It is a journey undertaken to "push boundaries".
Najira Noushad, a 33-year-old homemaker from Mahe who began solo hitchhiking last month from the low-lying Kuttanad, has achieved her goal of reaching the Everest Base Camp in Nepal.
The mother of five completed the most arduous part of the trip, a trek from Lukla (2,860 metres above sea level) to the Everest Base Camp (5,364 metres above) in five days. She is probably the fastest Indian woman to complete the approximately 62 km journey braving snowstorms and navigating through rough, rocky and steep terrains.
Ms. Noushad who reached Sonauli in Uttar Pradesh, after covering a dozen Indian States, mostly taking rides on trucks, travelled to Lukla via Kathmandu on a flight. She began the challenging expedition from Lukla, accompanied by a guide, on March 1 and reached the Everest Base Camp on March 5.
Challenging and risky
“Though challenging and risky, I feel extremely delighted to have completed the Everest Base Camp trek in a short time, which is not normal for a woman.” Ms. Noushad says.
This trek (one way) usually takes between eight to 10 days to complete with acclimatisation days in between. “When I started the journey, I told my guide that I wanted to reach the destination at the shortest time possible. I set the challenge myself to inspire other women,” Ms. Noushad says.
While she trekked 46 km in the first three days, it took another two days to complete the rest 16 km. She did the journey without major preparations or mountaineering experiences.
"Doing it without the acclimatisation period was a big challenge. After two days, I developed shortness of breath and suffered from exhaustion, otherwise, I would have completed the trek in four days. Despite all the difficulties, I pushed myself and it was a great experience," Ms. Noushad says.
As she was unable to trek back due to fatigue, Ms. Noushad was airlifted from Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu on March 6.
Though her feat has been recognised by her travel company in Nepal, she is awaiting official confirmation from the Government of Nepal.
“Recently a man from Visakhapatnam reached the Everest Base Camp in four days. I already submitted an application before the authorities in Nepal to recognise me as the fastest Indian woman to complete the Lukla-Everest Base Camp trek,” Ms. Noushad says.
She is not done it yet. Ms. Noushad who entered the fifth week of her 50-day trip to send out a message that India is safe for women travelling alone is now on her way to Ladakh after returning to Delhi from Kathmandu on Wednesday.