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“We did it. We’ve summited Mt Cho Oyu (8201m)”
These were Arjun Vajpai’s first words to his mother when he summited Mt Cho Oyu, the sixth highest peak in the world above sea level.
Noida-based 23-year-old professional mountaineer Arjun Vajpai became the youngest in the world to scale the Mount Cho Oyu (approx 8,188 metres/26,864 ft), among others.
An elated Vajpai announced on Facebook, “At 6:20am IST today, Arjun and his team was allowed by The Turquoise Goddess to summit! Everyone is safe and exhilarated! Will update you with more information as soon as possible! Thank you everyone for all your prayers and wishes!”
Vajpai reached the Cho Oyu summit along with Pasang Norbu Sherpa and Lakpa Sherpa before dawn. The way to the top from Camp 3 was achieved after a nearly 7 hour-long, all-night climb through rocky steps and mixed snow.
Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain peak in the world and is wedged between the China-Tibet border. It stands 20 km west of Mount Everest.
The 23-year-old said he had previously attempted the same peak in 2014, where he ‘almost lost his life’ after he was struck with paralysis mid-way:”I have finally summited the mountain on which I almost lost my life on the last attempt in 2014. A lot of questions that were left unanswered, I think I may have found the answers. October 4 2016, another date day to never forget!”
Arjun’s mother Priya was only too relieved to hear Arjun’s trembling voice break the good news. Speaking to indianexpress.com, Priya said she was very proud of her son for successfully reaching the summit, especially after he was struck with paralysis mid-way in 2012 while climbing the same peak.
“He was actually very tired when he called in. He said “We did the summit and it’s very cold up here. It was nice and sunny in Camp 3, now we need to head back to Camp 1″. I guess the last attempt at Cho Oyu was playing in his mind,” said Priya.
“It’s a proud feeling that he’s doing well. He is an inspiration for many youngsters. It’s difficult to be focused at this age when you have so many distractions. I think he did a great job at that and I am happy with the results,” she added.
With the Cho Oyu, Vajpai has successfuly completed five of the 14 highest mountain peaks in the world above 8000m, including Mt Everest, Mt Makalu, Mt Lhotse and Mt Manaslu.