Age is just a number, and nine-year-old Advait Bhartiya from Pune, has proved it yet again by climbing Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is also the highest free-standing mountain in the world. By Kumar Shree

Even the highest peak, in South Africa bowed to the dedication and determination of a nine-year-old kid, who conquered the mountain under expedition leader Samir Patham’s supervision. Advait, who is also called ‘Simbum ToTo‘ (Little Simba) took the mostly prescribed Machame route starting from the southern base of Mount Kilimanjaro. Advait has also climbed to the Mount Everest base camp in 2016, at a tender age of six. He took seven days to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

“This trek was difficult but fun at the same time. When I was summitting the Everest Base Camp, we were living in wooden houses but during the Kilimanjaro trek, we stayed in tents and it was a good experience being exposed to snow and the surroundings. I could have completed the trek faster, but the mountains were very beautiful, and I took a lot of breaks to take in the beauty,” Advait recounts his experience. Reduced atmospheric oxygen, sub–zero temperature and thin air were some of the challenges that Advait overcame for achieving this feat.

Sharing Advait’s preparation regimen spanning two months, Advait’s mother Payal Bhartyia told he went swimming for an hour followed by cardio training like climbing 100 floors followed by an hour-long parkour training. “I’m very proud of Advait and his dedication towards completing this trek. On the last day, Advait got emotional and he individually thanked the porters, the tent pitchers, and the catering team for all their efforts,” she adds. 

Asking Advait about what next, he would like to conquer, he is quick to respond, “Mount Elbrus,” which is Europe’s highest peak.

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