"The problem with women in the country is that when they are faced with challenges like say climbing a mountain they feel oh! I am a women and I cannot do this. You have to give up this attitude to survive and fight in life be it climbing a mountain or fighting for own sense of security," says Pal.

The now retired mountaineer, who summited Mt Everest in 1984 was in the city to flag off an all women expedition to Kharta Valley in Tibet.

Seven women- Premlata Agarwal from Jharkhand, Chetna Sahoo from West Bengal, Jyoti Sharma and Tanu Verma from Delhi, Sheetal Sangeeta Ekka from Jharkhand, Madhvi Sharma from Uttrakhand and Anita Vaidya from Gujarat are set to battle hostile cold conditions to reach Kharta valley.

The trek is scheduled to take the team through a valley of flowers and to the Mount Everest's east face known as the Kangshung. The Kangshung Glacier is one of the three main glaciers of Mount Everest.

"The women in the expedition come from diverse background. It is going to be challenging and learning experience for all of us to trek. Such challenging and adventurous expeditions are an opportunity for women to realise their potential and serve as strong building blocks for the communities at large," says Pal.

A living legend in mountaineering, Pal conquered the mighty Everest in May 1984. After that there was no stopping her as she went on an "Indo-Nepalese Women's Mount Everest Expedition" in 1993 team comprising only women and more such expeditions.

"Mountaineering teaches people to be tough and develops their life skills. Teaches them leadership skills, problem
solving attitude and to fight till then end. I urge women to think nothing is impossible in life if you want something from the bottom of the heart," Pal said.

Pal cites the example of her prodigy Premlata Agarwal, the first Indian woman to scale seven summits of the world and the oldest Indian woman to have scaled Mount Everest at the age of 48.

"Family support for a woman to fulfill her dreams or even to stand up for herself in life is a necessity. But if there is a will there is a way," says Premlata Agarwal.

Describing one of her most difficult experience in her career - The Snowman's trek in Bhutan, Pal says the trek, which originates in Paro and leads one via Lingshi and Laya to the remote Lunana in northern Bhutan requires determination and the will power.

"The trek is not for the weak and I am happy that I took the risk of doing it. The biggest risk in life is not to take risk. Always remember that," says Pal.     

Meanwhile, organised by Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF), the all women expedition is set to be a 15-day with beginning on Monday.

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