Time and again people have proved the saying “age is just a number” true. From skydivers, to athletes and entrepreneurs, older people are succeeding in every field.

Proving the saying yet again is 69-year-old Mala Honnatti, who has scaled 12 mountains so far.

Hailing from Karnataka, she spent 31 years living and working as a bank manager in Gurugram, Haryana.

Always a fitness enthusiast, Mala’s first encounter with trekking was in 1984 when she signed up for a low-altitude programme organised by the Youth Hostel Association of India.

“Once you visit the Himalayas, you don’t know how it affects you. You feel insignificant. Aukat pata chalti hai (you learn your place in the universe). It grounds you,” she says.

Successfully completing her first trek, Mala was set to keep going for higher treks. She joined the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling, in 1986.

So far, she has summited Mt Stok Kangri, Mt Ladakhi, Mt Sitidhar, and Mt Kilimanjaro, revisiting some of these trips solo as well as on group expeditions.

Additionally, Mala has marathoned to the base camp of 11 mountains, including Annapurna, and has run the 100K Antarctica marathon as well.

In 2016, Mala started her own mountain expedition trips under ‘Maho Adventures’. “I get enquiries from the US, Dubai and all over India,” she says.

Mala has no plans of stopping even at 69, she plans to climb the majestic Garhwal peaks in Himalayas in Uttarakhand for her next expedition.