What are most young men and women at the age of 24 doing? Some are invested in the pursuit of knowledge, while others are entirely caught up in their professional careers.
While many are still trying to figure out their lives, Arjun Vajpai has loftier aims. At 8:05 am on May 20, Vajpai reached atop the summit of the notoriously treacherous Kanchenjunga peak standing at 8565 meters above sea level, making him the youngest person in the world to scale six peaks over 8,000 metres.
Vajpai began his ascent towards the Kanchenjunga peak on April 26 from the Advanced Base Camp standing at the height of 5,400 meters alongside his team of Sherpas and fellow mountaineers. The Noida-based Vajpai credits his success to their “combined effort.”
“There was no perfect recipe but a little of everything mixed into the mess. So, in the end, it was like a beautiful montage of things falling into place,” Vajpai told the Press Trust of India.
Vajpai’s previous attempt at scaling this peak last year failed after his team had to return from Camp 2, which stands at the height of 6,400 meters.
“This time we had a great team with us. The coordination between the sherpas and the climbing members was much better. We did better planning before embarking on the mission,” Vajpai told PTI. Despite the unpredictable weather conditions, he credits “a strong fixing team that included three-four sherpas who played a vital role in helping us solve this challenge.”
This entire expedition, which was backed by Mountain Dew India’s ‘Risk Takers of India’ campaign, has been captured on film by his friend and fellow mountaineer, Alex d’Emilia.
I have successfully summited Kangchenjunga (8586m) on 20th May 2018, 8:05am along with Alex d’Emilia.
— Arjun Vajpai (@ArjunV_everest) May 25, 2018
Vajpai began mountaineering when he was 10-years-old and became the third youngest person to scale Mount Everest at the age of 16. Thus far, Vajpai has scaled Mount Everest (8,848m) in 2010, Mount Manaslu (8,163m) and Mount Lhotse (8,516m) in 2011, Mount Makalu (8,486m) and Mount Cho Oyu (8,201m) in 2016. His next target is the Shishapangma mountain in Tibet, which stands at 8,027 metres
His ultimate goal, however, is to scale all 14 peaks above 8,000 meters before the age of 30. According to the Himalayan Database, which maintains a record of mountaineering feats, this record is currently held by Chhang Dawa Sherpa from Nepal.
For now, however, he will return home to Noida, where he will plot his next mission.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)