Mountains exist, so she climbs

New Delhi, March 23: Prakriti Varshney, who climbed Mt.

Everest last year and recently took the Indian flag to the top three mountains of Africa, is now all set to make an ascent to Mt.

Kanchenjunga under her goal of '12 Months, 12 Mountains'.

For someone who insists that mountaineering is more about mental than physical strength, this 27-year-old climber started hiking in her 20s. But it was during one of her solo backpacking trips that she went on a speed hike to climb Mt. Kanamo (19600 ft) in Spiti Valley and completed the climb in 10 hours, which motivated her to dream higher.

"I did not have enough money to pursue it, so I kept travelling and tried trekking to high altitudes whenever I could. I was 22-years-old when I climbed Kanamo and 25 when I did my basic mountaineering course. Within a year I had climbed several mountains in Himachal and Ladakh. I also climbed a very technical mountain -- Ama Dablam (6,812 metres) in Nepal and succeeded. Then I pushed all my limits to attempt Everest 8,848m in 2022, and succeeded there as well," she tells IANS.

Lamenting the lack of exposure to mountaineering and other adventure sports in India, this Manali-based climber stresses that she has always enjoyed much support from her parents despite their lack of knowledge in this area.

Climbing Everest meant she had to take a lot of loans, something that kept her "caged" under the roof and focus on work.

"Later, in November 2022, I had this urge to travel and climb, so, I came up with the idea of travelling to different countries and climbing in different terrains, although it was physically, mentally and financially challenging. However, I was ready to hit it off from January 23, after paying back all my loans."

Focussing on running, strength training, yoga, wall climbing, and hiking with weights to prepare for her next climb, she says, "I live life on the edge and at the moment, it is all about climbing and diving around the world and inspiring people to come out of their comfort zones."

(Sukant Deepak can be reached at

Mountains exist, so she climbs
IANS 23 March 2023 Post Your Comments

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