Trishakti Corps and Striking Lion Division completed the expedition to Mount Jonsang (7462m) and Mount Domekhang (7264m) which are part of the Janak-Himal section of the Great Himalayan Region in North Sikkim.
The expedition was a joint one consisting of members from the Indian Army, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and selected civilians. The expedition was one of the multiple adventure activities being conducted under the umbrella of Eastern Command Trans Theatre Adventure Activities (ECTTAA) – 2022.
Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich, GOC Trishakti Corps, interacted with the expedition team at the picturesque plateau of Dolma Sampa in North Sikkim.
On behalf of Lt Gen RP Kalita, General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C), Eastern Command, the Trishakti Corps Commander complimented the entire expedition team on this unique and extremely challenging achievement and expressed the hope that more such expeditions and adventure activities would be conducted in the pristine locations of Sikkim in the future.
The fact that the Jonsang Peak has been summited only twice before, since its first summit in 1930, is testimony to the challenges in summiting this peak.
Mt Jonsang is amongst the most technically difficult mountain summits because of the arduous approach, frequent avalanches, rock falls and treacherous terrain en route. The expedition team comprised of 24 Mountaineers including four civil mountaineers (02 Women climbers) led by Group Captain Jai Kishan, Principal HMI Darjeeling.
Considering the technical difficulties and natural obstacles that lay ahead, the expedition team carried out in-depth planning to ascertain the best possible route and location of the base camp.
The training regimen was also aligned to match the requirements of the selected route. The weather reports were analysed in detail to arrive at the best possible time window for attempting the summit. The base camp was set up at a new location to promote and make the area of Goma Chu accessible for tourism and for the mountaineers to try their skills in this part of the Sikkim Himalayas.
Since the route for both Mt Jonsang and Mt Domekhang peaks has a common passage which required fixing of rope, the expedition team took the lead and opened the route to Camp Three which, apart from giving mutual benefits led to saving of resources for the ITBP team which was following in the wake.
The first attempt at summiting Mt Jonsang was stalled due to the added challenge of negotiating a cornice crack which had developed the previous day and resultantly, the mission was aborted on September 22.
The team then went on to summit Mt Domekhang and proudly hoisted the Tricolor on the top at 1030 am on September 22.
After success at Mt Domekhang, while braving extreme cold conditions and negotiating the treacherous and dangerous avalanche face of Jonsang and the added obstacle of the cornice crack, the team successfully summited Mt Jonsang at 8:13 am on September 23.
This was the third summit of Mt Jonsang after the 1930 and 2012 summits. This Jonsang summit attempt can be considered as unique since Dava Sherpa of HMI set the record of climbing Mt Domekhang and Mt Jonsang back to back within 24 hours. This was one of the finest and the rarest examples of courage, leadership and never give up attitude of the fraternity of mountaineers.
The successful twin peaks expedition adds another feather to the cap of the Indian Army and marks another milestone in the long list of such achievements. The expedition will hold a special place in the history of mountaineering as it is only the third time that the peak has been conquered. This expedition is equally a stellar example of the history of Civil-Military Collaboration in the adventurous sport of mountaineering.