Ludhiana: 53-year-old PAU alumnus Malkiat scales Mount Everest - Hindustan Times

Ludhiana: 53-year-old PAU alumnus Malkiat scales Mount Everest

ByRakshit Sharma, Ludhiana
May 23, 2024 05:04 AM IST

Punjab Agricultural University alumnus, Malkiat Singh, becomes first from the varsity to scale Mount Everest. Inspired by Edmund Hillary, he achieved the feat on May 19, 2023.

A 53-year-old alumnus of the Punjab Agricultural University scaled the mighty Mount Everest, becoming the first from the varsity to achieve the feat.

Malkiat Singh during his journey to Mount Everest’s peak. (HT Photo)
Malkiat Singh during his journey to Mount Everest’s peak. (HT Photo)

Malkiat Singh, who holds a citizenship of the New Zealand, reached the zenith of the world’s highest peak on May 19.

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He comes from village Bour in Fatehgarh Sahib district and joined the university in 1988 for BSc (Hons) in Agriculture. Before graduating in 1993, he had won the title of best athlete thrice.

His story actually began in 1985 when Edmund Hillary, the first person to reach the Mount Everest summit, visited his school as a chief guest. Hillary used to be New Zealand’s Ambassador to India at the time.

“I received two awards from him that day. When I was told about who he was, it piqued my interests and when I moved to New Zealand, I met him again. This is when I took up trekking,” Singh said.

After brief stints with CIBA-GEIGY and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in 1998, Singh left for greener pastures in New Zealand.

It was in 2022 that the idea of scaling Mount Everest struck him.

“I had been doing smaller peaks, like Mount Taranaki (2,518 m), but in 2022, I felt like I must scale Mount Everest.”

His son became the first baptised Sikh to be commissioned in the New Zealand army became his coach. “He chalked out a workout programme for me and stuck to it,” he said.

“I would run 10km one morning, followed by yoga in the evening and stairs the next morning. I repeated this workout till November 2023,” he added.

Singh wanted to climb Mount Everest in November 2023, but he was advised by his company to first go for 6,000 metre peaks to get his body acclimatised. He scaled the Mount Lobuche (6,119 m).

“I came back to New Zealand after that and started my preparations for Everest,” Malkiat said.

“When I left camp three for camp four, I was physically exhausted. I didn’t feel if I had the strength to keep going. I reached camp three, took a nap, and left at 7.30 am on May 19 for the last leg. I don’t know how I pulled through. It was only my faith that kept me going,” he added.

He reached Kathmandu on Tuesday, where he was kept in observation at a hospital. He was discharged on Wednesday morning and plans to move his return ticket early.

“I wanted to get home and take a rest. This has been demanding,” he said.

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