The Fit@50+ ‘Summits and Steering Wheels’ Expedition to be led by Bachendri Pal, India’s first woman to scale Mt. Everest ~
~14 women aged 50 and above to trek & do off-roading in the remote terrain of Arunachal Pradesh~
New Delhi, 14th Oct 2023– In an endeavour to defy stereotypes, challenge age norms, and empower women, Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF), in collaboration with the Indian Army, flagged off the ‘Fit@50+ Summits and Steering Wheels’ expedition today. This remarkable 18-day Himalayan Odyssey, scheduled from October 11 to October 28 will witness a fearless team of 14 women, aged 50 and above, pushing the boundaries of age, gender, and adventure in the breath-taking terrain of Arunachal Pradesh.
Led by the distinguished mountaineer, Padma Shri, and Padma Bhushan awardee, Ms. Bachendri Pal, the expedition will be a mix of trekking and off-roading on a 4-wheel SUV in the remote terrain of Arunachal Pradesh and will cover a total distance of around 550 km. The flag-off ceremony is set to take place on October 12 from the town of Dirang.
Inspired by India’s Fit India Movement initiated in 2019 by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the concept of promoting physical activity among women aged 50 and above was born in the visionary mind of Bachendri Pal. As the first Indian woman mountaineer to conquer Mount Everest, Ms. Pal’s vision empowers women in their 50s and 60s, defying stereotypes and promoting fitness as a vital aspect of life, regardless of age or gender.
“With our feet on rugged terrain, we are breaking stereotypes about age and adventure. This journey combines off-roading and trekking, showing that adventure has no expiration date. In the heart of Arunachal’s landscapes, we will discover that dreams do not age, and the spirit of exploration knows no bounds,” said Bachendri Pal.
This is TSAF’s second expedition under the Fit India Banner after last year’s Fit@50+ Women’s Trans Himalayan Expedition 2022.
Chanakya Chaudhary, Chairman, Tata Steel Adventure Foundation & Vice President (Corporate Services), Tata Steel, said, “We firmly believe that age is never a barrier to pursuing the extraordinary. This marks our second Fit@50+ adventure, reinforcing our dedication to supporting active, healthy lifestyles for individuals of all ages. We are proud to stand with these fearless women as they embark on this adventure, once again pushing the boundaries of what is possible. I extend my best wishes to all the team members for a successful expedition.”
Arunachal Pradesh, often referred to as ‘Paradise on Earth,’ with its majestic mountains, pristine forests, and bordering nations like Bhutan and Myanmar, sets the perfect backdrop for this extraordinary adventure. Beyond its adventurous aspects, this expedition offers an opportunity for border, cultural, heritage, and battlefield tourism, allowing the FIT@50+ women to explore the diverse culture and scenic beauty that Arunachal Pradesh offers.
The Indian Army will lead the expedition on the ground, actively supported by local formations. The highlight of this journey includes the historical Bailey’s trail and thrilling off-roading through Bum La, Damteng Mago, and other challenging terrains.
The team will pass through the highest point of Bailey’s trail at Tse La pass(4,700 m). The Bailey Trail covers a wide variety of terrain, from lowland pastures and serene villages to powerful glaciers and stunning mountain views. Along the way, one will come across hot water spring at Mago, thundering waterfalls at Jang and cross icy rivers and high mountain passes. The team will also pass through Eastern most village of India, place which sees the first rays during sunrise in India; the Largest Monastery in India & the second Largest in the world while also meeting the simple and hospitable locals.
“The border areas and vibrant villages, rich in cultural heritage, serve as India’s cultural ambassadors. The ‘Summits and Steering Wheels’ expedition is a collaborative effort aimed at highlighting a diverse range of experiences, catering to adventurers and travellers alike. This venture encompasses adventure, eco-tourism, cultural immersion, spiritual discovery, battlefield exploration, and border tourism,” said Colonel P S Chohan, Director, The Indian Army Adventure Wing.
The “Fit@50+ Summits and Steering Wheels” expedition this year is being supported by Oxbow Media, the National Institute of Mountaineering and Adventure Sports (NIMAS), Arunachal Pradesh Tourism, The Naksha, and the Offroading challenge is led by Grey Ghost Overland Adventure.