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|comparison of highest mountains every continent. TwistedSifter|
This ace woman mountaineer did not stop at standing atop the roof of the world. She focused her attention on the highest peaks across the continents and wanted to summit them too and, in this regard, she was fully supported by her family members, in particular, her husband Vimal, a senior journalist and friends. She never failed to follow her father Ramawtar Garg's advice, “Never reverse a decision. Good or bad, stick to it,” Being gritty as she was, Premlata went on to achieve yet another most difficult feat for her age, that is she became the first Indian woman to have climbed the Seven Summits on different continents, one of the tough mountaineering challenges, even for the professional mountain climbers will find it to achieve.
She was part of a 22 member Eco-Everest Expedition team that took the extremely windy and greatly risk-prone challenging South Col (Camp 4 at 26,000ft) route from Nepal side. It was led by Steven Sherpa Dawa and guided by the Asian Trekking Agency. Because of extreme weather condition at 26000 feet on the high mountains such as gale, heavy snowfall, etc, the team had some setbacks and their ascent on Everest got delayed.
Earlier, Premlata Agarwal went on expeditions, under Tata Steel Adventure Foundation, to Island Peak in Nepal in 2004, the Karakoram Pass (18,300 ft) and Mt Stok Kangri (20,150ft) in 2006 and the First Indian Women’s Thar Desert Expedition in 2007. The latter was a 40-day camel safari from Bhuj, Gujarat to the Wagah border in Punjab (East).
This 50 year old mom successfully achieved this most difficult mountain climbing challenge of reaching seven peaks on seven continents and planting the Indian flag on top of each of them on May 23, when she scaled the North America's highest peak Mount McKinley, Alaska (USA). Previous day, the inclement weather hampered her plan to scale the peak. The seven tallest summits thus she scaled were: McKinley (6,194m), Mount Elbrus (5,642m), Everest (8,848m), Kilimanjaro (5,895m), Aconcagua (6,961 m), Vinson Massif (4,892m) and Carstensz Pyramid (4885m).
After reaching Mt. McKinley, Premlata said, " ...... this experience has taught me that if you have the will and focus, no matter where you come from, you can conquer the world."
|Seven summits climbed by Premlata. indiatoday.intoday.in|
It was Richard Bass (December 21, 1929 - July 26, 2015), an American businessman, rancher, mountaineer and ski-resort (in Utah) owner, became the first person in 1985 to successfully climb the “Seven Summits”- the highest peaks on all seven continents. He, for the first time, suggested his list of seven tough summits called “the Bass list” which included the following mountains in it: Mount Kosciuszko-2 228 m, Vinson Massif-4, Mount Elbrouz-5, 642m, Kilimanjaro-5, 896m, Mt McKinely 6, 194m, Aconcagua 6,962 m and Mount Everest -8 848m. Patrick Morrow of Canada, who climbed the last peak on August 5, 1986, followed Bass. Junko Tabei, a Japanese woman was the first from Japan to reach the summit of Mount Everest and is also the first woman to achieve the Seven Summits in 1992. Mrs. Premlata followed suit.
Premlata has made an indelible and memorable mark in her life-long vision of empowering women and she is a source of inspiration to other aspiring young women and girls. If there is a will and firm commitment, nothing will deter one from one's vision. Indeed, it is a big stride towards the vision of empowering women. "My most cherished desire is to help Indian women come out of their routine household chores and instill in them the indefatigable spirit of adventure," said Premlata. It is a great achievement for a humble and an assuming homemaker whose romance with the mountains began at the age of 35.