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What a climb!

DECCAN CHRONICLE | NEHA JHA
Published Dec 15, 2015, 5:11 am IST
Updated Mar 26, 2019, 6:00 pm IST
The expedition was difficult for Jaahnavi as she had to push herself against 50 km/hr wind.
Krishna Rao and his daughter Jaahnavi Sriperambuduru
 Krishna Rao and his daughter Jaahnavi Sriperambuduru

Jaahnavi Sriperambuduru and father Krishna Rao are the first father-daughter duo in the world to scale Mt Kosciuszko

After scaling Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Elbrus, Hyderabadi mountaineer Jaahnavi Sriperambuduru recently scaled Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak at 7,310 ft. Her recent expedition bagged her two new records — she is the youngest Indian to climb Mt. Kosciuszko and the youngest person in the world to complete the Aussie 10 Challenge (summiting the 10 highest peaks in Australia) in four days. She scaled a total of 21,788 metres and was accompanied by her guide Mike Edmondson.

 

“It was very difficult because we had back to back summits and hence we couldn’t take much rest. We had to finish all 10 peaks in four days. I scaled two peaks each on the first and second day, on the third day we had the very difficult task of scaling four peaks in 11 hours and on the fourth day we climbed two peaks,” says the 14-year-old.

The expedition was difficult for Jaahnavi as she had to push herself against 50km/hr wind. “It was freezing cold because of the wind. I found it difficult to walk as I had to push my way up. It was a different experience for me as I went on a mountain bike to save time (she saved two hours) to a certain point after which I trekked,” says the Class IX student of Reqelford International School adding, “The expedition was dangerous as we walked on the edge of the peak and it was tiring, too, as we walked continuously for seven to eight hours a day.”

 

Her father Krishna Rao also scaled Mt Kosciuszko with Jaahnavi, making them the first father-daughter team in the world to do so. The two had also bagged another record when they scaled Mt Kilimanjaro together in October 2014.

The expedition cost Rs 8 lakh. “I didn’t go through much training this time as most of my time was spent looking around and meeting sponsors. In the last minute one of the sponsors backed out and we had to borrow money to go ahead,” she says. Her father Krishna Rao adds, “We were sponsored by the Sahasara Foundation. But I have to mention this one person... One day I got a call from a person named R. Pulla Reddy who had heard about her. He came ahead and gave us how much ever he could contribute.”

 

Krishna Rao, a mountaineer and high-altitude rescuer, makes sure that he accompanies his daughter on all her expeditions: “I used to work as a senior admin in a hospital but quit my job two and half years ago and currently work as Jaahnavi’s manager. Mountaineering is a risky job and I can’t leave my daughter alone. Being a mountaineer myself, I wanted to be there with her.”

He continues, “To encourage my daughter, I could only accompany her for three peaks. I was diagnosed with cancer eight months ago. So I didn’t get to practise much. But my willpower is much more stronger than my disease.”

 

Krishna Rao also trains Jaahnavi four days a week and the other three days she is trained by Nagapuri Ramesh. “I make her run 20 km, cycle around 60 to 80 km. She also carries weights and climbs rocks around Hyderabad. Whenever we get small sponsors we go to North India to practice.”

Jaahnavi will next head to South America in January to scale Mount Aconcagua (6,962 meters). “I have little time for my next climb but I have to do it for my country. If I don’t go in January, there will be no record,” she says.

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