Piyali Basak, a Chandernagore primary school teacher, nearly ascended Mount Everest without the use of oxygen. The climber was given external oxygen support after reaching a height of 8,450 meters. She achieved her objective after hundreds of Bengalis worked together for almost a month to raise funds for her summit via crowdsourcing.
According to many summit reports from Mount Everest, over 4,000 people have reached the tallest mountain to date, but only 200 of them accomplished so without the need of supplementary oxygen. If Piyali finally earns the certificate for summiting the mountain without supplementary oxygen, she will be the first Indian woman on the list.
In 2019, she tried the record but had to abandon it due to inclement weather. Piyali also ascended Mount Dhaulagiri in Nepal without oxygen last year.
Not only that, but she went on to make more records. She ascended Mount Lhotse in two days after completing Everest. She began ascending Lhotse (8,516 m) on the Nepal-Tibet border on Tuesday morning and reached the peak by nightfall. Lhotse is the world’s fourth-highest peak.
Piyali has been able to climb mountains on her own since she was five years old. She became even more interested in mountaineering after reading about Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary’s expedition in Class VI. She began trekking at an early age, and it quickly became her full-time job. Her parents reinforced her love of the outdoors by taking her on mountain getaways.
After earning a degree in mathematics, she attended the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling. Piyali witnessed the Amarnath pilgrimage killing firsthand during her Amarnath expedition in August 2000. In June 2013, she was again on the scene as a mid-day cloudburst focused on Uttarakhand caused devastating floods and landslides, becoming the country’s worst natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami.
She participated in an advanced mountaineering training programme at the Indian Mountaineering Foundation in New Delhi (IMF). After honing her skills at the institute, she went on a variety of thrilling adventures. Piyali, a martial arts black belt, has represented his country in international contests. She is also an amazing ice skater and the solitary representative of her state in this sport.
- Chaithra BS