Arjun Vajpai scales Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world
Indian professional mountaineer Arjun Vajpai broke another record in mountaineering on Wednesday as he scaled Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world.
The young mountaineer climbed to the summit of Cho Oyu before dawn with an expedition member and Sherpas after leaving their highest campsite at 3 am.
Vajpai has now climbed five of the 14 highest mountains in the world with altitudes over 8,000 metres. He also created a record as the youngest climber to have summited on Mount Lhotse, Mount Manaslu and Mount Makalu previously. Vajpai also is the third youngest Indian mountaineer to climb Mount Everest at the age of 16 years, 11 months and 18 days.
“I felt overwhelmed and humbled standing on top of this big and challenging mountain,” Vajpai was quoted by DNA. He also revealed the timing of his summiting Cho Oyu, “I summited at 6.20 IST under very cold conditions along with my two Sherpas Pasang Norbu Sherpa and Lakhpa Sherpa.” The 23-year-old also confirmed that it was a seven-hour climb throughout the night on rocky steps, snow and traverse to the summit of the mountain.
The Noida resident mountaineer put up the Indian flag on top of Cho Oyu after he climbed to the top. The 23-year-old is now on descending to the safer altitude of camp one with his companions. "The cold has gripped us further due to lack of sunlight and we need to head down and get inside our tent and drink warm fluids," Vajpai was quoted by the Times of India. The expedition team will be using the standard North West ridge route (6,400 metres) for descending to camp one.
The Times of India also reported that it was a personal challenge for the 23-year-old as he had tried to climb to the peak previously on 2011 which resulted in a paralytic attack to the young mountaineer. Vajpai later had to work his way back to the required physical fitness in order to climb again.
Reportedly, the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering alumni aims to complete the True Explorers Grand Slam, which means climbing 14 highest mountains in the world. He also aims to complete the Grand Slam, which means he has to climb the seven highest summits in all the seven continents and to walk on the North and South Poles.
Earlier this year, Vajpai created history as he climbed to the top of an unscaled peak with the altitude of 6,180 metres in Himachal Pradesh’s Spiti Valley. It was later named Mount Kalam by Vajpai in the memory of later Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam.