20 may 2011
Indian schoolboy rewrites history on the Himalayas
Kathmandu: A 17-year-old schoolboy from a New Delhi suburb, who became a climbing sensation last year by becoming the youngest Indian to conquer Mt Everest, created a new record Friday by becoming the youngest in the world to ascent Mt Lhotse, the fourth highest peak.
After an aborted attempt last week due to bad weather, Arjun Vajpai, from Noida near the Indian capital, finally stood on the 8,516 m summit at 8.15 a.m., reported Asian Trekking, the Kathmandu-based mountaineering agency that had been handling the teen’s climbing expeditions since last year.
Mt Lhotse, the third highest peak in the world after Mt Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga, had never been climbed solo by any Indian.
First summited by Swiss Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger in 1956, three years after Mt Everest was tamed for the first time by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, Mt Lhotse has been climbed only by the Indian Army from the subcontinent.
In 2003, a joint India-Nepal Army Expedition led by Col Ashok Abbey from the Indian side saw the first Indian ascent of the mountain that has claimed over 20 lives.
Arjun, who becomes the youngest climber in the world to conquer the technically difficult Lhotse, had set a mountaineering record last year when he scaled Mt Everest, 332m higher than Lhotse, at the age of 16 and became the youngest Indian to accomplish the feat.