Seven Summits conquered

Cty boy scales Vinson, realises dream

By Jhinuk Mazumdar in Calcutta
  • Published 17.12.17
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Calcutta: Software engineer Satyarup Siddhanta scaled Mount Vinson of Antartica early on Saturday, realising his dream of climbing all Seven Summits - the highest points of the seven continents.

It was 5.30am when the 34-year-old's mother at their Thakurpukur home saw on a tracking-messaging-navigation website on her cellphone that her son had touched the 4897m peak.

A flood of congratulatory phone calls and WhatsApp messages followed but Gayotri Siddhanta was waiting for a confirmation from the climber himself.

That came a few hours later.

"He posted his achievement on Facebook around 9am. A little later he called home from a satellite phone and said he had climbed the last of the Seven Summits and was on his way to the high camp. He said he was fine but the weather was bad," the 65-year-old former teacher recounted.

"He spoke to us barely for a minute. We did not extend the conversation because his satellite phone might run out of charge."

The Facebook post that went viral and was reposted many times read: "The 7 Summits...What a journey it was! Successfully summitted mt vinson massif and safely back at high camp. Thanks to all your prayers. What a climb."

Satyaryup, who now lives in Bangalore, had left Calcutta for the expedition on November 30. He reached Antartica via Argentina and Chile on December 7.

"He began his climb on December 9. He called me on the night of December 14 and said the group would rest for 24 hours at the summit camp (3781m) before starting the summit push on Friday evening. They had to pull the sledges themselves as there were no porters," said Dipanjan Das, Satyarup's friend and neighbour in Bangalore.

At 2.37am on Friday, Das saw a message on the tracking site: "Last few 100metres..keep me in prayers."

Mount Vinson - or the Vinson Massif - is the most remote of the Seven Summits. According to science news website LiveScience, the peak was "the last discovered, last climbed and last named of the Seven Summits".

The best season for climbing the mountain is December through February, the summer months in Antartica. The sun is out 24 hours during the period and the Celsius reaches its peak - minus 20 degrees.

Satyarup, trained at Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling, started on his Seven Summit mission by climbing Kilimanjaro in Africa in June 2012. He climbed Everest in June 2016.

Do his parents spend anxious moments at home whenever he is on a climb?

"We have become used to it now. From the time he leaves home, we track his movement," the mother said.