Ratnesh Pandey, known as the ‘mountain man’ of Madhya Pradesh, scaled the heights of Mount Damavand and Mount Sabalan in a mountaineering expedition organised in Iran by the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation — UIAA.
The expedition started on August 17 and lasted for twenty days. Around 80 climbers from eight countries participated in the trip, with Ratnesh representing India.
Thirty-year-old Ratnesh, who hails from Satna, also climbed the highest peak of Mount Everest in May.
“UIAA is the highest governing body of mountaineering and climbing and it keeps organising such expeditions across the world. Frozen water-fall climbing is the toughest one and I was very excited to do it. Unlike other mountains, this one requires a lot of technicalities and professional skills,” Ratnesh said.
“Under this expedition, we scaled the only two water fall mountains in Iran - Mt Damavand and Mt Sabalan, 18,000 feet and 16,000 feet respectively. It was a great experience,” he added.
Ratnesh’s journey from India was flagged off from Indore by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
“I really liked fellow mountaineers’ passion for Indian mountains. Like in Iran, they just have two mountains and still they are so ahead of us. We, here in India, have all the resources but we don’t utilise them to the fullest. We have a lot of talent here but there is no awareness,” Ratnesh said.
Brand ambassador of Satna Smart City Project, Ratnesh is working on several projects and is associated with government schools and colleges spreading education on sports.
He said he wanted to show people that mountaineering was a wonderful adventure to take up. “I want to take it to that level where we have schools and colleges featuring mountaineering and trekking as a compulsory sport. Climbing sports recently made it to the Rio Olympics. The whole world is considering its significance.”
Also an enthusiastic bike rider and stunt rider, Ratnesh has a Guinness world record to his credit for the longest continuous ride standing on the seat of a motorcycle for 20 miles. He achieved this feat in Indore in 2015.