Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mandya girl aims to conquer all major peaks

Gender discrimination can’t suppress the spirit of achievement. The best example is Smitha Lakshmana, the first woman from Karnataka to climb Mount Everest, situated at a height of 29,035 feet (8,848 metres) above sea level. She now aspires to climb all the major peaks in the world.

Climbing Mount Everest in freezing conditions is extremely dangerous and is a dream for many. Twenty-year-old Smitha took up mountaineering a year ago, when the Indian Army Women’s Everest Expedition-2012 invited applications. She was one among 22 people selected to take part in the adventure and successfully reached the summit.

After selection, she underwent special fitness training in Siachen. She now plans to climb 13 peaks of the world which are about 8,000 metres high. “From childhood, I dreamt of doing something adventurous. When I was selected, my joy knew no bounds. Though I fell sick because of bad weather conditions while climbing Mount Everest, I overcame the difficulties,” says Smitha.

“Among a group of 22, 17 of us climbed Everest. We started trekking on May 15 from Kathmandu and reached the top on May 25. It was delayed for seven days due to bad weather. The 20 minutes spent atop Everest is a dream come true. The scenic beauty was marvelous,” she said. Hailing from a middle class family, Smitha is from Bangalore and is a Captain in the Indian Army. Her parents are from Devalapura hobli, Nagamangala Taluk, Mandya district and her younger brother Sagar is an agriculturist.

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