[Photo Source: Times of India]
After becoming India’s first civil servant to conquer the highest peak in Antarctica, Uttar Pradesh police officer, Aparna Kumar, is furthering her mission to reach the top of the world.
The mountaineer set off on January 6 as part of a 10-member team headed for the highest point in Antartica’s Ellsworth Mountains. She summited Mount Vinson Massif, which stands at 16,067 ft tall, on January 17—while smiling and posing for a photo holding the Indian flag against a background of ice and snow.
In preparation for the climb, Kumar told SportsKeeda that she did special training in heavy sledge pulling and tire dragging in order to learn how to get both her body and her gear to the top of the mountain in extreme conditions.
For her efforts in mountaineering and for being a role model to women, UP’s Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav awarded Kumar the Rani Laxmi Bai award in 2015. The Times of India also reported that Kumar was given the special DGP Commendation Disc for her achievements earlier this year.
Kumar has now conquered the highest peaks in Antarctica, Africa, South America, Europe, and Indonesia—five of the seven tallest mountains in the world. According to SportsKeeda, Kumar plans to complete the list of the world’s highest peaks by 2017—and Mount Everest is up next. She attempted the world’s highest mountain last year, but as she reached 6,500 ft, the Nepal Earthquake hit and caused a massive avalanche on the mountain. In an interview with SportsKeeda, Kumar described waiting out the avalanche and hearing the ice sheets cracking below her feet as “the scariest moment of my life.”
While Vinson Massif may seem like a walk in the park compared to dangers of Everest, it did not come without its share of challenges. During her journey to the top, Kumar reportedly suffered from mild frostbite from the subzero climate, with temperatures dipping to below -30ºF (-35ºC). She also endured a loss of communication and dropped approximately 13 lbs.
Now recovered and back in India, Kumar is planning a second attempt at Mount Everest in April or May, followed by Alaska’s Mount McKinley in July or August.