VIZAG GIRL, KAAMYA KARTHIKEYAN CLIMBS TO THE ROOF OF AFRICA. SHE IS ONE OF THE YOUNGEST IN THE WORLD TO ACE THE DREADED KILIMANJARO CLIMB.
Kaamya Karthikeyan, Vizag girl and young mountaineer at 10 years of age added yet another feather to her cap in the early morning hours of 25th October by climbing to Gilman Point at 5685 meters / 18652 ft on Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. A much dreaded feat, the Kilimanjaro climb is considered an achievement for adults mountaineers.
This is the young mountaineers’s third major climb within six months. Earlier in May she had trekked to an altitude of 17600 ft and became the second youngest girl to reach the Everest Base Camp in Nepal. Later in August, she accomplished a record breaking climb of Mt. Stok Kangri in Leh and became the youngest in the world to climb above 20000 ft.
The Climb – The remote town of Moshi and later to Marangu is the Gateway to Kilimanjaro National Park. Reaching there is the first step of the Kilimanjaro climb. Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano, is the highest freestanding mountain in the world with the climb to the crater rim from its base set on a continuous majestic slope. Their trek started on 21st morning from Marangu at a height of just 1800 meters above sea level and took them to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, a 4000 meter altitude gain in just 4 days.
Difficulties on the way – The toughest part of the trek as per Kaamya is to let the body adjust to the thin atmosphere and extreme scarcity of oxygen at such great heights in such a short duration. The Kilimanjaro climb takes the route passing through varied landscapes – from picturesque coffee plantations to thick lush rain forest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and an arctic summit, all in an extremely short while.
The climb is across 3 camps set at Mandara hut, Horombo hut and Kibo hut, which acted as the summit camp. After a short break to recuperate little mountaineer battled punishing winds, dipping temperatures and rough terrain to reach Gilman point through midnight and on the early morning of 25th October aced it. She has proudly unfurled the national flag.
A matter of pride for the city, this Vizag lass is a force to reckon with and no cliffs are big enough to scare her daring guts.