She is only 19 years old but Krushnaa Patil has already become the youngest woman in India to climb the Mount Everest in 2009.
On 21st May, 2009, she conquered the 8848m high Mount Everest, and became a house-hold name across the country overnight. She is 20-year old Krushnaa Patil, the youngest Indian to summit Mount Everest, and the 2009 Rajiv Gandhi women achiever award.
This Pune-born mountaineer is a wonder for setting records. Last year in December, she became the first Indian woman to summit Mount Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica, and if she has her way, she will soon be the first Indian woman to conquer the Seven Summits. She has already scaled Everest in Asia, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Vinson Massif in Antarctica, Koscuiszko in Australia, Elbrus in Europe, Aconcagua in South America, and even as you read this, she is on her way up McKinley in North America. But her penchant for climbing mountains at such a young age isn’t any wonder. Her parents, who have a flare for adventure sports themselves, have always encouraged her, sending their only daughter to the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering at a very early age. Her mother has always supported her, and often escorts her on her expeditions to distant places. Her dad, a merchant navy officer, leaves no stone unturned when it comes to funding her expeditions and securing her future.
When she isn’t climbing mountains, she’s at home in Pune, pursuing a course from the university like thousands of others. But all similarity ends there. In following her passion, she loses out on the regular fun life of a 20 year-old. The extreme conditions she faces on her expeditions, and days of solitude with only her guide to share a few words with have taught her to respect life more and value the power of faith. Being a mountaineer has madde her a bit disconnected with the real world.
The dream-child has a dream in her eye. She wants to team up with WWF and help clean glaciers, go on a long bicycle ride from Kolkata to Kanyakumari, help underprivileged kids and empower young girls her age, and maybe one day make a film on mountaineering!