Maj Doc Ritesh Goel, a Para SF officer was part of the 30 members Indian army mountaineering team that was to climb Mt. Everest as part of the golden jubilee of the first Indian army expedition to Everest.
While they were at the base camp, the Nepal Earthquake took place and they were lucky to survive and also help others survive at the base camp. Maj Goel was one of the few doctors at the spot to help the large numbers of trekkers. He tells us his story in this special discussion.
Story: An Indian Army Everest Massif Team which was on Khumbu Icefall area near Everest Base Camp when the massive earthquake triggered multiple avalanches in Nepal last month, returned to Delhi on Tuesday unscathed.
The team led by Major Ranveer Singh Jamwal, an accomplished mountaineer and twice Everester also joined search and evacuation.
Recalling the day when the avalanches swept the area, Jamwal says “This was an unexpected situation in which the avalanches triggered from the west shoulder and from Nuptse sides making it difficult to move to safer side and moreover the shaking of the Ice sheet on which the whole team was standing was even scary”.
On reaching base camp, the situation was worse, with broken tents all around, and injured persons asking for help. In fact a few expedition camps were all wiped off including the Indian Army’s Camp. The avalanche killed around 19 people and injuring more than 80 climbers and sherpas.
The Indian Army expedition rose to the occasion and immediately joined other volunteers for search and evacuation, officials said. For over 70 climbers, Major Ritesh Goel, the Indian Army Expedition Team’s Medical Officer was a ‘life saver’. Goel provided first-aid and stabilised nearly 70 climbers, some with broken legs and hands, and also managed to provide medical assistance to eight persons with serious head injuries for until the victims were evacuated by helicopters.
On May 4, the Indian Army became the last team to leave the base camp. Thereafter, the team was stationed at the Namche Bazar area in Nepal. Here, the team carried out restoration and relocation work of the Namche Dental Clinic.
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