A young boy Advait Bhartia from Pune accompanied by his mother Payal Bhartia successfully reached the Everest base camp located alongside the dreaded Khumbu Icefall at 17,593 ft. above sea level this winter season. Advait’s is a story of the astonishing rarity of nature, a story of what humans are capable of achieving even at such a young age.
The mother son duo (Payal and Advait Bhartia) began their 12-day trek from the small village of Lukla, Nepal, located at the foot of the Everest Valley at 8,900 ft. and Dudh Khosi River, trekking through beautiful pine tree forests, climbing above the tree line and finally into the snow line, and to reach the Everest base camp on 3rd November, 2016.
For an adult, this is usually an incredible feat, with not just the mountain trails to deal with but also the thin air, reduction in atmospheric oxygen is approximately 50% of that of the sea level and subzero temperatures ranging from about 8 to 12 degrees Celsius at times. But for a young adventurer of this age, this truly is a surreal achievement.
His three hours of vigorous training included butterfly and freestyle stroke swimming for an hour every day, cardio vascular training like playing football, cricket and tennis were included during the second hour and climbing 100 floors, practicing Parkour were a regular part of the training during the third hour. His commitment towards the training program gave confidence to his family and the expedition leader to allow him to be a part of this trek, which was initially only to be taken by his mother. The six-year-old managed to convince everybody of his physical fitness, mental power, endurance, relentless attitude and, above all, maturity to set a goal and then achieve it.
During the trek, the summiteers lovingly addressed him as ‘kancha’ (young boy), and gave him chips and chocolates as a token of appreciation, wonder and awe. He, was the youngest trekker by far and would often attract attention of fellow trekkers along the way who were extremely keen to have a picture taken with him as he would be an inspiration for their son or grandson back home. They would promise to show the picture to their families.
“My next plan is to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.” said Advait Bhartia when asked about his future plans.
“I have been a marathoner myself for years. Advait has been exposed to a healthy lifestyle, he has never tasted sugar, he gets natural sugar in the form of jaggery, dates and fruits like figs. I hadn’t set out to make my child make history or be one of the youngest climbers. I was planning to go, he saw me training and he wanted to train himself, he has been a very fit child, mentally and physically. He ran his first 5 km marathon when he was under 3 years old. I said, if he could do the training with me, we will see if you can come along. He did the training regularly and cleared all the required tests.
At night, even the drinking water would freeze. On the seventh or the eight day I told Advait not to wake me up and he picked up his mug and put it to his mouth in the middle of the night and he realized there is no water coming. He touched it and it had frozen. So, then he held it inside his sleeping bag and waited till it melted and then he had it. It was very mature on his part to have done that. His favorite moment was when once he was answering nature’s call and he actually looked up to find a Himalayan barking deer over his head, so he felt very excited and I think it’s left an indelible mark in his head. ” Said Payal Bhartia
“The boy showed tremendous tenacity and incredible maturity thus allowing him to deal with the various hardships of the journey, the successful completion of the trek makes Advait Bhartia the youngest child in India to reach the Everest Base camp in the winter season.” said Expedition Leader and Co-Founder of Adventure Pulse, Samir Patham.
Advait has also achieved remarkable feats in his young life of 6 years. He is an avid skier and also learning how to surf. He is also internationally certified to plays instruments like the piano and violin. He is the youngest Indian to carry an international mandarin language certification.
The trek was organized by Pune-based adventure and trekking company Adventure Pulse. Advait’s trainer Samir Patham, guided him throughout the arduous 12 days, keeping him occupied with stories of mountaineering, legends of Mount Everest, the great Himalayan myth of the Yeti as well as stories by Rudyard Kipling and Ruskin Bond.