Officials of Sikkim Mountaineering Association and Sikkim Sports Climbing Association at a press conference in Gangtok on Tuesday

Gangtok: The Sikkim Mountaineering Association and the Sikkim Sports Climbing Association at a press conference in Gangtok on Tuesday expressed their grievances against the Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure & Ecotourism (IHCAE) located at Chemchey in South Sikkim, which is organising the All India IMF Sport Climbing Competition under the aegis of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) from September 6 to 8.

The associations have slammed IHCAE for not sending formal invitations to their climbers to participate in the competition.

“It is sad that local climbers wouldn’t be able to participate in the national-level event. No official invitation was sent to us asking for our participation. In all other national and international climbing competitions, formal invitations are sent to us requesting our participation, but we were treated like outcasts in the upcoming event,” said Satish Bardewa, advisor, SMA and SSCA.

“We requested Col DN Bhutia, director of IHCAE, last week to invite district-level climbers to participate so that they can learn new things under their guidance, but unfortunately he said ‘no’,” said Bhaichung Yonzon, vice-president of SSCA.

“Whenever a natural disaster occurs, we are asked to send our members to help. However, we are ignored during such national-level competitions taking place in our own state,” he added.

The SSMA has almost 30 members with two national and one regional climbers. Unfortunately, none of them are participating at the event in Chemchey.

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