Captain Manmohan Singh Kohli
Captain M. S. Kohli who wrote his name on the sands of time, is best known as the leader of the epoch-making and record-breaking Indian Everest Expedition 1965 which catapulted India to become the 4th country in the world to climb Everest and electrified the nation (India).
Captain Manmohan Singh Kohli is an internationally renowned Indian mountaineer. An officer in the Indian Navy who joined the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, he led the 1965 Indian expedition which put nine men on the summit of Everest, a world record which lasted for 17 years.
Mohan Kohli was President of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation from 1989 to 1993. In 1989, he co-founded the Himalayan Environment Trust. Internationally renowned mountaineer, Captain M.S. Kohli, belongs to the exclusive band of three climbers in the world who in 1962 spent three nights at 27,650 feet on Everest, two without oxygen. He led the first successful Indian expedition to Mount Everest in 1965 which put nine climbers on the summit. It was a world record which India held for 17 years. He climbed Nanda Kot (22,510 feet) in1959 and made the maiden ascent of highly challenging Annapurna –III (24,858 feet) in 1961 after high-altitude bandits had looted the Base Camp, taking two team members as hostages. From 1965 to 1968, he led the world’s longest and highly sensitive Indo-American expedition to Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot.
He was the first man in the world to conceive and promote trekking in the Himalayas on the global basis, from 1971 to 1989, visiting over 50 countries, some several times. He was closely associated with the Indian Mountaineering Foundation for 14 years, 10 years as Vice-President and 4 years as President. He developed the Indo-Tibetan Border Police into a formidable mountaineering organization with a tally of over 100 Himalayan summits. In 1977, he joined Sir Edmund Hillary in ‘From the Ocean to the Sky’, the jet-boat expedition from the Bay of Bengal to the source of Ganges, with heralded white-water rafting in India.
On 14 October 1989, in consultation with Sir Edmund Hillary, he founded the Himalayan Environment Trust to save the Himalayas for future generations. The HET International Board of Trustees, with Captain Kohli as Chairman, includes Reinhold Messner, Junko Tabei, Maurice Herzog and Sir Chris Bonington, Padma Bhushan and Arjuna Awardee, Captain Kohli was born on 11 December 1931 at Haripur in the hilly Hazara district of North-West Frontier. He has authored 20 books. On 8 September 1965, he was given the rare honour of addressing members of both the Houses of Indian Parliament.
Col. Narinder Kumar
Col. N. Kumar, affectionately known as 'Bull', is an internationally renowned mountaineer of legendary fame. Bull is today the most highly-decorated mountaineer in India. Since the start of his career, Bull has successfully led mountaineering expeditions to the highest peaks of Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal, Garhwal, Kashmir and Eastern Karakoram. Out of the 13 highest peaks above 24,000 ft. climbed by Indians, nine have been climbed under his leadership.
Col Narinder Kumar was born on 8th December 1933 in Rawalpindi. He was the first Indian apart from Tenzing Norgay to cross 28,300 ft (8500 meters) only eight men in the world had climbed higher. In 1965 he handled the logistics for India’s first successful expedition to Everest, which placed nine men on the summit, then a record. He was the leader of the first successful Indian expedition to Nanda Devi, the then the highest mountain in India and Chomalhari, highest in Bhutan. In 1931 a German attempted Kanchenjunga from Northeast Spur, they reached the height of 25000 ft. The British Alpine Journal described the German attempt as a feat without parallel in mountaineering history. It was awarded special gold medal at Los Angeles Olympics. Col. Kumar’s team succeeded in summiting Kanchenjunga (28,208 ft, 8548 meters) from this difficult and dangerous route. This achievement was described by American, Japanese and Swiss Alpine Journals as “One of the greatest achievements in the Mountaineering history…” Himalayan Journal described it “… more notable than that of Everest”. The government of India – India Postal Service has taken out 3 commemorative stamps for his successful expedition to Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga. He was the first one to cross Siachen from snout to the source. He led the summit team to Sia Kangri (24, 350 ft, 7379 meters) at the age of 46 his team climbed Saltoro Kangri (25,400 ft), the highest in Eastern Karakorams. He was the principal of the National Ski School and led Ski Trisul Expedition in 1976, which skied down from 23,360 ft. to the Base Camp at 15,500 ft. He has written 6 books on Mountaineering, Skiing and Rafting. In 1983, Films Division Government of India selected him along with Acharya Vinoba Bhave and Nargis Dutt, to make a film on their lives. He has been awarded Padma Shri, Arjuna Award and Indian Mountaineering Foundation’s Gold Medal in addition to Army decorations like PVSM, Kirti Chakra, AVSM. He had recently received the MacGregor Memorial Medal for his valuable reconnaissance in Siachen area, his reconnaissance got Siachen into India. At present, he is the Chairman of Himalayan Outward Bound (HOB) – a nonprofit organization, President of Biathlon Association of India and Executive member of Indian Olympic Association. He is also the Managing Director of Mercury Himalayan Explorations - an adventure travel company, which has been declared by Government of India, Tourism Department as “most innovative adventure company of the year 2004”.