“Great things are done when men and mountains meet.”- William Blake
Sometimes, the inspiration to live a life that is stronger, happier and more fulfilled can be found in the stories and accomplishments of complete strangers.
As an 18-year-old girl in Bangalore, Krushnaa Patil watched the 19-year-old singing sensation, Rihanna, top the music charts in 2008. At that time, she had no idea that a year later, she would go on to become the youngest Indian woman to literally climb to the top of the world, Mount Everest.
Today, Krushnaa Patil is the first Indian woman to have climbed the highest peaks in Antarctica, South America and Europe.
Her journey is a testament to the resilience and determination of the human spirit. This is her inspiring story, in her own words.
“Every summer holiday my family would pack up a bag and go to the Himalayas. We would trek, explore, meet locals, stay…
If you are unable to view the post above, this is what she says:
“Every summer holiday my family would pack up a bag and go to the Himalayas. We would trek, explore, meet locals, stay in tents and cook our own food – there was something about the mountains that called out to me since then. I was so passionate that over the next few years I completed the basic and advanced mountaineering course and in 2008 I became the youngest person in the world to climb the Satopanth peak in the Himalayas. It was around this time that climbing Everest became my dream— but it wasn’t easy.
To start off with, it’s a really expensive process but my family did everything they could for me. My father took a loan from the bank and our house was put on mortgage without telling me a word— I was told that big corporates finally came ahead to sponsor my expedition. At 19, not only was I the youngest person on my team, but I was also the only woman — and that pushed me harder.
We began the climb and the journey to Everest brought difficult circumstances to us. Early on, we had to face an avalanche and a snow storm, but the worst part of it was losing a team member. I was scared, but I couldn’t allow the fear to take over me…so the only thing to do was to move forward. Over the next few days 2 more of our team members had to be rescued half way, but I was determined to get to the top and take in as much as I could on the way.
I distinctly remember a moment when I was above the clouds and the sun began to rise on one end and the shadow of the mountain gave darkness to another. I was part of that shadow but I was still above the sun. It was a moment when everything stood still and I was a part of day and night all at once.
When we reached the top I struggled to feel something, there were people crying and others screaming but I just felt silence, I felt Shuniya, I felt complete. The only thing that came to my mind at that point was my family, and how I wanted to make it back down to tell them about the top; about how much I love them.
I did reach down safely and in the same year I attempted to become the first woman to climb the 7 highest peaks— but 750m away from the final peak in Alaska, there was a political intrusion and I couldn’t finish my climb or get the record — I was so upset, I cried for hours. It was only later that I realised how foolish we are to give so much importance to success or failure, but no importance to the journey of it all.
I got back to life and started to tell the stories of my climb through my dance. So that’s my story — I’ve climbed Mount Everest and I understand that just because I have, doesn’t mean I’ll be successful or always make it to the top – it doesn’t mean everything I do will be as thrilling as the climb— it just means that I’m trying and I will put all my heart into trying no matter the success or failure. That’s the one thing climbing Everest taught me — that there is infinite power in what the heart wants and if you have the courage to trust it, life will present magnificent things to you…not necessarily ‘at the top’ but even on the way there.”