Hyderabad’s Jaahnavi Sriperambuduru, who aims to become the youngest girl to scale the Seven Summits, has broken many records.
Now the 14-year-old mountaineer has set another record by becoming the youngest Indian guide at the Everest Base Camp (17,598 ft). “I have also created a new record as a guide by escorting a 10-year-old girl and her mother to the base camp successfully,” she says.
“Guiding to the Everest Base camp is not an easy task when your clients are beginners, first timers or are very young. As a guide, you must be very calm and look into the safety of the clients in any situation,” says Jaahnavi adding, We must maintain the same pace as the client and make them comfortable.”
Jaahnavi decided to condition herself before attempting scaling Mt Everest in April. She has earlier scaled Mt Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft), Mt Elbrus (18,510 ft) and Mt Kosciuszko (7,310 ft).
“I wanted to get myself conditioned before attempting scaling Mt Everest. I decided on April since it’s less expensive, as no one is coming ahead to support me,” she says.
Talking about the training she had to go through, Jaahnavi says, “As a guide you should also be a qualified mountaineer. Royal Nepal Holidays helped me last year to understand the role of a guide and trained me in basics with my chief trainer Kajee Sherpa, who has been with me since my Stok Kangri climb. I still need to learn a lot and get trained for different terrains and expeditions in the course of time.”
It’s not easy to be a guide and the challenges are many. Jaahnavi lists a few. “The challenges you face may differ from client to client and trip to trip. When we have experienced trekkers, they understand the terrain and the climatic condition, but when you have beginners, we sometimes end up explaining the same thing numerous times. First of all, we need to understand that an adventure trip is not a fun trip and we may not get all the facilities we expect. At the same time, we have to put ourselves in their shoes and support them. As this was my first experience as a guide to Mt Everest Base Camp, I had to take many precautions.”
After Jaahnavi completes the Mt Everest expedition, she will take up a new role as a guide for pilgrims travelling to Kailash Mansarovar from the next season.