Millenial Mountaineer Harshvardhan Joshi’s Everest vs Corona
The outbreak of coronavirus Covid-19 has affected all of us in many ways. Harshvardhan Joshi, a 24 y/o mountaineer and impact tourism advocate from Vasai, near Mumbai is running a campaign named Sangharsh Mission Mt. Everest 2020 to promote the use of Solar Energy. Mount Everest stands tall at the height of 29,029 feet which is 8848 meters. Many of us are unaware that It takes around 63 days to successfully complete the expedition to the highest mountain on earth and the expenses to climb Mount Everest are ₹30 Lakhs even if done in the most minimal manner.
Harshvardhan Joshi was supposed to start his expedition to the summit of Mt. Everest on 1st April 2020, which is now postponed by a year to 1st April 2021 as the summit window for climbing Everest comes just once a year. The total expense of climbing Everest go above most Indian’s lifetime of savings.
The amount paid towards his expedition is carry forwarded to the next climbing season with some changes. Although he faced some monetary losses, he feels more sorry for the loss of Nepal. The Nepal government makes $4M (~₹30 crores) just from Everest permits, but above it there’s a more than $100M industry based around mountaineering which is the primary and in most cases the only source of income for thousands of families in Nepal. Harshvardhan feels sorry for the loss of employment, income for people in Nepal who are already trying hard to recover from the earthquakes that devastated their country a few years ago. More than 82% of Nepal works on less than 2$ a day and many of them just find employment during the climbing seasons.
“I was supposed to fly from Mumbai to Kathmandu on the 1st of April, 2020, for which my flight tickets are still not cancelled. Few days ago on 14th March, the news came out as I woke up for my training at 5AM. Earlier, it was just China who halted the North side of Everest for climbing and since Nepal had just one case of Corona virus till date, we thought it wouldn’t affect our climbing plans. I and my expedition organiser waited for a few days to receive an official notice and tried our best to convince if they’d at least allow Indians to climb given the safe situation in India & Nepal a few days ago. But, it is now confirmed that no foreigners are allowed to visit Nepal or even in India we are not permitted in the Indian Himalayas until 30th April, 2020. I tried my best to check if it was feasible or even possible to climb but it is a situation out of our control. I respect the decision as Nepal doesn’t have the infrastructure, especially in the mountains to survive a pandemic and I cannot risk safety of others for our climb, while the world is in crisis.
I’m grateful for your support along with all other donors and supporters of this campaign. I’m continuing with my training and diet for the next one year like I did for the past several months. I wanted to finish my book on this journey –“Sangharsh” and get started with my further education and opportunities but everything is delayed by a year. Since I’m an optimist/believer of “everything happens for the best” , I’m gonna keep putting in the hard work with discipline and make this time worth.
Regret for wasted time is more wasted time.“
– Harshvardhan Joshi
Harshvardhan Joshi says that he is definitely aiming to summit during spring 2021 and won’t give up on his dream of climbing the highest mountain on earth – Mt. Everest.