Ahmedabad, May 23, 2022 – Climbing Mount Everest is challenging in many ways. Besides the environmental difficulties, it is also financially taxing as it costs Rs 20-25 lakh per person to scale the peak.
A doctor couple from Ahmedabad has successfully completed this challenging journey.
Surabhi Leua is a medical officer in Gujarat Vidyapith while Hemant Leua is a general surgeon at Shardaben Hospital in Ahmedabad. They summited Everest on May 13. They started mountaineering 15 years ago and have been preparing to surmount Everest for the last couple of years.
Dr. Surabhi said that “Last year, my husband attempted for Mount Everest and reached Camp 4, but due to the hurricane he had to cancel the climb. I had gone to the base camp with him. So, this time, I too wanted to try for Everest. We summited the 8000 feet high Mt. Manaslu in September 2021 to see if we were capable of conquering Everest.”
“We have a group of mountaineers called Mountain Movers,” said Dr.Surabhi, referring to the 45-day trek from base camp to Mt. Everest. Initially our group did a trekking camp of Everest Base Camp together. Then the rest of the people went back, and we headed for Everest. We were joined by a Gujarati from Canada as well as Dr.Somat Chetaria from Jamkhambhaliya, Gujarat. We made our start on April 14, first, from base camp to camps 1 and 2 and back to base camp. Then we climbed till Camp 4 again and came back. We then waited seven days, and finally when the weather was good, we went ahead for Everest.
Regarding the two challenges she faced during the downhill journey , Dr.Surabhi recounts that “The roads in the Khumbu glacier change every time, so it is very difficult. If there is a valley between two glaciers, the glaciers are often connected by a ladder by Sherpas to cross. So, on the way back I slipped and I was hanging. I was a little scared.
Then a Sherpa pulled me up with the help of a rope. Once the glass of my spectacles was gone, the reflection of the sun bouncing off the snow went into my eyes. So 70 per cent of the vision of my right eye was gone, it was very dangerous to descend in this position but I managed with courage.”
Being with your family members in a dangerous activity as mountaineering could make one feel either more confident or more afraid of losing them. Commenting on this, Dr. Surabhi said, “You get a lot of warmth when you are with a family member in such a difficult trek.”
Sharing the story of their preparation, Dr. Hemant said: “We have been mountaineering for years so we were mentally prepared. But for the last four months, we have been practicing climbing and descending the stairs for 4 hours with weights every day. We also stopped eating fried and sweet foods.” He went on to say that “When it comes to the future, we are planning to conquer the seven summits. We have undertaken the journey to climb Everest entirely from our savings. We hope to get some sponsor for next project based on our Everest summit.”
The doctor couple said that after two years of hard work, “When we were finally at the top of Everest, we truly felt that we were at the top of the world and all the hard work had finally paid off.” (Agency)