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Pune girl climbs highest peak in Antarctica
Published on 26 Dec. 2009 11:52 PM IST
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Braving temperatures of minus 50 degrees Celsius and howling chilly winds, Pune girl Krushnaa Patil successfully scaled Mt. Vinson Massif, the highest peak of Antarctica Tuesday, her family said here Saturday. The feat comes close on the heels of conquering the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest May 21 and Mt. Kilimanjaro (5,895m) in Africa in October, her mother Ranjana Patil told IANS. “We are proud of her achievements, she has brought laurels to the country,” gushed Ranjana on hearing of Krushnaa’s feat under extremely hazardous conditions on the icy continent inhabited only by penguins. In fact, for the past four days, she is holed up in her base camp, around 1,000 metres below the peak and is unable to move in view of the bad weather in the region, she said. After the trek on treacherous icy Antarctica mountains lasting for nearly a week, Krushnaa and her team, Antarctic Expeditions & Logistics, reached the base camp Dec 22. In view of the threatening weather conditions, they decided to make it a touch-and-go-affair - quickly go to the peak of Mt. Vinson Massif - at 4,897 metres - and return the same day. They did - going and coming back after the conquest - all within seven hours, returning at 5 a.m. Krushnaa called up her dad Madhav and Ranjana only the next day, from the base camp and broke the news - her mother had tears of joy in her eyes. But, though freezing in Antarctica for the past five days, she is now hot on the trail of another peak - Argentina’s 6,961 metres high Mt. Aconcagua. “Krushnaa has a desire to conquer all the peaks in the different continents of the world. This year so far, she has done Mt. Everest in Asia, Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, and Mt. Vinson Massif in Antarctica,” Ranjana said. Now, her daughter wants to conquer the tallest peak of South America -- Mt. Aconcagua, then during the course of next year scale Mt. Eldrus of Europe (5,642 metres), Australia’s tallest peak Mt. Kosciuszko (2,228 metres) and Mt. Mckinley in Alaska (6,194 metres). The expedition to Antarctica was partly sponsored by the travel portal, and financial support received from Maharashtra Chief Minister’s office, the Shiv Sena and a few other private sponsors. Krushnaa, an undergraduate student, pursuing B.A. at Pune University, is a professional Indian classical dancer and choreographer, and also designs dance costumes, jewellery and home interiors. The only child of her parents, Krushnaa is a keen environmentalist and wants to work in the area of eco-conservation programmes, including global warming.

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