On the Top of the World: Aparna Kumar

Aparna Kumar,

“Mountains know secrets we need to learn. That it might take time, it might be hard, but if you just hold on long enough, you will find the strength to rise up.” – Tyler Knott

Aparna Kumar, IPS, UP cadre, IG, PAC Central zone, celebrates 7 years of summiting Mount Everest on May 21st, 2016 in an emotional yet proud memory through this blog.

The journey to reach the Summit of Mount Everest (@ 29,030 feet) began in April, 2014 from the South side in Nepal. The expedition was aborted within few days of Aparna reaching the Everest basecamp/EBC, due to one of the worst avalanche disasters that killed the advance party of 16 Sherpas.

Next year, in 2015, she attempted from the North side via China, but as luck would have it, while she was climbing above 22,000 ft, a major earthquake rocked Himalayas with its epicenter in Nepal killing over 20,000 people. Aparna was out of range for 36 hours, hastily making her way back to basecamp, navigating her way through pitch darkness with just her headlamps to guide her as loose rock and boulders showered all around her.

It was a nerve-wracking 36 hours to find her exact location before a short satellite phone call from the basecamp assured her family that she was safe. All expeditions worldwide were cancelled in 2015.

On her third attempt from the more difficult North side via Tibet, Aparna was blessed by the  Mountain God. She summited the peak. She reached the ‘Top of the World‘ on the morning of ‘Buddha Purnima,’ on May 21st, 2016.

Later, Aparna achieved her target of completing all ‘Seven Summits’ (climbing the highest peak on all seven continents), ski to the South Pole and Summit Mount Manasalu – 8th highest peak of the World and was bestowed with the prestigious “Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award” (Arjuna Award for Land Adventure) by President of India in 2019, for her mountaineering feat.

The story of her success is the story of an explorer, courage of conviction, diligence in physical training, uncountable sacrifices, toil, sweat and hard-word, indomitable spirit and mind, never give up attitude but above all to accept mountains with respect & gratitude.

Aparna Kumar has proved that ‘Age is just a number.’ You can achieve anything with sheer hard-work, hawk-like focus and never letting your target fade away from your eyes.

Keep marching and keep setting new benchmarks for success.