Chandigarh — As a kid, Sandeep Kumar grew up reading about the achievements of India’s track-and-field legend Milkha Singh.
Emulating Milkha’s commitment to fitness, Panchkula-based Kumar was always fascinated with mountains and wanted to climb them in his lifetime. He recently achieved a milestone when he completed the Everest Base Camp expedition at a height of 5,364 metres and 17,598 feet in Nepal in 10 days amid difficult conditions.
“Everest Base Camp expedition is a dry run for Mount Everest. So I decided to go for it. The last two days were very challenging due to extreme weather. The oxygen level was very low at -10 degree temperature. The wind speed was averagely 40-60 km/hour. Due to the high altitude, I faced two sleepless nights and headache,” said the 39-year-old, who did mountaineering at Triund in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, in October 2020.
“I really enjoyed my stint in Triund and wanted to do something more challenging,” added Kumar, who works as a sales manager in an IT company.
The journey for the expedition started from Kathmandu to Lukla by a small aircraft. Lukla is at a height of 2,850 metre and the average temperature there is around -2 to -5 degrees.
Kumar covered 98-100km in 10 days: “I had rice, dal and boiled potatoes to maintain my carbohydrate levels. I also carried chocolates, biscuits and some homemade stuff to maintain energy levels as one doesn’t get anything from Gorak Shep to the Everest Base Camp. I practised yoga daily to maintain mental and physical health. Milkha Singh is my inspiration. At 91, he is fit and runs daily. My ultimate aim is to climb Mount Everest, however, I will need a lot of funds to achieve that goal,” shared Kumar.