Mumbai: Like someone once said, “success is not a destination, it’s a journey.” This would seldom suit a few successful people and Mountaineer Harshvardhan Joshi would be enlisted in some of those people, who have accumulated success in their kitty. Hailing from Mumbai, Harsh found his interest in trekking early in his life — at the age of 15 — in 2011, when he started hiking small hills in and around Mumbai scaling a height not more than 1,000 feet.
Cut to 2021, Harsh conquered the summit of Mount Everest, the highest peak on the globe, at the age of 25. He had tested positive for Covid-19 on his way to the peak of Mt Everest, but he didn’t give up on his dream. Despite there was a cyclone prediction, he didn’t look back. “I have imagined myself proudly hoisting the tri-coloured Tiranga on the Mt Everest Peak, even before actually doing it. And that was my motivation throughout my expedition,” he confidently said.
It took almost two months for the 25-year-old in scaling the 29,030 ft Mt Everest expedition. But, just three days before reaching the summit, he had tested positive and was suggested to stay isolated. “I had to stay isolated for 11 days albeit being asymptomatic. I was shaken after the rapid antigen test displayed positive,” he recalled. “Fortunately, I have taken two jabs of Covid vaccine and mostly, the vaccines have saved me from some serious repercussions,” Gritty Harsh told ABP Live.
After 11 days, he was warned about a cyclone and rough weather ahead on the summit of the highest peak in the world, but the Mumbai-mountaineer didn’t take a no for it and went ahead looking forward to hiking. “The weather condition was a little rough. The last three days of my expedition were the toughest and there were predictions of cyclone Yaas as well,” the 25-year-old mountaineer said.
After striving and taking tremendous risks, he finally scaled the highest peak on the planet. “I finally touch the peak and hoisted the Tiranga after a 55-day expedition,” the captain of the Sherpa delightedly said.
The Mumbai-mountaineer was there at Mt Everest expeditions as many as five times and must say, he is the most deserved 25-year-old to stand at 29,030 ft altitude on top of the world.
It all started, when Harsh at the age of 15 met a group of doctors and started trekking along with them in and around Mumbai. At the age of 18, he stood atop Kedarkanta at 13,000 ft. Harsh had secured nine mountaineering courses in three years of duration from 2016-2019. “I lived in the foothills of the Himalayas for six to seven months a year to pursue mountaineering courses,” he recalled.
It was in 2017, he had decided to climb Mt Everest and since then he has been practicing for the epic expedition. “In 2019, I have started fundraising as climbing Everest is a costly affair — it costs nearly Rs 60 lakh. I had to take Rs 13 lakh loan for this expedition. And when I tested positive for Covid, all these aspects kept me even more motivated to reach the peak.” said Harsh, who is also promoting the advantages of taking Covid vaccines through his social media pages.
When asked about his future plans, he said, “In this year, I am planning for another expedition to Mt Manaslu — the eighth highest mountain on earth at 8,163 metres.” Interestingly, Harsh set sights on becoming the first Indian to scale the complete altitude of Mt Manaslu, which is located in Nepal, sans oxygen and supplements.
Now, what life has in store for Harshvardhan is something to wait and see.