Eight-year-old Kurnool child climbs Mt. Elbrus

Bhuvan Jai might be the youngest from the State to achieve the feat

Kurnool resident Gandham Bhuvan Jai, all of eight years old, has conquered the daunting Mount Elbrus — Europe’s highest summit — on September 18 (Saturday).

He is possibly the youngest person from Andhra Pradesh to climb the 5,642 metre-tall dormant volcano located in southern Russia, according to sources.

The son of IAS officer and former Anantapur Collector Gandham Chandrudu, Bhuvan and other members of the expedition team are on their way back to India. Another youth from Dharmavaram, Mukkera Purushottam, had scaled the summit a month ago on August 15.

After climbing to the summit, Bhuvan Jai first hoisted the Indian tricolour and then unfurled a banner containing a portrait of B.R. Ambedkar and the Preamble to the Indian Constitution.

Elbrus is the highest peak in Europe, and one of the Seven Summits.

Climbing Mt. Elbrus exposes the mountaineers to treacherous weather and extreme physical strain. Shankaraiah, a sports coach of Rural Development Trust (RDT) at Anantapur, had trained Bhuvan, studying in Class III, while he used to stay in Anantapur. A mountaineer himself, Mr. Shankaraiah had scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, last year. Later, technical and altitude training were provided at the Adventure Sports Academy in Gandikota of Kadapa district.

Elbrus is a fine ascent that requires mountaineering skills, although altitude and unpredictable weather make for a challenging and adventurous trip. Located in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, the peak rises 18,510 feet from sea level. Elbrus has two summits, both of which are dormant volcanic domes. The taller, western summit is 5,642 m (18,510 ft); the eastern summit is 5,621 m (18,442 ft) tall.

The expedition team comprises Mr. Shankaraiah, Naveen Mallesh from Bengaluru, and Anmish Bhupathi Raju Varma from Visakhapatnam, who had climbed Mt. Everest in May this year, and has won gold medals for the country in several kickboxing international championships.

Bhuvan Jai thanked his parents and coaches for the encouragement and said that many more children can achieve such feats if they get the opportunity.

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