12-year-old Aaryan Balaji, youngest mountaineer to cross three passes in Nepal’s Solukhumbhu region
New Delhi [India], June 5 (ANI): Adding one more feather to his success hat, 12-year-old Aaryan Balaji has become the youngest mountaineer to successfully cross three high passes in the Solukhumbhu region of Nepal (Kongma La 18,159 ft / 5,535 m, Cho La 17,651 ft / 5,380 m and Renjo La 17,677 ft / 5,388 m).
Aaryan already has recorded his name in Mount Everest history by trekking all the way to the mountain's Southern Base Camp in Nepal situated at an altitude of 5364 metres in May 2012. He is also the youngest to climb Mt Kalapattar (5554 mtrs) on May 15, 2012.
In 2013, at the age of seven, Aaryan added another record to his name by becoming youngest mountaineer to climb Africa's highest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro (5895 mtrs/ 19343 feet).
In the process, the 12-year-old defied his age to display his adaptability to the highest standards of physical fitness, mental and moral strength, determination, courage, endurance, a never say die spirit and, above all, perfect teamwork.
Ever since Aaryan has climbed up his first mountain, Kalapattar, as the youngest ever in 2012 at the tender age of six-and-half-years, he wanted to linger around Mt. Everest and desires to climb it someday.
Climbing Mt Everest is the big one and is his big dream. However, at present, he is too young and we don't have that big money or time to climb Everest.
What lures adventurers for the Everest 3 Passes trek is not only the chance of crossing some of the highest passes in the world, but also being able to take on some of world's best treks – the Everest Base Camp trek and the Gokyo Lakes trek, that has out-of-this-world views of the turquoise waters and the Himalayas. Trekking across the three passes may not require mountaineering expertise, but it certainly is not an easy feat. It is a monstrous undertaking reserved only for the daring souls.
When asked, young Aaryan said that in this trek, in the Solukhumbhu region, he enjoyed the amazing view of many Himalayan giants like Mt Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Amadablam, Nuptse, Pumori and many more as well as explored the beautiful Gokyo valley, which hosts sacred lakes.
He also had the privilege of experiencing the rich culture of the Sherpa people, excellent views of the glaciers like Ngozumpa Glacier- the largest in Nepal's Himalayas, beautiful forest infested with various flora and fauna and wildlife like snow leopard, red panda, Himalayan thar etc, along the trail.
Aaryan's father Commander Balaji, who is currently posted in Western Naval Command at Mumbai, while speaking on the same, said, "By far, Aryan is the youngest to have achieved this distinction. He has not only crossed the 3-high passes, but also climbed three minor peaks, trekked to the EBC and Island Peak Crampon Point and took up the challenge very bravely."
Adding, "As per the records, before Aaryan, there was a 15-year-old Austrian girl, who completed this 3-passes trek. Last year, an American boy aged 15, had also successfully completed this 3-passes adventure."
Aaryan also carried India's tri-colour flag along with him, which he unfurled atop the three passes and three peaks.
"We made sure that Aaryan is acclimatized properly to the cold climate of Nepal and the Himalayas, and had the physical strength to take up the trek. Prior to the trek, we spent two months training him, and used to take a 20-25 km walk thrice a week with him to build his capability," said Commander Balaji. (ANI)