An Indian Army motorcycle team set off on a 1,000-km expedition of the Karakoram Range’s unforgiving terrain and extreme climate from Ladakh on Sunday, a defence spokesman said here, describing it as a one-of-a-kind journey.
The expedition will continue over 14 days and commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Divas, celebrated on July 26 every year to mark the victory of the Indian armed forces over Pakistan in ‘Operation Vijay’.
Eleven motorcycles are part of the expedition organised in partnership with Royal Enfield and Himalayan Motorsports, the spokesman said.
“With due acclimatisation at every stage, the team will be roaring their engines over some of the highest motorable passes including Chang La and Khardung La, inhabited villages and iced water bodies, to an altitude of 18,176 feet,” he said.
The motorcyclists will pass through areas where temperatures could drop as low as minus 40 degrees, where breathing will be laboured, blizzards may be frequent and visibility often zero.
“The team is ready to brave all the odds in the unforgiving terrain and the extreme climate of the region, to complete a motorcycle expedition to the Karakoram Range, one that has never been attempted before,” the spokesman added.
The expedition was flagged off from Karu near Leh.
Indian Army riders in the team are from the Army Service Corps.
They are: Maj K Renuka, Maj Bhupesh Rawat, Capt Arpit Kapila, Capt Jabez Philip, Capt Akshay Joshi, Capt Nikita A Nair, Sep Diwakar, Sep Abhijeet and Sep Shivsingh.
Sachin, Aditya, Hema and Nihal are representing the Enfield team and the Himalayan Motorsports Association (HMA) team has Vijay Parmar.
In January, 19 hopefuls participated in an exacting selection process organised by the HMA in Himachal Pradesh, after which 11 men and women were selected to be part of the team.PTI