Kathmandu: The Indian Air Force today rescued 16 Pune-based mountaineers, including an 11-year-old girl, who spent two days in a make-shift tent after being stuck on Mount Everest in Nepal.
The trekking group from Pune who was on its maiden expedition from Lukla to Mount Everest base camp, a 12-day programme, was trapped mid-way en route the Everest.
“We have been trekking in the Sayhadri mountains, but this was the first time that we decided to trek in the Himalayas,” said Rakesh Nibhjaya, who started the trek on April 22.
“After our two days trek from Lukla in northeast Nepal, we decided to halt at Nemcha Bazaar for a day to acclimatise with the weather conditions. When the earthquake struck, we rushed out of our hotel to seek refugee.
“After making some calls, we heard that a massive earthquake has hit Nepal and there is an avalanche in Mount Everest, so we decided not to proceed further,” he added. The group, however, got stuck as they could neither move ahead nor go back as the road had been damaged.
Along with the group was an 11-year-old Shravani Kulkarni, a class VII student. For two days, the group spent time in a make-shift tent on the ground of Nepal Armed Police Force. “It was then we decided to hire a helicopter and come to Lukla. From there, we were air-lifted by the Indian Air Force,” Nibhjaya added.
Meanwhile, Kulkarni is over-whelmed with her first Himalayan trekking experience.
“The Nepali people were really helpful. They have top civic sense,” said the girl.