BENGALURU: City-based techie Satyarup Siddhanta scaled Mont Blanc, the highest mountain of the Alps and also the highest peak in Western Europe on September 23 at 8:15 am France time.
Satyarup has already climbed mountains in four continents, Mt Kilimanjaro (5,895m) in Africa, Mt Elbrus (5,642m) in Europe, Mt Aconcagua (6,962m) in South America and Mt Denali (6,194m) in North America. He also became the fastest Indian to climb Mount Denali unguided.
It was near Mont Blanc that Prof Homi Jehangir Bhabha, the father of India’s nuclear programme, died in an air crash in January 1966.
Speaking about Mont Blanc, Siddhanta said, “The ridge is extremely exposed. One mistake and you are lost into oblivion. One cannot but die on those icy slopes and treacherous ridges. At places, we even had to create steps by breaking the ice using our ice axe. Added to this, wind speed was 100 kmph the previous day of our summit push and I was tensed since summit push becomes impossible when it’s windy. At some stretches, one has to be to be very careful about rock falls, avalanches and lightning. In fact, the descent is trickier, but we managed to reach down successfully.”
Born in Kolkata, he grew up in Berhampore, a small town in West Bengal, and did his engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, Sikkim. He has been working for the last nine years in Bengaluru. He is also a certified mountaineer from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling.
“It has been my dream to conquer the highest peaks of the world and bring laurels to my country. This summit is one more step towards achieving this dream. I am going to Leh for practice and a winter attempt to Stok Kangri and some other mountains there. It will be tricky because there is lot of snow now. In April 2015, I am going to climb the Mt Everest”, he said.
Brady Corporation, a USA-based multi-national company, where Satyarup works, has okayed a two-month leave without pay for his Everest expedition.
Recognising his potential, Manipal Education and Medical group has also come forward to help Satyarup towards his mission of Mt Everest 2015. Dr Ranjan Pai, Managing Director of Manipal Education and Medical group said, “Satya’s determination and grit is commendable. He is an inspiration for our students and has made his alma mater proud with his accomplishments. Our institution has assured a lump sum of $10,000 towards his Everest mission.”