It’s not everyday you meet someone who holds the world record for scaling Mount Everest. Twice. In five days.
Anshu Jamsenpa is a woman of substance and an inspiration beyond admiration.
An adventure enthusiast and mother of two, Anshu’s journey began in 2009 when she was motivated by trainers at the Arunachal Mountaineering & Adventure Sports Association to take up mountaineering.
“I was into a lot of rock climbing and adventure sports. The people at the sports association headed by my husband, had observed this and encouraged me to take up mountaineering,” Anshu says.
Driven by their encouragement and her own determination, Anshu took up various courses that included basic and advanced levels.
“Once I had started, there was no looking back. It was during the advanced training course that I realized that I loved being up in the mountains and somewhere along the way the thought of summiting Mt Everest came up,” she reminisces.
It wasn’t that easy though. The fact that she was a mother of two young girls, and even more the fact that she was a woman, often played a deterrent. But Anshu wasn’t one to be affected by negativity.
In fact, she wanted to do something different, apart from just summiting. “At that point, I was so driven, I wanted to try bungee jumping as well paragliding,” Anshu laughs.
In 2011, Anshu conquered the 29,029 ft. peak for the first time and did it once again in a span of 10 days. “When I made it up there first, the feeling was overpowering; more like being closer to God. I had goosebumps all over my body. I guess it was more like once you are up there, you always have the urge to go back,” she recalls.
Soon enough, Anshu headed back to Everest for the third time in 2013.
However, it was her ‘double ascent’ in 2017 that made her the only woman in the world to achieve the feat within five days! It also made her the first Indian woman to scale the top peak five times.
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Flagged off by none other than Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, from Guwahati on April 2, the 38-year old reached the top of Mt Everest on May 16.
Along with Nepali climber Furi Sherpa, she scaled the peak for the second time on May 21.
“The second ascent required a lot of pushing on my behalf and I believed that if you wanted something really bad, pain would never be an obstacle,” says the record holder.
Following it up with the unfurling of the national flag, Anshu recalls having been at the most peaceful state in that moment.
Upon being asked whether her daughters take to heights just like their fearless mother, she says, “They do like adventure sports and mountaineering. But I don’t know, it’s totally up to them.”
Apart from the summits, Anshu has also been training mountaineers and has trained over 3,000 aspirants at her own capacity. “I intend to open an institute that will help train people in adventure sports as well as mountaineering,” she adds.
May you keep scaling new heights and summits!