Guest AuthorNeha Bagaria

Prof.Sudipta Sen Gupta, first Indian women to lead an expedition to Antarctica

By | Sandhya |

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch

Prof. Sudipta Sengupta, renowned mountaineer and geologist, literally went beyond her comfort zone to become the #FirstIndianWomen to lead an expedition to Antarctica.

Her interest in moutaineering and long expeditions came while pursuing her graduation when she came across a rock climbing course in Susunia Hills. After enrolling to the course, she emerged as the best woman trainee there and in 1965, she did a basic training course in Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling.

In the 1970s, when Sudipta and her friends decided to scale an unknown virgin peak in the Himalayas, they not only had to battle nature but self-doubts and gender bias. The team successfully scaled the summit of the peak but tragedy struck while climbing down to the basecamp when she lost two of her friends. 

But this tragedy only made her more determined. She broke many a glass ceiling when she chose geology and mountaineering as her field of study, hitherto occupied by men.

When she volunteered for an Indian expedition to Antarctica, she was initially rejected; however, her experience in high altitude mountaineering and working in cold conditions helped her to be considered and selected for the mission.  She successfully completed the mission along with team mate Aditi Pant. 

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Republished with permission and originally published at

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