Jaahnavi Sriperambuduru was only 13 years old when she climbed her first snow-clad mountain. This April, at the age of 15, Jaahnavi will be attempting to climb Mt. Everest. Madhura Sansare talks to this young prodigy about her inspirations, and her future aspirations
What would you say inspired you to get into mountaineering?
My father introduced me to mountaineering when I was just 10 months old and that went on till 3 years. When I understood that I like it, I just started following him. I was 8 years when I really understood the challenge and started accompanying my father to different Treks with lots of enthusiasm. The two most inspiring things in my mountaineering career are the Nature and my Father who instills energy and determination in me always.
Can you please tell us about your first mission of Mission7Summit?
My first mission of Mission 7 Summit was Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak of Africa. I was well trained and prepared for it, but when I went, I found more than what I read, and it was really mind blowing with beautiful sceneries and terrains. I have experienced 4 terrains in one single mountain, which is generally a rare incidence in such peaks as Mt. Kilimanjaro is the Single standing mountain in the world. The first terrain was Rain Forest, which was covered with mist throughout and wet always, then the second terrain I have crossed was Alpine Moran, totally rocks, then the Desert and last one which is one of my most favorite scenes is the Artic zone, the place where I was standing on the Top was just 4 KMs from the Equator and I could also witness from one standing place the effects of Day and Night.
Out of all the climbs you have undertaken till date, which would you say was the toughest one and why?
There is no climb that can be considered tough or easy, as every peak has its own characteristics and climatic condition. So every peak we climb has its uniqueness and has its own risk factors. So we get trained as per the peaks that we are going to climb and prepare ourselves.
How do you prepare yourself before a mission?
As mentioned before every peak is unique, so we have to prepare accordingly.
What are some of the challenges you face while mountaineering?
There are different kinds of peaks like Trekking peaks, Semi Technical peak & Technical peaks. So we prepare accordingly. We start well in advance working on our diet control, our fitness levels and mostly our mind state. We do more of Meditation and Pranayama. For my Mt. Everest expedition, Pranayama is very much useful, as we have to survive with less oxygen over the Death Zone.
Which peak do you next look forward to conquer?
My next Phase – IV peak is Mt. Everest of #Mission7Summit in April 2016, but still looking forward for support as the budget is very high as we will be climbing it in a lengthy 62 days period.
What are the health problems that a mountaineer can suffer during a mission?
The first and foremost problem in mountains anyone can get is AMS (Altitude Mountain Sickness) if you are not well acclimatized. The others are High Altitude Pulmonary Edema and High Altitude Cerebral Edema.
You are planning to climb Mt. Everest in April, which is 8848 meters. What is your game plan?
As I have decided to climb Mt. Everest so soon, I have taken an opportunity to train and guide a 10-year-old girl and her mother to Everest Base Camp. I had a unique experience of guiding someone who is younger to me and someone who is older to me at a time. This diversity has given me lots of exposure to People Management and I have learnt many things. Though I have ventured to do this to get my body acclimatized with the weather conditions of Mt Everest, I had more added experiences that made me strong both physically and mentally. I am just home and now concentrating more on mental stability and getting trained on breath control and physical fitness.
How do you manage your studies and mountaineering together?
As I am into IGSC curriculum, I don’t miss out any classes as its available online and as and when my adventure schedule is planned, I inform my school who takes care of my classes and examinations. Mostly when it’s not very urgent, I travel by train in India so that I get some time to study during my journey and complete my task. I have special permission from my school to attend little late 3 days a week, as I travel nearly 100 kms for my fitness practice to a National Coach Mr. Nagapuri Ramesh. My day starts at 5 A.M and I go for practice to the stadium, which is nearly 50 kms away from my home, and return home by 10 AM and then hurry to my school. I return from school at around 4 P.M and take some rest and do have my special diet and then go for practice till 7 P.M. From 7.30 PM to 9.00 PM is my study time and I go to bed around 9.30 P.M.
What else do you do apart from mountaineering?
Apart from the Mountaineering, I am a Classical Bharatanatyam Dancer. I give special performances for the cause. Twice in a week, I go to Professional Drawing and Painting Classes along with my mother and brother. Whenever my academics permit, during weekends I travel to various communities in rural areas for Motivational Talks and participate in the Workshops for Adolescents Girls to instill confidence in them by giving my success stories with the support of an NGO Swashakthi SMART that work for Adolescent Girl and Women Empowerment. I am the proud Brand Ambassador of Swashakthi SMART in showcasing Confidence and Instilling Courage in Young Girls.
What advice would you give to one of your peers who want to take up mountaineering?
I would like to advise all my peers immaterial of whether they take up mountaineering or not, to be brave and focused. I believe in hard work and sincerity. My only advice to them will be to be committed towards their goal (whatever it could be) and do the hard work to achieve it. I believe there are no shortcuts for success. My Tagline is “Adventure without risk is Disneyland”.
Volume 5 Issue 10