“Soul of Steel” High-Altitude Endurance Challenge to be launched in India

In an effort to test one’s high-altitude endurance, a new challenge called “Soul of Steel” will be launched in India. Spearheaded by venture CLAW Global, which is run by veterans and supported by the Indian Army, the challenge will take place in the state of Uttarakhand and is similar to the “Ironman triathlon” long-distance triathlon challenge in Europe. The expedition will officially launch on January 14th, and will include 12 Indian participants and six international teams, with the age group for applicants being between 18 and 30 years.

Purpose of the Challenge

The idea behind the “Soul of Steel” challenge, according to Major Vivek Jacob (Retd.) of CLAW Global, is “pooling of skillsets and creating a challenge that will unlock the human ability to survive, stabilize and thrive in high altitude areas.” The challenge will also provide life skill training, youth development, and global promotion of adventure tourism in Uttarakhand, in addition to showcasing the skills of veterans.

Modalities of the Challenge

The challenge will be divided into four stages, as explained by Major Jacob. In stage 1, participants will undergo jungle and mountain training for over 40 days. In stage 2, high altitude training will be provided for over 30 days. Stage 3 will involve a refresher course for international teams for 15 days, followed by a seven-day challenge in stage 4.

Participant screening will begin on March 1st, and an instructor orientation program will take place on March 15th. The final participant screening will be done on the ground at Nanital on March 27th. Training will be provided during April and May of 2023.

Location of the Challenge

The general area of the expedition will be the Nanda Devi national park, which has several peaks that are over 7000 feet tall. During the actual challenge, various situations will be presented to the participants through navigation points that they must cross.

Cost and Sponsorship

The total cost of the project is estimated to be around ₹30 crore, and the organizers are looking for companies to sponsor the challenge in addition to resources from the Army and CLAW. Participants will be asked to pay a token fee, which will be affordable for all Indians, according to Major Jacob.

About CLAW Global

CLAW Global was established in January 2019 by Major Jacob, a para special forces officer who had to retire from the Army after 14 years of service due to a combat skydive injury. In August 2021, a group of differently-abled people led by CLAW Global trekked up to Kumar post on Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield.



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