Wednesday, April 17, 2013

'Mountaineer Mom' in pursuit of scaling 7th Summit in May

In her pursuit to take up the last challenge to complete scaling the '7 Summits', Premlata Agarwal would go for the Mt Mckinley (6196m, USA) expedition in North America next month at the age of 47. 

If Premlata is able to conquer the '7 Summits', the highest peaks of each of the seven continents, she would be the first Indian woman and the oldest woman in the world to achieve the feat, Tata Steel Adventure Foundation chief Bachendri Pal told PTI. 

The home maker from Jharkhand has already conquered six other members of the '7 Summits' -- Mt. Everest (8848m, Nepal, Asia), Mt Elbrus (5642m, Russia, Europe), Mt Kilimanjaro (5895m, Tanzania, Africa), Mt Vinson (4897m, Antarctica), Mt Aconcagua (6962m, Argentina, South America) and Mt Carstensz Pyramid (4884m, Australia). 

Premlata, a mother of two grown up daughters including a married one, is the oldest Indian woman to have climbed the Mt Everest on May 20, 2011, at the age of 45. 

Premlata's mentor Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to climb the Mt Everest, was confident that she would be successful in scaling the Mt Mckinley this time after missing it by a whisker in April-May last year due to bad weather. 

She had been just 700 feet away from the summit when the weather suddenly turned extremely rough, the temperature plummeted to minus 40 degrees Celsius accompanied by strong wind and she was forced to abandon the expedition. 

Premlata has been undergoing rigorous training in Darjeeling for the past one month to enhance her endurance, physical and mental fitness to withstand the extreme weather condition there, Pal said. 

After receiving the Padma Shri award from the President on April 20 in New Delhi, Premlata would leave for the Mt Mckinley expedition on April 29, said her husband Vimal Agarwal, the editor of an English daily here. 

After taking up adventure sports in 2000 at the age of 35, Premlata participated in several expeditions led by Bachendri Pal organised by the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation.

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