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Meet Kamya Karthikeyan, Young Mountaineering Prodigy - Proud Awardee of GKAA 2021

Kaamya Karthikeyan is a young mountaineering prodigy and a recipient of the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Shakti Puraskar, the highest national award for citizens below 18 yrs. The 14 year old has embarked on a mission, named SAHAS, to become the youngest in the world to summit the highest peak in every continent and ski to North and South poles. She has accomplishing many unprecedented mountaineering feats at a very tender age. In November 2021, she is been awarded with prestigious Global Kids Achievers Awards.

Inspired by her father’s mountaineering activities, Kaamya started trekking in the Sahyadris from a tender age of three. Her Himalayan odyssey started at the age of seven, with a high altitude trek to Chandrashila Peak (12000 ft) in 2015. In May 2017, Kaamya trekked to the Everest Base Camp in Nepal at 17600 ft to become the Second youngest girl in the world to accomplish the feat. Identifying Kaamya’s strength and adaptability at high altitude, she was exposed to extreme high altitude at a very young age. In August 2017, Kaamya climbed Mt. Stok Kangri at 20187 Ft to become the youngest girl in the world to climb a peak above 20000 Ft or 6000 Meters at just 9 years of age.

In August 2019, Kaamya successfully summitted Mt Mentok Kangri II (20544 ft) in Ladakh, proving her ability to repeatedly endure to reach such heights.

Following her success on Stok Kangri, in Oct 2017, Kaamya embarked on the ultimate mountaineering challenge, “The Explorers Grand Slam”, a mission to climb the highest peak in all seven continents and ski to the North and South poles, aptly named mission SAHAS. She is endeavouring to complete it by 2022/ 23, to become the youngest in the world to achieve the feat at just 14/ 15 years of age. As part of Mission SAHAS, Kaamya has already submitted the highest peak of South America (Mt. Aconcagua 22837 Ft), Africa (Mt. Kilimanjaro 18652 Ft), Europe (Mt. Elbrus 18510 Ft) and Australia (Mt. Kosciusko 7310 Ft).

In preparation for the climbs ahead, Kaamya undertook 45 days of rigorous training at High Altitude Warfare School of the Indian Army at Gulmarg in Jan 21. She underwent a Basic Mountaineering Course at National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Arunanchal Pradesh and plans to undergo Advance Mountaineering Course in the near future. She also aims to undergo training at Siachen base camp in Feb 22 and climb a 7000 M peak in India prior attempting Mt. Everest. In Jan 22, Kaamya aims to travel to the white continent of Antarctica to climb Mt. Vinson Massif and Ski traverse to the South Pole. Ski to the North Pole in Mar 22 would be followed by Mt. Everest, the ultimate challenge of the Explorers Grand Slam, aimed to be accomplished in May 22. In Jun 22, Kaamya is aiming to attempt Mt. Denali, the highest peak of North America, located in Alaska to complete the mission.

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