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Kilimanjaro to Everest: Small town lad Rahul is on a mission to scale 7 highest peaks and 7 highest volcanic peaks across the world
Young lad, Rahul Bairwa of Jaipur, Rajasthan has successfully climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa – the highest mountain & volcanic mountain in African continent, world's highest freestanding mountain, it is reported.

It is learned that in his next, Rahul is going for Mt Elbrus in Russia and Mt Aconcagua in Argentina in next few months. He is also planning for Everest in 2020.  

"The reason why I climb mountain: Holding tricolour at the top of the mountain give me so much sense of pride and sense of gratitude. I can't even explain it.," he says.

He cried with joy having climbed Mt Kilimanjaro while taking photographs on his smartphone and shared his feeling and said, "This moment at the top of the mountain with Indian flag give me reason to live. Climbing has toughened me like a rock and made me humble at the same time like a tree, I cried a lot at the summit and wept out all my grudges and promised myself to be more positive and determined."

Last year on September 19 in 2018 he had scaled 7135 meters of Mount Nun, the highest peak of the Himalayan range lying on the Indian side of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir along with two partners, tells the young leader, who is also an athlete with several achievements under her belt.

It is worth noting that having set a target of scaling seven highest mountain peaks and seven highest volcanic across the world, Rahul Bairwa has successfully completed one, Mt Kilimanjaro (5,895 meters) in Africa. Now Mt Elbrus (5,642 meters) in Russia and Mt Aconcagua (6,962 meters) in Argentina are up next in a few months.

When asked to share experiences from climbing the last few summits, including Mount Kilimanjaro and which was the most challenging till now, he conveyed the following:

-Of the last few summits, it would be hard to decide the most challenging one as the summit push for any climb above 5,500 meters is hard. Every summit throws up a different kind of situations and challenges and I have struggled every time and have come out stronger with each successful summit.

-Every time I come home from an expedition, my family and friends asks me in excitement if I have had fun. Fun? If this were fun, everyone would be doing it; everyone would stand there besides me.

-Standing at the top of the mountain with Indian flag seems very easy in pictures; High altitudes pictures are very deceptive. There are so many struggles behind that; it's unbelievable and hard to explain.

High altitude climbing is an extreme sport, climb with load, technical gear and equipment, in bone-chilling temperatures of -30 to -40 degrees, against cold winds at 120 kms/hr, no bed to lie on, no proper food for days, no toilets, wrapped up in uncomfortable clothes and equipment, fighting with your body to adjust to 60 per cent lesser oxygen, dealing with massive headaches and nosebleeds. It's life-threatening.

-But I climb because it teaches me discipline in everything I do. What should I do next and what should I not, with each step it is a way to test my limits, to see how far I can go and experience the pleasure of overcoming excruciating pain and winning against it.

 "How did you prepare yourself mentally and physically for such a monumental effort to climb seven peaks? What's your mental game like?" he was asked

He replied thus:

-One can prepare for the physical challenge; however, mental strength comes from within. If you think you can do it, you can. However, you also need to train very hard to be extremely fit and you need to be trained on the signs that mean danger and need to keep listening to what your body and your guides are telling you.

-I give 3-4 hours in the morning to training every day, includes Running, Trail running, Cycling , Strength training and most importantly yoga.

-These climbs are very tough and one cannot take up such expeditions without training. I have been training for the past several months and have been following a scientific training which I learned during my personalized training under a renowned ice climber of India. 

-The program is based on heart rate monitoring and provides a training stress score (TSS) to each workout. This helps me improve my performance and endurance levels. I wear a heart rate monitor belt for accurate results. It's an aggressive training that aims to increase the size of the arteries as it carries oxygen-rich blood to the brain.

To the question, "Many people especially youngster look up to you for following your passion, and they see their dreams and ambitions when you fulfill some of yours. What's your message for them who want to pursue their dreams?," he responded as follows.

-If you have dreams, break them into goals and then pursue it, don't be scared, collect your courage and at least give a shot for your dreams with full positivity. We all have multiple roles to play while juggling career and family. In the midst of a busy life, do take out time for yourself to do what you always wanted. Start believing in yourself, Start dreaming about your dreams and Start working towards achieving your goals.

-In my 2 years of steel industry work experience, I worked hard, saved a lot of money then quit my job and decided to give a shot for my dreams. Now after 2 years in mountains I can say that yes I will definitely achieve my goal. I can confidently say that you can have it all, provided you are willing to work for it. Work, marriage, family, money should not be an excuse of not doing what gives you satisfaction. At the end of the day, Give a try & let there be no excuses, no regrets.

"I read about your self sufficient Everest base camp and winter Annapurna circuit and when you climbed the Mount Kanamo in 8 hours. After all of this what has changed in you as a person and how do you deal with this change?"  when asked, he replied as follows.

-NIMAS my training institute is where it all started, that time that's when I first heard about the stories of Mt. Everest from our senior instructor and I was intrigued. I met bunch of amazing, full of energy and intrusting personality during my course, the journey since then has been exciting. It -started with doing a course in mountaineering followed by high altitude summits including Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Nun (India), Kanamo (India), Everest base camp (Nepal), Winter Annapurna Circuit (Nepal).

-During my Self sufficient climb I learned a lot about Expedition planning, Route planning, Food planning, High altitude body adaptation, High altitude sickness ,Survival during difficult situation, basically I applied all my learning in to practical and prepare myself for upcoming challenges.

-Climbing has changed my life a lot. It has increased my patience; it has toughened me like rock and made me humble like a tree at the same time. It made me more responsible towards nature and taught me live happily with basic necessities. I smile more and worry less Climbing is sport that takes away all the complicated stresses of life and makes me focus on my ultimate goal.

-After few months, you're going to attempt Mt Elbrus (5,642 meters) in Russia, and Mt Aconcagua (6,962 meters) in Argentina. How did you prepare yourself for this? What are all the challenges and opportunities before you?

-I guess one can never be fully prepared for such a climb. There is always niggling doubt because it's serious business and life-threatening. What you can do is train well and get the right kind of experience before it. I have done my NIMAS, trained scientifically for over a year and climbed high altitude peaks to get ready for these peaks. I have done couple of high altitude climbs and trek this year as well as part of the preparation for these peaks. I started with 5,000 meters and slowly progressed to 7000 meters to get used to the experience of high altitudes. Life is full of risk and uncertain. One would never know when the game changes, So be alert and prepare.

On being asked about sharing one of his scariest moments during some climbs and how he managed himself at that time, he explained thus, "In Kargil during Mount Nun climb one of our team got hit by avalanche and team members got injured severely. During the rescue we lost one of the team member because of hypothermia. When someone is dying in front of you and you are not able to do anything, I think that is the scariest moment. How I managed myself, I don't know what I should say but yes I was keep telling myself that we should go ahead and hoist our flag in the memory of our team member."

"Can you also share some of your most vulnerable moments during some your climbs and how you dealt with all that because we all have weak moments?" I asked and he replied as follows.

-My most vulnerable moments have always been the summit push. I always struggle to get sleep one night before the summit due to anxiety issues and the final push becomes far more difficult when one is sleep deprived. But like they say, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

-You always link yourself to a social cause. Last one being 'Save our glaciers' during Mt Kilimanjaro climb. Is there one for Mount Elbrus and Mount Aconcagua as well? And what about Mount Everest

-This time I will spread awareness about helps and supports children in difficult circumstances by providing community-based rehabilitation for orphans, runaways, street children, slum children, and the misguided youth. I will urge people to come forward and help NGO'S with information and through various awareness programmers'.

-I will do this climb to support "TAABAR", a community-based rehabilitation organization, who completely devote their time to rescue children from the street life and provide them with a protective shelter and linking them with mainstream life by rehabilitating them and ensure they build a future for themselves. I have taken up the responsibility to help rehabilitate at least 100 children who have been rescued by Taabar NGO from forced commercial work.


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