Sanawar students become youngest team to scale Everest

Six students of Lawrence School, Sanawar, have set the world record for the youngest team to achieve arguably mountaineering's toughest feat after scaling Mount Everest early on Tuesday morning; in the process earning Raghav Joneja (at 15 years and eight months), the distinction of being the youngest Indian to reach the summit surpassing Arun Vajpai who was16 years and 11 months when he achieved the feat.

The team comprised of Prithvi Singh Chahal, Fateh Singh Brar, Guribadat Singh Somal, Ajay Sohal, Shubham Kaushik and Raghav Joneja are all students of Class X and XII. One member, Hakikat Singh Grewal, hasn't been able to reach the summit after facing problems with his oxygen cylinder. He is scheduled to try again on May 23. The other six, however, had no such hiccups with the first student reaching the peak at 4.30 am on Tuesday and the last scaling it at 12.30 pm.

As news trickled in of the feat, Lawrence School headmaster Praveen Vashisht began receiving phone calls from past alumnus and current students of the school. "Last year when Col (retd) Neeraj Rana, former head of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling, visited the school campus, some students asked him about mountaineering and he had put forward the idea of the students scaling Mt Everest. He then short-listed 15-20 students and in the end these seven were selected," Vashisht said while talking to The Indian Express.

Their journey to the summit has seen the team undergo a gruelling training regimen over the past year. They initially took part in an advance mountaineering course at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling before cycling for some 1,000 kms in Rajasthan last December. This January, they trekked and hiked to Khardungla Pass in Ladakh.

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