An Indian and an American teenager vie for Everest honours | world | Hindustan Times
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An Indian and an American teenager vie for Everest honours

An Indian and a Californian teenager are in a sort of a race for the honour of becoming the youngest person to reach the world's highest summit of 8,848-metre high Mount Everest.

world Updated: Apr 09, 2010 13:19 IST

An Indian and a Californian teenager are in a sort of a race for the honour of becoming the youngest person to reach the world's highest summit of 8,848-metre high Mount Everest.

At 16, Arjun Bajpayee is part of an international team, which left here to make an attempt on the peak by the end of this month.

Two other Indian women climbers Bhagya Shree Sawant, 18, and Mamta Shoda, 31, in the Everest Odyssey, which will be led by veteran Nepalese climber Dawa Steven Sherpa, would join him.

In hot contention with him would be a 13-year-old Californian boy Jordan Romero who has a burning ambition of reaching the summit of the highest peaks on all seven continents.

Jordan will attempt to ascent the Everest in the company of his father and his father's girlfriend. The Californian boy has already the distinction of climbing Africa's highest peak Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Mckinley, the highest summit of Alaska.

The current record holder for the youngest to have climbed the peak is a 16-year-old Nepalese Sherpa Temba Tsheri, who lost his five fingers in the bid due to frostbite.

Their attempts would run parallel to a quest by Nepalese Apa Sherpa to make a record shattering 20th bid to climb the peak.

Apa is not biding for any record; his sole purpose he says is to carry the ashes of the world's most famous mountaineer, Sir Edmund Hillary to the summit to make it his last resting place.

Most of Hillary's ashes were scattered in the sea off Auckland in his native New Zealand following his death in 2008, aged 88.

But Apa says that some of his ashes had been kept in a Buddhist Monastery in Himalayan village of Kunde in eastern Nepal and these would now be scattered in the eternal snows of the Everest.

Hillary and the Nepalese Sherpa Norgay Tenzing made history when they made the maiden ascent of Everest on May 29, 1953. The New Zealander later adopted Nepal as his second home running a foundation that build schools and hospitals at the base of Everest in an area called Solokhumbu.