At a time when foreign tourists are shying away from travelling to the country’s popular trekking destinations after the devastating April 25 earthquake, two courageous children from neighbouring India on Monday set a record by becoming the youngest climbers to reach Mt Everest base camp.
Accompanied by their parents, five years and 10 months old Kandarp Sharma and eight years and ten months old Ritvika from Gwalior of Madhya Pradesh in India reached the base camp at an altitude of 5,380m this morning, according to the expedition organiser and climbers.
“Along with their individual record of being the youngest boy and girl to trek to the base camp, they are the youngest brother and sister to successfully reach a height of 5,380m,” Bhupendra, father of Kandarp and Ritvika, told this daily over phone from Gorakshep in Khumbu region.
According to him, they are the first family to trek to the base camp and climb Kalapathar peak (5,550 metres). The children flew to Lukla on August 2 to embark on base camp trekking with Bhupendra and their mother Mamta.
According to Thukden Sherpa, General Manager at Arun Treks and Expedition, who managed the expedition, they also climbed Kalapathar, which is higher than the highest peaks of three continents – Mont Blanc (4,810 m) in Europe, Vison Massif (4,810 m) in Antarctica, and Punack Jaya (4,884 m) in Australia. “The expedition was undertaken to send a message to the world climbers that Everest trekking route was not damaged by the earthquakes that devasted other parts of the country,” he added.
According to Mamta, her son studies in Grade I, Little Angels High School, in Gwalior, while Ritvika is a Grade IV student in the same school. Sharma family owns a small ayurveda medicine business in their hometown.
Bhupendra, a lawyer by profession, said his kids didn’t face any problem though they were worried about the high altitude sickness.
The parents said they would try to get their wards’ names in the Guinness Book of World Records and Limca Book of Records for becoming the youngest siblings to reach the Mt Everest base camp.
Related pictures of their reaching the base camp, video clippings and birth certificate will be sent to the Guinness World Records and the Limca Book of Records offices, he said.
In October 2014, Harshit, a student of GD Goenka School, New Delhi, had broken the record held by seven-year-old Aaryan Balaji, also an Indian, who reached base camp in 2012. Harshit made it to EBC when he was just five years and eleven months old.