All time high

India Today - - SIMPLY DELHI - Con­tact: ar­jun­va­j­ by Vanita Chitkara

A short trek in the Sahyadri hills when he was 10 started his love af­fair with the moun­tains. “It was a life chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Ar­jun Va­j­pai who is pur­su­ing his bach­e­lors from In­dian In­sti­tute of Learn­ing in Man­age­ment at Lodhi Road. “I got ad­dicted to the feel­ing on be­ing top of the world.” Fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful trek, he en­rolled for a ba­sic moun­taineer­ing course at Nehru In­sti­tute of Moun­taineer­ing, Uttrakhand. Va­j­pai then qual­i­fied for the ad­vanced course. Af­ter com­plet­ing the course he scaled DKD2 (Draupadi ka Danda 2).

GI­ANT LEAP “My train­ers iden­ti­fied the po­ten­tial in me to climb Ever­est. And I hap­pily agreed to do it.” Last year, he be­came the youngest In­dian to climb Mount Ever­est and in May 2011, he be­came the youngest climber ever to sum­mit Lhotse.

THE LES­SON Va­j­pai says he has started re­spect­ing the environment and life. “There have been mo­ments when I thought my end was near. But I didn’t let neg­a­tive thoughts dis­cour­age me.” He is set on a ca­reer of ad­ven­ture. “There are 160 vir­gin moun­tains in In­dia and I want to ex­plore all of them.”

AR­JUN VA­J­PAI, 17, Moun­taineer

“I saw dead bod­ies on my way to the Ever­est. You re­ally need to be men­tally fit be­cause all this

can be dis­cour­ag­ing.”

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