Since 1984, many men and women have achieved the excellence of climbing Mount Everest, but 33 years ago there were none. 33 years ago when women were still encouraged to do household chores only, Bachendri Pal first broke the barrier. She broke the barrier of stereotyping and dared to climb the Mount Everest, highest mountain peak in the whole world. Due to her sheer hard work and unwavering determination she achieved this feat and gained the title of being the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest.
Early Life of Bachendri Pal
Born on 24th May 1954, Bachendri Pal took birth in a small village in Himalaya, present Uttarakhand, named Nakura. She was one of the seven children of Hansa Devi and Sri Kishan Singh Pal. Her father was a grocery shopper. They had many financial issues; Bachendri Pal completed her Bachelor degree and Masters Degree in Sanskrit from D.A.V. Post Graduate College, Dehradun.
The Life of The Mountaineer
Her story of being a mountaineer began as early as when she was only 12 years old. It was her school picnic. And in competition with her friends, she climbed 13, 123 ft high peak without a second thought.Afterward, when she was in college, during her course at NIM, she scaledMt. Gangotri (21, 900 ft) and Mt. Rudragaria. Shortly after, she was employed by the National Adventure Foundation as an instructor of women who are keen on learning mountaineering.
The Journey to achieve her Dream – Mount Everest
However, the journey of being a mountaineer was never easy for her. She faced strict opposition from her family members. But all those oppositions could not affect her strong resolutions. She was finally called to join the mixed-gender expedition to Mount Everest in 1984.
This was the fourth expedition to Mount Everest. In her group, there were six women and 11 men. As exciting as it may sound, but the journey uphill was not easy. Half of the team members left the summit when an avalanche buried their camp. But Bachendri was determined to achieve this. On 22nd May 1984, Bachendri Pal and some other male member of the previous group agreed to go on with this expedition. She was the only female member. After a day of constant struggling with the height and snow, they finally reached the Mount Everest.
She had led many expeditions successfully afterward such as “Indo-Nepalese Women’s Mount Everest Expedition, 1993”, “The Great Indian Women’s Rafting Voyage 1994” etc. For her incredible achievement, Bachendri Pal received Padma Shri in 1984. She made her name in the Guinness book as well. She also wrote a book, covering her experience of scaling Mount Everest named “Everest – My Journey to the Top.”
Bachendri Pal is an inspiration to all the men and women who are afraid to achieve the impossible.