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Scaling new heights

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Young mountaineer makes history; scales Mt Manaslu on October 4 at 1000 hrs IST, with support from the Essar Foundation

October 04, 2011 Bookmark and Share  
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Arjun Vajpai became the youngest in the world to scale Mt Manaslu, the eighth-highest peak in the world at 1000 hrs IST on October 4, 2011.

Scaling this 8,163-metre high peak also makes Arjun the youngest in the world to have scaled three peaks higher than 8,000 metres. These include Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse (May 20, 2011) and Mt Manaslu.

Taking on the giant
Arjun, the youngest Indian to climb Mount Everest (he did it when he was 16) left for Nepal on September 10, 2011, to take on another challenge and to break another world record: climbing Mt Manaslu, the eighth-highest peak on earth, and to emerge as the youngest in the world to summit the 8,163-m (26,759 foot) mountain.

Risks involved
Manaslu (also known as Kutang in Nepali) is located in the Mansiri Himal, part of the Nepalese Himalayas, in the west-central part of the country. Meaning 'Mountain of the Spirit,' it derives its name from the Sanskrit 'manasa', meaning 'intellect' or 'soul'. The highest peak in Lamjung district, it is located about 40 miles east of Annapurna. The mountain's long ridges and valley glaciers offer feasible approaches from all directions and culminate in a peak that towers steeply above its surrounding landscape.

Manaslu is one of the more risky 8,000-ers to climb; as of May 2008, there were 297 ascents of Manaslu and 53 deaths on the mountain, making it the fourth most dangerous 8000-m peak, after Annapurna, Nanga Parbat and K2.

The young mountaineer credits his parents for being instrumental in his journey to the top of the world. His determination and will to continue achieving greater feats resonates with Essar's philosophy of never resting on past achievements and pushing oneself to cross greater and newer frontiers.

Arjun is almost entrepreneurial in his desire to achieve more, and at an age when most teenagers are still making the transition to becoming young adults, as he echoes Essar's philosophy proudly: "Every achievement is not an end but the beginning of a new journey".

Youngest on Everest
It was on May 22, 2010, at the tender age of 16, that Arjun scaled Everest (8,848m). While his record has since been beaten, he remains the youngest Indian to have scaled the peak. At a recent interaction with Essarites, the ambitious mountaineer described his sheer determination to overcome the various challenges he faced on his way to become the youngest Indian to scale the world's highest peak: lack of oxygen, the harsh mountain weather, finding his way around the various crevasses and glaciers, and memories of other mountaineers who had died en route to the peak.

Displaying wisdom and maturity beyond his years, the teenager spoke about the disciplined regimen he follows, which includes four hours of training in the morning, followed by a four-hour workout in the evening. And to ensure that he has the energy to go on such long climbs, he has a daily intake of 10,000 calories, comprising 15 eggs, a dozen bananas, four liters of milk, mutton, chicken and fish.

On a roll
Arjun broke another record, when he became the youngest person in the world to climb Mt Lhotse (8,516m), the fourth-highest peak on earth.

Arjun's endeavours would not have been possible without the strong support from Essar Foundation, which believes in him and wishes to further encourage his mountaineering expeditions. It has also sponsored his expedition to Mt Manaslu.

Arjun, however, refuses to rest on his laurels. Besides climbing Mt Lhotse earlier this year, and undertaking the expedition to Mt Manaslu now, he also aspires to become the first Indian to scale K2, the second-highest peak in the world. Journeys to both the North Pole and the South Pole are also part of his ambitious and well-thought out future plans.

Also read: Journey to the top

 
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