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First Indian dad-daughter duo Mounts Everest

Trained mountaineer Deeya, Ajeet scale world’s top mountain after a month’s expedition.

Gurgaon-based Ajeet Bajaj and Deeya Bajaj on Wednesday became the first Indian father-daughter duo to climb Mount Everest. 24-year-old Deeya summitted at 4.30 am, and her father followed 15 minutes later.

The two embarked on the journey to scale the highest peak in the world on April 16, accomplishing the feat in a month. A proud wife and mother, Shirly Bajaj, who spoke to her family last at 10:30 this morning, said the two were thrilled to be on the top of the world.

“They were obviously excited and elated. Deeya said they watched the sunrise from the top of the world, and that it was a beautiful experience. “For Ajeet, the achievement was all the more special because this time, he was with his daughter.”

After unfurling the tricolour at the top of the Everest, the two mountaineers began their descent and have reached North col (23,030 feet) via camp 3 (27,390 feet).

A Padma Shri awardee, 53-year-old Ajeet became the first Indian to ski to the North Pole and the South Pole within a year in 2006-2007.
Daughter Deeya isn’t far behind.

Having trained at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) in Uttarkashi, she undertook the 20-day-long Trans Greenland Skiing Expedition at the age of 17, and in 2012, went on to climb Mt Elbrus (5642 m), the highest mountain in Europe.

As proud as she is of the two of them, she admits being worried while they are on their expeditions, more so for her daughter. But, that doesn’t let her hold Deeya back.

“Such an expedition is a way to bring home the point that if given the right opportunities, a girl child can climb any summit,” Shirley, who kept track of their movements, said. The father-daughter duo are expected to be back in Gurgaon by May 20.

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