In the hustle and bustle of the main market of Nainital dwells an ordinary housewife and mother, Tusi Anit Sah. But once acquainted with her life story one does not take long to realise that she is far from ordinary. Never promoted by the media for her deserving potential, Tusi is an extraordinary mountaineering talent with an envious mountaineering record. She is not only known for her achievements but also for the struggles that she has overcome to make her dreams a reality.
An expedition to the world’s highest point is a cakewalk compared to the difficulty in conquering several other mountain peaks. Climbing Mt Kanchenjunga is thrice as difficult as climbing Mt Everest and the former is only the third highest peak in the world. It is not the height but the arduous route, availability of sherpas and other administrative requirements that all contribute to the difficulty of the climb.
While Everest offers several spots for a rope fix, they are only scantily distributed over Kanchenjunga. Also, due to the crowd of mountaineers on Everest, it is often possible to get help from other teams going up or down the mountain which is a difficult proposition along Kanchenjunga. Consequently, while nearly 5,000 mountaineers have conquered Mt Everest, less than 300 have scaled Mt Kanchenjunga successfully till date.
Tusi gained recognition as an able mountaineer when out of a batch of five female mountaineers from the Kolkata Albatross Adventure Society, she was the only one who could scale the Thalay Sagar peak (6,904 m) on 22 July 2012, becoming the first-ever woman in the world to scale this treacherous peak. That she did without any oxygen support.
Gp Capt Achchyut Kumar has been associated with The Teenager Today for more than 50 years; initially as a reader and later as a contributor on varied topics. Having worked in the Indian Air Force and in India’s oldest company, Forbes & Company Limited, he is now practising as a lawyer in Nainital High Court.