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Indians who stormed through the Poles

travel Updated: Jun 11, 2011 12:53 IST
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The distance to be covered is about 550 kms. The minimum temperature goes as low as -45° Celsius. Skiing through this unforgiving land is not for the weak. Ajeet Bajaj and his daughter Deeya skied through it in 19 days.

The father-daughter duo braved the storms and blizzards to unfurl the tricolour in foreign land. And they are the only Indians to have successfully done so on the treacherous Trans-Greenland terrain. The agenda for the expedition was to draw focus on global warming as Greenland is considered by many as the ground zero for the climate crisis.

Ajeet Bajaj and his 17-year-old daughter Deeya completed the expedition on May 31. The 19-day expedition entailed handling very low temperature, unpredictable weather conditions, blizzards, high wind speeds (enough to blow you away in the wrong direction) and tremendous altitudes.

Deeya is now the youngest Indian to have achieved this feat. Being the youngest member of the team she was a bit nervous at first but shed her inhibitions soon.

"Initially, when you think of spending 20 days non-stop on ice, you really have no sense of what you will eventually be going through. I trained really hard for it and now I do feel a sense of accomplishment," Deeya says.

With the right mindset and the correct training, anything is doable," she added.

She has dedicated her achievement to the cause of girl child in India and wants to use this expedition to raise funds for a girl's orphanage in Rishikesh.

Ajeet (45) is the only Indian to have completed the Polar trilogy, which comprises the North Pole, South Pole and crossing the Greenland Icecap expeditions. And with that, he has finally fulfilled his dream.

"Adventure motivates me and I love the great outdoors but I was handed the national flag by Shri Anand Sharma (Minister of Commerce & Industry, India) and there is no honour bigger than that."

Though a part of the Arctic, the interior of Greenland closely resembles the interior of Antarctica, with unbroken snow as far as the eye can see.

The duo started the expedition in Kangerlussuaq, on the west coast of Greenland and skied almost 550 kilometres to Isertoq, an Eskimo village, on the east coast.

Incidentally, Ajeet is one of the few Asians to have rafted through some of the toughest rivers across the globe. These include rivers like the upper Amazon, Colorado, Zambizi and more. He has also captained the International team at the International White Water Rafting Championship.

Guess, if you have the will you really can move mountains.

Description: Crossing of the Greenlandic icecap from west to east
Duration: 19 days
Distance: 550 km
Country: Greenland
Place of departure: Dog Camp (69°N 50°O)
Place of arrival: Isortoq (65°N 38°O)
Means of progression: Ski
Team: 6 Expeditioners, 2 Eskimos and 28 Huskies

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