16 January, 2021

Walking On Thin Ice

Santosh Yadav's season of triumph is clouded by her precipitate resignation from the ITBP

Walking On Thin Ice
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Thirty-year-old Santosh Yadav should be flying high. In '93, she became the first woman to have climbed the crescent summit of Mt Everest twice in the space of one year. On May 28 this year, she also became the first Indian " and woman " to successfully assault the Everest from the Kangshung Face; a side so treacherous and desolate that only seven expeditions have attempted it, of which only three have triumphed.

But a shadow darkens the heady excitement of Santosh's success. Days before she left with her 14-member team on March 28 for Everest's icy slopes, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (itbp) where she'd worked for nine years, 'accepted her resignation ' .

Ask Santosh about braving stormfalls, crashing icewalls and winds that can make you hallucinate at breathless heights and her eyes kindle with passion. Ask her what provoked her to leave a successful career as a Class-I gazetted officer and the only woman assistant commander in an all-male task force and she's resolutely tight-lipped. Her friends hint at a traumatic tenure with the itbp, especially over the...

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