A seven-year-old boy, Aaryan Balaji, has created history of sorts by becoming one of the youngest ever to trek up to Mt Everest's southern base camp at an altitude of 5,364 metres in Nepal.
Accompanied by his parents, naval officer Commander K S Balaji and his wife Riki, Aaryan trekked all the way from Lukla to reach the Everest base camp on May 13. After spending a night at the camp, he went ahead to also climb the 5,554-metre Mt Kalapattar two days later. "Hiking to the Everest base camp is a unique challenge, and the excitement in doing this as a family cannot be spelt out," said Riki Balaji.
"Aaryan had trained hard for this trek for over a month in the Andaman Islands... we had full confidence in him reaching the base camp and planting the Indian flag there. All of us are into adventure. My husband, for instance, is a qualified mountaineer, sky diver and has done around 35 hours on microlight flying, apart from being part of Indian expeditions to Mt Everest, South Pole and North Pole," she added.