Trekking, in fact mountaineering, is not new to this 21 year old from Udaipur - however, he takes every peak he scales to be his base for newer heights.
This time, Kartik Khandelwal has achieved a 20,000 ft climb to Mt. Yunam, or rather gave up touching the summit by a distance of 800m to fulfill another imperative task.
Kartik joined a 7 member team from the IMF to complete this climb, which began from Manali on 17 July. Their base camp was in Bharatpur, which is in the Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh.
The trekkers crossed forest and mountain terrain and the ice cold river streams to set up their first camp at 17,000ft. At 2:25am in the dark and cold night, the trekkers moved from Camp 1 to begin the tough climb to summit. This journey was a grueling 16hr to and fro and Kartik achieved more than he thought he would. Here is why…
At 2:25AM in the pitch dark and cold night, the trekkers began their climb to summit, amidst blinding white. Just when they were 800m trekking distance from the summit, a fellow trekker was in the clutches of AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness, which is what all trekkers dread, irrespective of how fit they are!
The co-trekker, who was feeling the AMS symptoms to the point of moderate severity, was Kartik’s trek buddy (“Buddies” in trek parlance means two trekkers who are given the task of looking after each other). With his situation deteriorating, Kartik took the call to abandon his summit just 800 meters from the summit, and opted to rescue his buddy, while also carrying his rucksack and helped him down the grueling descent back to base camp, while at the same time ensuring that his sickness does not get the better of him. Such is the passion and spirit of this trekker from Udaipur. Leaving all his expectations of the summit behind him, Kartik calmly took his buddies rucksack – meaning that Kartik was now carrying two rucksacks and was guiding a sick co-trekker down a rocky and snow filled descent.
Kartik Khandelwal is a student of BN University and is an active cadet in NCC 6 RAJ AIR WING SQN. Kartik is an avid mountaineer and during the easing of COVID restrictions in 2020, he scaled the 17,348ft Friendship Peak in October 2020, which is 5,289 meters.
An athlete to the core, Kartik also runs his own trekking firm in Udaipur, by the name “Ek Jagah”. Kartik was in conversation with UdaipurTimes after nearly completing his 20K climb and returning to the City of Lakes. Here is a detail of his experience and journey to the summit of Mt. Yunam, which is in Himachal Pradesh. Kartik's unforgettable summit to Mt Yunam was sponsored by the Udaipur Cycling Club.
Hats off to this young mountaineer from Udaipur. You do us proud Kartik!