Despite the pandemic situation prevailing, a dream has come true for a 28-year-old Karate Champion and a mountaineer, Bhupathiraju Anmish Varma from Vizag, who scaled Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak on June 1. This is the third summit that Anmish has completed out of seven. Mount Everest with 8,848 metres has increased its height by 0.56 metres, attracting many mountaineers this year. Anmish Varma is said to be the only South Indian to climb the summit this year. His other summits include Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 metres), the tallest peak in Africa, and Mount Aconcagua (6,961 metres), the tallest in South America.
Interacting with Yo! Vizag, this mountaineer shares his journey to making this dream come true and how it felt to stand on the literal top of the world.
“After so many attempts, I could achieve my goal of standing on top of the world’s highest peak. It’s not such an easy task to climb. My first attempt was in 2018 when I was the only one from Andhra Pradesh who got selected by the Government. While we went to Everest through China, one of our teammates got sick who we had to rescue and return back. But this time, despite the pandemic and bad weather, I climbed up, overcoming all hardships. Thanks to everyone who supported me financially,” said Anmish Varma of Vizag.
Being trained in Martial Arts and an MBA graduate, Anmish was the first Indian to get a gold medal in the World Martial Arts Championship held in 2018. He was trained by Adventure Sports Academy at Gandikota and did a basic mountaineering course at Himalayan Mountaineering Institute at Darjeeling and an advanced course at Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering at Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir. “I had good support from my family. Though my mother was always worried when I planned a summit, I was able to convince her every time and come back with a happy face,” Anmish added.
When asked about his adventure during this pandemic, Anmish said, “Knowing about the pandemic situation, I reached the base camp by April 2021 so that there would be no restrictions. But the worst part was the wind speed which was at 120 kmph. Even our tents which we built were filled with snow, no proper food was also available. At base camp 2 at nearly 6,400 metres height, we had to stay without proper stay and food for six days. Adding to this, there were also many who tested positive for Covid-19 when they reached the camp.”
“The infected people were isolated by the Nepal government, while we continued our expedition. It is not so easy to maintain social distancing and follow norms while climbing. And this time, with the increase in height by 0.56 metres announced by the Nepal government, around 400-450 members were given permission for the expedition which is higher than every year. But we kept ourselves protected. Apart from Covid-19, heavy winds with snow was the toughest challenge,” said Anmish.
His target is to complete the seven summit challenge for which he is planning his next trek to Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 6,190 metres above sea level.