It was indeed a proud moment for a group of adventure enthusiasts from Karnataka when they successfully scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa a few days ago, and hoisted the tricolour atop the peak in celebration of India’s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
When Indians across the globe were celebrating 75 years of India’s independence, the passionate adventure enthusiasts were climbing one of the world’s tallest mountains as they started scaling the peak on August 14 and accomplished their ‘dream-come-true’ mission on August 19. They reached the summit in a span of five days.
The seven-member team was overjoyed for reaching the summit and hoisting the national flag being the proud Indians, especially on the occasion when Indians all over the world celebrated the country’s 75 years of freedom.
“There was no limit to our joy in finishing the biggest expedition of our lifetime and hoisting our national flag in celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. It was a tough expedition but all of us put our heart and soul into making it possible,” said D.S.D. Solanki, one of the mountaineers from Mysuru who climbed the peak.
With Mr. Solanki, who founded Tiger Adventure Foundation, there were two members in the seven-member team for whom Mount Kilimanjaro trek was their debut mission.
The seven-member team consisted of four men and three women - Mr. Solanki and Punitha Pradeep from Mysuru, Lenin Chowdhary from T. Narasipur, Chethana Seervi from Hyderabad and Gireesh Hullur, Karthik Nagaraj and Gowri, all from Bengaluru.
The team left for the expedition on August 8 from Bengaluru. After touring Kenya, they embarked on the trek, setting off for conquering the peak on August 14 after completing all basic formalities.
With seven local guides at their help, the team began its expedition from Machame Gate, passing through various camps and Lava Tower, a rock formation, at different heights.
“On reaching Barafu camp, we were told by the agency that the decisive moment has arrived and all of us have to trek in the night. It was around 10 p.m. when we left for the summit. The seven-hour non-stop trek to Sella Point (one of the summit points on Mount Kilimanjaro that stands at a height of 18,885 feet) was the most challenging. From there, we climbed Uhuru peak, the highest summit point at 19,341 feet (5,895 meters). It is Africa’s highest point and the world’s highest free-standing mountain,” explains Mr. Solanki, while sharing his experience of the expedition.
“It was terrifying for us as we had to climb the heights at night,” said Mr. Lenin Chowdhary, after his maiden trek.
Food was an issue as getting vegetarian food was a challenge while on the expedition. “In spite of certain hurdles, we managed to reach the summit,” said Ms. Chethana Seervi.
On August 19 at 6:20 a.m., the trekkers successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro’s summits and returned home with treasured memories of the biggest expeditions of their life.