On a rather chilly Thursday afternoon, a 27-year old Baljeet Kaur achieved a feat like no other. Having scaled Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world’s fourth-highest summit, Kaur became the first Indian woman to have climbed nearly five 8,000m peaks within a month.
Since the onset of the spring climbing season in the Himalayas, Kaur accompanied by her guide Mingma Sherpa managed to set a record that is both challenging and astonishing, all at once.
Where The Ascent Began
Born in Himachal Pradesh to a father who was a bus-driver and a mother is a homemaker, Kaur began her ascent into mountaineering on a rather unconventional note. At the age of 20, Baljeet was inducted to the National Cadet Corps which consisted of ten chosen mountaineers who would climb up Mt. Deo Tibba. Kaur’s subsequent climbs have been under severe climatic conditions, several of which were even called off for the same reason.
One of Kaur’s earliest climbs too posed a potentially life-threatening turn due to a malfunctioning oxygen mask. Being metres away from the summit, Baljeet powered through, making it a climb worth the struggle.
After having conquered nearly five summits so early into this year’s climbing season, Kaur is all set to elevate her challenge by attempting Mt.Everest and Mt. Lhotse next. These could most definitely become the most challenging climbs of her journey yet. Kaur documents the success, the shortcomings, and the stories that she has endured on her social media.
Follow Baljeet’s journey here.
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