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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

DU girl one of youngest Indians to climb Europe’s highest peak

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 15, 2014
First Published: 23:57 IST(15/8/2014) | Last Updated: 00:06 IST(16/8/2014)

Two girls in their early 20s have achieved what no other college girl from the country has done before.

At 21, Saachi Soni, a student of Delhi University’s IP College for women, along with two other team mates scaled Europe’s highest peak Mount Elbrus last month. With this, she became one of the youngest women of the country to achieve such a feat.

Saachi went on the expedition with Arunima Sinha and Akriti Heer. Sinha, who acquired international recognition last year when she became the first woman amputee in the world to climb Mount Everest, led the team. Heer is also one of the youngest Indians to conquer the peak. 

The expedition was flagged off by the home minister on July 19 and the team scaled the peak on July 24.   

“We conquered the peak at 9.55 am and it was an amazing experience. As soon as I reached the top, I unfurled the tricolour. It was windy and the flag was fluttering. We sang the national anthem as well. It was a very emotional moment for me,” said Soni.

Mount Elbrus is a dormant volcano and the highest peak in Europe. It lies in Russia and is 5,642 metres high. It is one of the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/8/1608_pg5a.jpg
Saachi Soni at the Mt Elbrus summit, which she scaled with two others.

According to experts, the climb to the summit is relatively easier as compared to that some other peaks though it has a higher ratio of climber deaths to climbers and is considered one of the world’s most deadly peaks to scale. The average time to climb the peak is five days, which the team managed to achieve.

“The weather was the most punishing part. It was extremely cold and windy and the conditions made it difficult for us to go on at times. After we returned, we were completely weather beaten and burnt but the experience was worth it,” Soni added.


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