At 15 years and seven months, Raghav Joneja has become the youngest Indian to scale Mount Everest, climbing the peak with five teenage mates from Lawrence School, Sanawar.
Lawrence became the first school in the world to send a team to the highest peak.
The boys achieved the remarkable feat May 21 when they summited Everest after a month-long gruelling expedition, backed by Hero Cycles.
The expedition comprised of seven boys with their sherpas, three fathers as a support team and another four old Sanawarians, who joined the group from here to the base camp for 21 days to give them moral support.
Col. Neeraj Rana, ex-director of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), was the mentor for the expedition which April 9 arrived at Lukla, Nepal from where the group trekked for nine days to the base camp. At the base camp they acclimatised for nearly a month and began the final ascent May 17.
While they set off in a group of seven, one of the seven, Hakikat Grewal, developed a problem in his oxygen mask and couldn’t reach the summit, having to retreat from 27,600 ft.
However, the rest completed the expedition successfully.
Ajay Sohal (16) and Prithvi Chahal (17) together climbed the summit first, next came Shubham Kaushik (16), who was followed by Fateh Brar (16) and then Joneja and Guribadat Singh (17).
“Whatever we do through the rest of our lives, this is one achievement that will always stick to us and will always make us proud. The team is grateful to Hero Cycles and our school for making this ultimate achievement possible for us,” said Joneja.
Established in 1847, the Lawrence School is located near Kasauli, in the Shimla Hill in Himachal Pradesh.