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The First Indian Mountaineer To Scale Four 8,000-Metre Peaks In Less Than A Month

Who Is Baljeet Kaur?  The 27-year-old woman from Himachal Pradesh has scripted history by becoming the only Indian mountaineer to scale four 8,000-metre peaks in less than a month. The four mountain peaks she has climbed include Mt Everest (May 22), Mt Annapurna (April 28), Mt Kanchenjunga (May 12) and Mt Lhotse (May 23) Here’s everything you should know about Baljeet Kaur.

Since childhood, Baljeet has been fascinated by mountains. She would even climb small hills near her village Panjrol in Kandhaghat tehsil of Himachal’s Solan district. Her mother Shanti Devi was quite sure that she would accomplish something huge in the field of mountaineering.

Meri beti ne jo kar dikhaya hai, woh toh hamare liye sabse uncha kam hai (Our daughter’s feat is the highest honour for us),” said Shanti Devi in an interview with Indian Express. She has three siblings and all of them would help the mother in managing the farm work. Her father Amrik Singh was working as a bus driver with Himachal Road Transport Corporation.

Baljeet (right) at the top of Mt. Lhotse. Mt. Everest can be seen in the background.

She pursued her studies in the Government Senior Secondary School at Mamligh, a neighbouring village. That’s where she enrolled herself with the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and that’s when her tryst with mountaineering started.

Her mother is hopeful that her story will inspire girls all over the country to dream big. In an interview, she revealed that she had to sell some of her gold ornaments to support her.  She also ran a crowd funding campaign to support her dream.

Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) president Harshwanti Bisht also congratulated her. He said, “Such a feat is highly positive for the women mountaineering in India. More and more Indian women climbers are breaking and setting new records, which in turn are encouraging more talent to come forward,” said Bisht. She is also the first Indian female mountaineer to successfully climb the 8,167-m high Mt Dhaulagiri.

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