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As Indian Republic readies to turn 70, IAF station pays a rare tribute

Indian Air Force (IAF) team, led by Wg Cdr Vikrant Uniyal — a qualified mountaineer from Army Mountaineering Institute in Siachen, — carried out a trekking expedition to the frozen Zanskar river
 New Delhi: In commemoration of India closing in on its 70th Republic Day, Air Force Station Thoise carried out a trekking expedition to the frozen Zanskar river, which connects Ladakh and Zanskar. Wg Cdr Vikrant Uniyal, a qualified mountaineer from Army Mountaineering Institute in Siachen, led the expedition. The expedition team included seven Indian Air Force (IAF) soldiers, who covered a total distance of 65 kilometres in five days amid arduous climate conditions.The Chadar Trek or the Zanskar Gorge, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, is one of the most daunting trails in the country. The trek began from “Chilling” and continued on Chadar through “Tibb” cave till “Naerak” village. The temperature ranged between -15 and -20 degrees during the day while it dipped to -25 degrees at night. At an altitude of about 13,000 ft, the team spent the nights in tents near caves close to the frozen river. The IAF team also saved the life of another trekker who fell in water after the ice crust beneath him broke. The expedition team heard cries for help from the individual who was later saved by the team.