UAE resident Advit Golechha is one of the youngest in Asia and apparently one of the fastest kids in the world to have trekked to the Everest base camp.
Advit took only nine days, including two days of acclimatization, to complete the rare feat.
Golechha, who goes to a preschool in Abu Dhabi, completed about 80 per cent of the trek on foot and was carried by a porter for the last leg of the expedition.
“My brother also trekked with me and Advit. So, his uncle kept telling him when you go there, you’ll meet superheroes like Hulk, Captain America and Thor. He loves superheroes and was very excited. He kept listening to these stories from his uncle during the course of the trek and kept walking”, explains Shweta Golechha, Advit’s mother.
The medic, at the last village before reaching the Everest base camp, advised Shweta that the child should be carried by an adult as “with higher altitude, the air was too thin and trekking for the youngster could be deemed risky.”
The Abu Dhabi resident further says, “For Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) we were taking tablets, but he is a child so he could not take it. However, we were surprised that even at 5,000ft he was fine.”
Shweta, who has herself been an avid trekker, explains right from the time she was expecting Advit “deep down I knew one day he’ll be the youngest trekker in the world.”
For this, the Indian mother has persevered with her child for a long time. “Before going to the Everest Base camp this October, I stayed in Manali for 15 days earlier, just to expose him to snowfall. I wanted him to get used to the extreme temperature. I wanted to introduce him to the climate change and snowfall, the minus degree temperature. So, when he went there it wasn’t new to him,” said the trekker mother.
Shweta had set the agenda beforehand gearing him up for the tough journey. “Every day he used to walk for 2km, but before the Everest base camp I was making him walk and run for 3 to 4km. I used to ask him to go up and down the stairs several times a day. Giving him good, nutritious food and preparing him for the new environment was my goal at that time.”
Additionally, to ensure everything went off smoothly, the mother had also consulted veteran trekkers who had undertaken similar adventures with their young ones. “I spoke to various trekkers who’ve done the trek with their children. They encouraged me and asked me to prepare my child for the journey right from the beginning. They advised me to make Advit mentally and physically strong. They told me that ‘once your child starts walking try to make him walk as much as possible and give him healthy food.’ So, I knew with good and sustained training this was possible," Shweta said.
“I was pleased to see Advit’s enthusiasm and my husband’s constant support. Now the little boy says with a lot of confidence that he is ready for the next trek,” laughs the proud mother.
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