Indian mountaineer Arjun Vajpai. Photo: India Today
KATHMANDU: Indian mountaineer Arjun Vajpai, 27, from Noida has planned a solo climb of Mount Everest (8,848m), the world’s highest peak, by May next year.
He plans to do it without the help of sherpas and supplementary oxygen, and climb the mountain within a week. Ten years ago, Vajpai was the youngest Indian to have successfully climbed Mount Everest. He was 16 at the time and part of a group expedition.
For the next climb, he has been training on the mountains of Uttarakhand. Vajpai said he will attempt the summit from Tibet side as Nepal does not allow solo summit.
Vajpai and his parents had moved to Uttarakhand from Noida before the lockdown. “I live in Almora with my family in a small village. There are mountains in my neighbourhood which are lovely and serene,” he said.
Vajpai said that the pandemic affected his schedule. “I had to postpone all my expeditions to next year. I will be the first Indian to solo climb the peak if I succeed,” he said.
Reinhold Andreas Messner, an Italian explorer, is credited to have solo climbed Mount Everest first in 1978. Since then, a few more people followed, but an Indian is yet to do so, said Vajpai.
“I will practice for on Mount Annapurna in March 2021 before going for the final push on Everest from the northern side in Tibetan Plateau,” he said.
In a decade-long journey Vajpai took the national flag atop six of the world’s highest mountains.
In 2010, he had first conquered Everest; in 2011 he climbed Mount Lhotse (8,516m) and Mount Manasalu (8,163m); in 2016 Mount Makalu (8,485m) and Mount Cho Oyu (8,201m), and in 2018 Mount Kangchenjunga (8,586m). Vajpai had also explored a “virgin mountain” in Lahaul Valley, Himachal Pradesh, and named it Mount Kalam (6,180m) after former president of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 2015. In the next five years, Vajpai aims to become the youngest person in the world and only Indian to summit all 14 8,000-m high peaks in the world.
(with inputs from Hindustan Times)