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Central theme of this year's Girimitra Sammelan is Pioneers in Mountaineering.
Man has always been climbing mountains, be it pilgrimages, territorial conquests, trade and commerce. Michael-Gabriel Paccard and Jacques Balmat’s 1786 climb of the Mont Blanc in the Alps Mountain Range, for a reward, is the first known instance of mountain climbing the way we know it today as a hobby or a passion. In the latter half of the 19th century, in 1854, Wetterhorn was climbed by English mountaineer Sir Alfred Wills. This is when Alpinism took shape in Europe with formation of The Alpine Club in 1857, in the UK. Around 1892, mountaineering came to the Himalayas and the first known expedition in the Karakoram ranges was organised by William Martin Conway. The early 20th century saw mountaineers attempting to climb the mighty Everest. Finally in 1953, Sir Edmond Hillary and Sherpa Tensing succeeded in climbing the world’s highest peak, which introduced Indians to the sport of mountaineering. Maharashtra quickly took interest in the sport and it was adopted very well here.
It has been a journey of 233 years now, starting with the successful ascent of Mont Blanc in 1786 and we’ve seen a lot of mountaineering activities with exciting and sad outcomes. Initially, the sport carried neither any prestige nor recognition. In the early years, after the Matterhorn expedition accident in 1865, it was demanded in the British Parliament that the sport be banned by law. But, the mountaineers at that time did not pay any heed to such demands. They kept climbing, exploring new routes and places. Not all the endeavours were successful, there were some failures but mountaineering as an activity did not stop. There were stalwarts who left a lasting impression on the sport and answered questions in their own way. There was neither any competition nor any enmity.
The tools and technology have changed a lot over the years, from bulky stuff early on to slick equipment now made of lightest materials. However, the path that has been laid by these pioneers still holds true and the same thread connects today’s mountaineers to the pioneers. There are various angles and philosophies such as Art Critic and painter John Ruskin’s “Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery”, George Mallory’s retort “Because it’s there”. Last but not the least there is a famous proverb, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”.
At times, the journey proved fatal, at times joyful but it never stopped because of the strong intent of the determined mountaineers who treaded on the path less travelled. The journey that started for claiming a reward has now reached a stage where people are going in the mountains for personal joy. Often times, this journey, has enlightened mankind and has taught life philosophy. It is essential for us, as mountaineers, to understand these formative steps and hence, “Pioneers in Mountaineering” (गिर्यारोहणातील अध्वर्यू) is the central theme of the 18th Girimitra Sammelan.
A veteran mountaineer, one of the pioneers in 'Alpine' style climbing and current President of The Alpine Club (world’s first mountaineering club founded in 1857 in the UK)
Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy. Presently, Member, Atomic Energy Commission.
Information about other honourable guests will be available soon.
We are collecting information about rock climbing & Himalayan expedition details for this year, from 1st July 2018 to 30th June 2019.
Please download the files, fill-in the required details and submit your details here. Note that, Google sign-in is required to submit the form.
For any queries, please feel free to call Parag Sarode on +91-9699998248
In the words of revered Mountaineer Mr. Sharad Owalekar the award is more of an appreciation from my mountaineer friends than just an award. Felicitation of a mountaineer by mountaineers!.
Various competitions such as photography, audio-visual and so on, are held every year. View important details like Entry Form, Rules and Regulations, Last Date, contact information, etc.
Links showing images, videos, blog entries displaying Girimitra Sammelan being mentioned by print media, social media and others. Be prepared for a visual treat and lot of information.