consisting of 18 members was flagged off from Delhi on 27 March 2019. The team began their journey towards the Makalu Base Camp (BC) on 02 Apr 2019. While acclimatizing at Langmale Kharka on 09 April 2019, the team sited a series of huge mysterious footprints measuring 32 inches by 15 inches. The footprints are speculated to be belonging to the elusive snowman “Yeti”. Team has collected sufficient videos and photographic evidence. Makalu-Barun National Park has been the traditional site wherein such footprints have been sighted in past however footprints in such large numbers have been sighted for the first time by an Indian Army Expedition team.
Team is presently at Makalu Base Camp and likely to attempt the Makalu summit in the second week of May 2019 and is expected to de-induct to India by last week of May 2019/ first week of June 2019.
Evidences have been photographed and will be handed over to subject matter experts on return of the expedition. The idea is to share so that the issue can be addressed in a scientific way.