On January 17, IPS officer Aparna Kumar became the first woman officer of any All-India Services to scale 16,050 feet high Mount Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica.
A 2002 batch officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, Aparna is posted as the DIG (Telecom) in Lucknow. She left for the expedition on January 5 with a 10-member team of mountaineers from different countries.
After conquering winds blowing at the speed of 100km/hr, and surviving very low temperatures, she hoisted the Indian flag along with the flag of Uttar Pradesh Police Service on the mountain peak. According to a report in The Times of India, she was out of communication range for nine day during the expedition. She will return to India on February 5.
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Prior to this, she has scaled the following peaks:
- Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest peak of Africa
- Carstensz Pyramid peak in West Papuan province of Indonesia, the highest peak in Australia and Oceania region
- Mount Aconcagua in South America
- Mount Elbrus in Russia
With Vinson Massif peak, she has successfully conquered five of the seven summits in the world that are considered to be the most challenging ones. In 2015, she became the first lady IPS officer of UP to have successfully scaled Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain peak of Europe.
Aparna had enrolled for a month long mountaineering course at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports in Manali, in October 2013. Then she went for an advanced course in July 2014. She received the ‘Rani Lakshmi Bai Puraskar’ from Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for her achievements in March 2015. She was also honoured with the special DGP Commendation Disc on eve of the Republic Day this year. She now plans to scale Mount Everest in April-May and Mount McKinley in Alaska in July-August.