Three generations at the Everest Base Camp
Amb R Rajagopalan

They are neither mountaineers nor professional athletes, just a close knit family that wanted to be together and also mark an important date. A normal family but with the zeal, enthusiasm and determination to do something out of the ordinary. They trekked to the Base Camp of Mount Everest (EBC) to coincide with a specific date, the 9th of May, the birthday that the two daughters shared with their late mother, and they did so. The trek became more memorable, as they had celebrated the birthday of the granddaughter a day earlier, just short of the EBC!

Krishan Saroop Sood (77), a 1971 war veteran (of 15 Punjab) and a retired DIG, Border Security Force, accompanied by his two daughters, Dr Nitika Puri (50) - a Dental Surgeon with ECHS at Tezpur, Ritika Sood (42) - a Senior Vice President in YES Bank in Delhi and his granddaughter, Rhea Agarwal (16) - a student of Modern School, New Delhi, trekked to the EBC; a gruelling 145 kilometre, 13-day trek that saw them scaling heights beyond 18,000 feet.

Having made the decision to undertake this journey, the family underwent arduous physical and mental training. Preparations that started 4 months earlier included walking/jogging for many kilometres every day, followed by a routine at the gym.

The three generations trekked together overcoming challenges that come with high altitude— steep and sharp ascents, lack of oxygen, lack of normal rest and sleep and extreme cold weather. In a conversation with the author, Krishan Sood recalled moments when he questioned the decision to embark on such an unorthodox exercise, especially at his age. "But in these moments, one learns to trust one's own capabilities and to push the physical and mental boundaries", he said. What in any case is one of the most difficult treks in the world, got more difficult as it snowed for three days during the trek. "There was no option but to continue", he added. On the last day, one had to walk on huge boulders which taxed the body to its extremes.

The local guide, who had climbed Mt. Everest many times and had 15 years' experience in trekking, said that this was the first time he was seeing three generations together at Base Camp. The "India Book of Records" documents the oldest Indian to have climbed up to EBC as on that day, as a 73 year old trekker. Krishan Sood, at 77, could now be the new record holder. Rhea, perhaps, is the first student from Modern School Delhi to reach the EBC.

Kudos to the outgoing and enthusiastic Sood family and wish them many more such adventures.

(The paper is the author’s individual scholastic articulation. The author certifies that the article/paper is original in content, unpublished and it has not been submitted for publication/web upload elsewhere, and that the facts and figures quoted are duly referenced, as needed, and are believed to be correct). (The paper does not necessarily represent the organisational stance... More >>


Image courtesy: Krishan Saroop Sood

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It is a great achievement. We are proud that now a SOOD Family has achieved this adventurous feet.

 

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