Alappuzha woman on a mission to climb Seven Volcanic Summits

The young woman from Mararikulam in Alappuzha has scaled three mountains — Kilimanjaro, Damavand and Elbrus — in the past 21 months

August 17, 2023 07:49 pm | Updated 08:03 pm IST - ALAPPUZHA:

Milasha Joseph on Mount Elbrus in Russia earlier this month.

Milasha Joseph on Mount Elbrus in Russia earlier this month. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Her yearning to experience the exhilaration of conquering challenges propelled Milasha Joseph on an ambitious mission to climb Seven Volcanic Summits (the highest volcanoes on seven continents).

The young woman from Mararikulam in Alappuzha has scaled three mountains — Kilimanjaro, Damavand and Elbrus — in the past 21 months.

While she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m above sea level) in Tanzania and Mount Damavand (5,671 m) in Iran in November 2021 and June 2022 respectively, she reached the summit of Mount Elbrus (5,642 m) in Russia on August 8, 2023. The latest mountaineering expedition undertaken ahead of India’s 77th Independence Day with a message for women’s empowerment was completed in five days.

Ms. Joseph says a combination of factors led her down the mountaineering path, including her chronic asthma disease. “It was the notion “nothing particularly inspired me” actually ignited my desire to prove otherwise. I wanted to be a living example that women can venture into uncharted territories, conquer mountains and shatter society’s constraints,” says Ms. Joseph, who is currently working as a financial analyst in Ireland.

She says climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, her first–ever mountaineering experience, was a transformative experience that stretched her limits, broadened her perspective, opened up a world of possibilities and emboldened her to scale more heights. “Conquering the Seven Volcanic Summits, the task I set for myself, is not just a physical endeavour, but a profound personal journey that fuels my passion for exploration and adventure,” she says.

Ms. Joseph ventured into mountaineering after some hard training. “Each of the three mountains I have scaled presented its own set of unique challenges. Each climb tested different aspects of my physical and mental capabilities due to their distinct terrains, climates, and personal circumstances,” she says.

Of the three mountains she climbed, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Elbrus are the highest mountains in Africa and Europe respectively and part of Seven Summits (the highest mountains on seven continents).

While Ms. Joseph has four more mountains — Ojos del Salado on Argentina–Chile border, Pico de Orizaba in Mexico, Mount Giluwe in Papua New Guinea and Mount Sidley in Antarctica — on her bucket list, the young mountaineer has not yet “finalised the specifics of her next endeavour.”

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