Six years ago when he started trekking in Pune at the age of 10, Arjun Bajpayee wouldn’t have imagined that his passion for adventure would lead him to the top of Mt. Everest.
The 16-year-old student of Ryan International School in Noida followed his dreams and became the youngest Indian to scale the world’s highest peak on May 22 this year.
Most mountaineers would consider it the peak of their achievements, but Arjun’s journey has just begun. His immediate goal is to clear the class XII boards and then the mountains and records beckon again.
“I want to scale all 14 peaks above 8,000 metres, the seven highest peaks in all continents and reach South Pole and North Pole,” Arjun told the Hindustan Times.
Not many would know that the tall teen with long hair is a district level soccer player, a national level basketball and volleyball player and a black belt in taekwondo and karate.
Arjun’s interest in mountaineering began after hearing tales from Jot Singh Dhillion, his father’s friend who scaled Everest thrice. Reinhold Messner, the Italian considered the greatest mountaineer of all times, also inspires him.
What makes Arjun’s feat remarkable is that he had not scaled any 8,000 metre plus peak before attempting Everest. He had earlier scaled Island Peak (6,189 metre) after training at Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarkashi.
After he fulfils his mountaineering goals, he wants to join the Indian Army and serve the country his like father, a retired Army officer.