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23 Extraordinary Athletes Enter Stage 3 of High Endurance Soul of Steel Himalayan Challenge

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An adventure sports initiative has been launched by a team of veterans of Special Forces of the Indian Army, in association with the Indian Army and CLAW (Conquer Land Air Water) Global, to organize challenging skill runs over a three-month long period.

The Soul of Steel Himalayan Challenge has been launched as a high-altitude endurance challenge for the average citizen across the country. The challenge attracted the interest of 1,401 highly skilled athletes, adventure sports enthusiasts and armed forces aspirants including 94 women.

These applicants went through a rigorous two-stage screening process, which tested their mountaineering and adventure skills.

Only 23 of them (including two women) were eventually selected for a 10-week-long training program. The first two phases of this program have been completed. The participants are currently being taken to the snow-capped reaches of the Himalayas, which will prepare them for the third and final stage of the challenge.

A joint team of experts from CLAW Global and the Indian Armed Forces is training the participants. The challenge is supported by the Ministry of Defence, Government of Uttarakhand, Ministry of Veteran Welfare, Ministry of Skill and Ministry of Tourism Uttarakhand.

This special event is being developed in line with the Central Government’s “Vibrant Village” theme to promote adventure tourism by inculcating a sense of adventure among the youth. The program also aims to develop border villages by preventing migration through revenue and employment generation and to create rural communities in remote areas of the country.

On June 7, 2023, the Soul of Steel Warriors will embark on a journey to the rugged mountainous terrain of the Garhwal Himalayas at an altitude of 17,000 feet, where they will have to apply the skills and techniques they have learned including rock, ice and snow craft, navigation, communication, self-defence, survival, rescue and emergency medical skills. In addition, teams will compete over a distance of 100 km across glaciers, ice walls, cliffs and snow-capped Himalayan peaks without the support of porters.

The closing ceremony of the event will be held on 18 June 2023 at Ghamsali, Uttarakhand after the end of the final phase of the challenge.

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