A mountainous feat
The emerging new trend of children and young adults taking to adventure activities sees Pune based six-year-old Advait Bhartia become the youngest Indian to summit Everest Base Camp in winter By Sudipta Dev
Adventure – Pulse specialises in Nepal and Indian Himalayan expeditions. The Pune – headquartered company with office in Nepal, has organised 34 expeditions to the Everest Base camp with groups from various countries comprising of six years to 61 year olds. The recent milestone has been that of Advait Bhartia, the youngest Indian to summit Everest Base Camp at six years and 10 months during the winter season. Advait Bhartia and his mother Payal Bhartia started the trek from Lukla town in north-east Nepal located at the foot of the Everest Valley at 8,900 ft. They reached the Everest Base Camp at 17,593 ft above sea level on November 3, 2016. It was a no small feat for a young child taking into consideration the tough mountain trails and climatic conditions, primarily lack of atmospheric oxygen and subzero temperatures which sometimes dropped to -12 degrees C.
A seasoned marathoner, Payal Bhartia says that she had not set out to ensure her child made history or be one of the youngest climbers. “I was planning to go, he saw me training and he wanted to train himself. He has been a very fit child, mentally and physically. I told him if he can do the training with me, we will see if he can come along. And he did do the training regularly,” she states with evident pride. What Advait Bhartia enjoyed the most was that he was able to do something so tough, so he felt a sense of accomplishment. In an interaction with Express TravelWorld, he revealed what he found toughest was the breathing part – he had to learn how to breathe in through his nose and out through his mouth.
While the new age Indian traveller’s fascination with adventure tourism is well known, Samir Nicholas Patham, director, Adventure – Pulse foresees a tremendous growth potential in the segment comprising children and young adults. “Adventure sports, hiking and mountaineering contribute to the overall development of the child and these days a lot of parents realise this,” he says, pointing out that children are moving away from gadgets and parents are encouraging them to go out and experience nature, which is the biggest teacher of all. “We specialise in trekking and mountaineering expeditions and had the pleasure of taking the students from Bishop’s School Pune to the Everest Base Camp, as part of the 150 years anniversary celebration. We have also taken children groups to Ladakh and regularly conduct adventure camps for children from Pune and Mumbai,” mentions Patham.
The company is also focusing on taking adventure sports to a new level, particularly for corporate offsites, integrating the activities with concepts like leadership development and team management. Patham avers that this unique blend of adventure sports and personality development helps the participants to overcome their fears and exceed their limitations.