Asthma, failed attempt didn’t stop IFS officer from climbing Mount Everest
Bengaluru: Despite suffering from asthama and failing in his previous attempt, 29-year-old S. Prabhakaran, the Deputy Conservator of Forests in Koppal division, has now become the first Indian Forest Service officer to climb the Mount Everest. The officer, who was felicitated, shared his experience on Monday.
Mr Prabhakaran, who is a trained mountaineer from the Himalayan Mountaineering Training Institute in Darjeeling, made his second attempt with a six-member team. The team comprised an IPS officer from Maharashtra, a woman additional superintendent of police from Telangana, a tribal from Andhra Pradesh, and two others. But out of the six, five made it to the summit. The team left India on April 8. “This time, I decided to scale the peak from the North route, which is considered the toughest and most dangerous route. The route from the south is considered the safest. Unfortunately, this year, there was a natural disaster and there was a clear weather along the North route which was apt for climbing,” he said.
The team headed by road from Lhasa in Tibet to the Mount Everest base Camp situated at a height of 5,300 metres. The team started climbing towards the next base camp at a height of 5,900 metres and then to the advanced base camp which is the final base camp at a height of 6,400 metres.
Mr Prabhakaran, who is the 2011 batch IFS officer, hails from Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu. The Karnataka State Forest Department felicitated the young achiever.
In 2015, Mr Prabhakaran and four other officers from different parts of the country attempted to climb the Mount Everest from the southern route from the Nepal side, but failed to make it to the summit due to the earthquake. “My dreams were shattered in 2015 and I was not going to give up. I was, in fact, hesitant to ask for a long leave from my higher officials, but I am happy that the Karnataka Forest Department gave me a second chance to fulfill my dreams,” he said.
“The last day’s climb from Camp-3 to the summit was dangerous. It was steep. Any small mistake would have directly brought us deep straight down. It was very scary,” he said.
‘A perfect night’
They took the north route and scaled the summit on May 20 at 6.45 a.m. (IST). The team started around 10 p.m. on May 19 from Camp-3 (8,300 m) for the summit. It was a perfect night for approaching the summit as the wind was less and the conditions were perfect,” he said.
The forestry graduate from the Forest College Research Institute, Mettupalayam, Tamil Nadu, was always a climbing enthusiast, trekking being his hobby since his college days.
“I was the secretary of the trekking and hiking club during my college days. That is where the idea of mountaineering started. I decided to climb the Everest in 2014 after starting work in Karnataka. I went for a basic mountaineering course in Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling. As a part of the pre-Everest training, we got special training by the institute in the Kanchenjunga area of north Sikkim,” he said. “This is the most adventurous experience I have ever had,” he said.