53-year-old Former Miss India finalist conquers Mt. Everest, becomes oldest to climb hill

Climbing Mt. Everest is one of the herculean and dangerous missions in the world. The mountain was earlier referred to as ‘Peak 15’. The name was later changed to Mount Everest in 1856. It is the tallest mountain in the world with an altitude of 8,848 metres (29,028.87 ft). The mountain was named after Sir George Everest who is the British Surveyor General of India.

Only very few people have managed to see the scenic beauty of the world from the top of the Mt.Everest. Attempts after attempts, some mountaineers or adventurers never give up. To be able to put in great efforts to climb the big mountain is such a great thing. You need to carry the tent, food, supplemental oxygen and climbing equipment for a successful expedition. Well, there were very few who climbed the highest range without supplemental oxygen.

Sangeeta Bahl climbs the Mt. Everest at the age of 53. (Credits The Indian Express)

When Sangeetha Sindhi Bahl became the oldest woman to climb Mt. Everest

With grit and determination, the 53-year-old Sangeeta Sindhi Bahl conquered the Mt. Everest, which is certainly not an easy task. Hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, she has not only brought pride to the state but also our country this year. She touched the world’s highest peak on May 19, where she became the first woman from Jammu and Kashmir, and the oldest woman from India to achieve a miraculous feat.

In Bahl’s maiden attempt last year, she couldn’t make it to the pinnacle as she suffered from high-altitude sickness. In addition to that, six persons who attempted to climb world’s highest peak also suffered the same, following which the team were evacuated from the higher camps. Bahl might have failed last year but this year, she successfully accomplished it. Bahl was a finalist of the Miss India contest in 1985.

“Last year, when I made my first attempt to scale Mt Everest, we were evacuated after my health deteriorated. My husband Ankur Bahl, who had scaled Mt Everest on May 19, 2016, kept talking about achieving this feat and it was he, who motivated me to try again. Reaching the summit was a dream come true and it was like starting my childhood once again at this age. I have climbed five highest peaks of five continents but reaching the top of the world has a completely different feeling,” said Bahl while speaking with The Indian Express from the Mt Everest base camp.

She broke the previous record set by Premlata Agarwal who on May 20, 2011, became the oldest Indian woman to climb the peak at the age of 48. When asked about restrictions of age, she smiled and said age is just a number, “Age is just a number. Everything falls in place if you pursue your dreams at any age.”

“Initially, when I applied for a mountaineering course at the Himalayan Institute of Mountaineering, Darjeeling, my application was rejected as I was above 40 years. My husband, who has scaled the seven highest summits of each continent, would help me train. Incidentally, I climbed Mt Everest on the same date as my husband did two years ago,” said Bahl.

Hailing from Chennai, Chaithanya G is the Managing Director of TheYouth. He has dedicated his whole life to reading and writing.