48. Reading Skills Comprehension: FEEBLE VOICE

By | July 10, 2021


 Read the following passage carefully:

       1       A feeble voice, from a certain mountain peak 8,848 metres high, squawked through the walkie-talkie: “Sir, we have done it.” That was Colonel Ajay Kothiyal’s most joyful moment — the moment when India’s first all-woman team led by him scaled Mount Everest — but not before he started worrying about the climb down.

       2       His fears were unfounded. The Indian Army’s 70-day all -women expedition to the world’s highest peak was a 100 per cent success — well, except for two avalanches. Kothiyal, a veteran leader for mountaineering expeditions, had handpicked seven women after a rigorous, bone-chilling training period (two months at Mamostong Kangri Glacier and extreme winter training for a month near Manali at minus 30 degrees.)

       3       The team is almost like one of those 905 national integration advertisements with members from Rajasthan (Capt. Deepika Rathore), Maharashtra (Capt. Prachi Gole), Karnataka (Capt. Smith Laxman), Nagaland (Major N Linyu) and Uttarakhand (Capt. Namrata Rathore).

      4       Kothiyal, who has been on two Everest expeditions but hasn’t yet climbed the summit, says that he did doubt if the all-women’s team would be able to make it initially. He says with a laugh, ‘1 am unmarried; the only woman I have dealt with all my life is my mother. And to handle a team with seven women at these heights…”

      5        A modest, charming, vivacious leader who always has a joke up his sleeve, Kothiyal adds that when the team members left India they were ordinary girls but now they are extraordinary. The bonding is evident in the team as the members poke fun at each other and fall laughing on each others’ shoulders.

      6        This has been one of the busiest and worst years for Everest. The climbing season saw almost a dozen deaths on the mountain and one May weekend saw 200 climbers tied end-to-end in the race to the top (82 climbers submitted on one day). Namrata confirmed that they were climbing almost toe-to-toe with many other groups from around the world. At Hillary’s Step (the penultimate hurdle), Sangwan had to wait on one leg, resting the front of her body on ice for 45 minutes, “I was completely frozen by the time our turn for the summit came,” she says.

 Read the given questions and write the answer in a sentence.

1. Why was Colonel Ajay elated?

2. What kind of training were these women given?

3. Why does the team look like an advertisement for National Integration campaign?

4. Why was the colonel doubtful about this all-women team?

5. What kind of a leader was Ajay

6. With the members spending more time with each other how did the team change?

7. Why was it the worst year for Everest?

8. Why had one of the climbers to wait on one leg?


1. Colonel Ajay was elated because the All-Women team to Mt. Everest led by him had reached the summit.

2. These women were made to undergo rigorous training in very hard conditions.

3. It looked like a campaign for national integration because each member of the team was from a different state of India.

4. The colonel was doubtful whether they would have the mental strength, the physical tolerance and the courage to go the whole way.

5. Ajay was a charming and energetic leader. He was fun-loving and always cracked jokes.

6. The bonding between the team members could be seen with the passage of time. They started cracking jokes with each other and laughing on each other’s shoulders.

7. It was the busiest and worst year for Everest. During the climbing season, as many as 12 climbers died while trying to reach the summit.

8. One of the climbers had to wait for 45 minutes on one leg as there were many in front of her at the penultimate hurdle.

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