Bhubaneswar: Kalpana Dash sacrificed her life as a true mountaineer and made the country and Odisha proud by summiting the Mt Everest for the second time in May this year before she succumbed to the harsh climate.
But the deed of three other climbers who attempted to scale the peak during this season has put the country to shame.
The Himalayan Times, published from Kathmandu, in a report has said that three climbers from Haryana faked their claims of summiting Mt Everest on May 26.
Vikas Rana, Shobha Banwala and Ankush Kasana of Haryana are currently being felicitated and honoured back home for their glory.
The newspaper, which carried out an investigation, said they never got above Camp 3 at 23,000-feet, much less on the summit at 29,035 feet.
It said that when the trio was asked to produce photographers as evidence, they failed to do so. Besides, they could not name the sherpas accompanying them.
“We met them at the base camp at around 12:30 pm on May 26, the day when the Haryana climbers claimed to have summitted Mt Everest,” Chhiring Sherpa, a high-altitude climber, said, adding that it was highly unlikely to descend from the summit point to the base camp within a couple of hours.
Managing Director of Prestige Adventures Pvt, which had arranged for their expedition failed to vouch for their claim, the newspaper said.
Nepal’s Department of Tourism (DoT), the final arbiter, has still not given a certificate to the three.
DoT Director Meera Acharya told The Print that they had asked the three climbers to provide them with photographs, videos and any other evidence backing their claim of having reached the summit.
About 77 Indian climbers have attempted to summit Mt Everest this year, the highest in many years. The death toll has also been highest, with four Indians including Kalpana succumbing to the harsh climate.