Lucknow: UP cadre IPS officer Aparna Kumar has become the country’s first civil servant to scale Mount Vinson Massif, the highest peak in the Antarctica. She achieved the feat on January 17.
Aparna, posted as DIG telecom in Lucknow, had set out on the Antarctic expedition on January 5, accompanied by a 10-member team of mountaineers from various countries. With Vinson Massif under her belt, Aparna has now scaled 5 of the 7 summits considered the most challenging for mountaineers in the world.
Trudging through ice and snow in -35 degrees temperatures, and pulling a sledge-full of luggage to the summit, Aparna, a 2002 batch IPS, hoisted the Tricolour and the flag of the Uttar Pradesh Police Service on Mount Vinson Massif on January 17.
She was out of communication range for nine days during the expedition, and returned to base after surviving icy winds blowing at 100km/hour, and losing over 6kg. Currently suffering from mild frost bite, Aparna is recuperating and will recover within 15 days, before she returns to India on February 5.
The tireless mountaineer has set higher goals for herself later this year. She plans to scale the Mount Everest in April-May, and Mount McKinley in Alaska in July-August. An avalanche in 2014, and an earthquake in 2015 had prevented Aparna from scaling the Everest in her earlier attempts.
A fascination for mountaineering equipment triggered her to enroll, first, for a month-long basic mountaineering course at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports in Manali in October 2013, and then an advance course in July 2014. She scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in August 2014, the highest peak in Africa, and continued to train for her next expedition. In November, she climbed the Carstensz Pyramid peak in West Papuan province of Indonesia, the highest peak in Australia and Oceania region, again the first IPS officer to achieve the feat.
In March 2015, she was conferred the ‘Rani Lakshmi Bai Puraskar’ by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav for her achievements and for being a role model to women. On eve of the Republic Day this year, Aparna was also awarded the special DGP Commendation Disc for her achievements.