Ace mountaineer Savita Kanswal among those killed in Uttarakhand avalanche

Savita Kanswal. Photo: Twitter/ savi_kanswal

Record-setter mountaineer Savita Kanswal, who had set a national record by climbing Mount Everest and Mount Makalu within a span of 15 days, was among those killed in the avalanche at Draupadi ka Danda-II in Uttarkashi district.

Principal of the Uttarkashi-based Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) Col Amit Bisht confirmed her death on Wednesday. Her body is among the four bodies retrieved so far. A 41-member team of mountaineers was returning after climbing the peak when they were hit by the avalanche on Tuesday.

Kanswal worked as an instructor at NIM and had accompanied the team of trainee climbers to Draupadi Ka Danda-II. As the news of her demise broke, there was an outpouring of grief in her Lonthru village in the district.

Kanswal had set a national record by climbing Mount Everest and Mount Makalu within a span of 15 days earlier this year.

She had quickly carved a niche for herself in the world of mountaineering despite being relatively new to the field, Col Bisht said. Kanswal had done her basic, advance, search and rescue and mountaineering instructor's courses from the NIM in 2013 and had been working as an instructor at the institute since 2018.

Col Bisht said Kanswal was one of the best instructors at the institute.

Born to Radheshyam Kanswal and Kamleshwari Devi, she was the youngest of four sisters. Kanswal, who had humble origins, was ambitious and had the courage and resolve to fulfil her dreams.

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