Kottayam father-daughter duo treks to Everest base camp, aims next for Kilimanjaro

Shibu and his daughter Ann Maria during the Everest Base Camp trek. Photo: Special Arrangement

"I knew that if she endures this successfully, she will be able to handle anything in life,” says 52-year-old P C Shibu, after he attained a 'Himalayan' feat in the company of his daughter Ann Maria, a 12th grader. The daddy-daughter duo from Kottayam's Kaduthuruthy recently trekked to the Everest base camp. Ann, who studies in St Anne's School, Kottayam, trained with her father for about six months to endure the challenges posed by such a feat. Shibu shares with Onmanorama how they prepared for it and their mountaineering dreams:
Regular walks with weights
Shibu has been a regular at various treks organised on the Western Ghats, like Meeshapulimala, with his wife, for the past 12 years. As for the base camp trek, he hardly did any high altitude training with Ann, says Shibu. “She was busy with her exams in the months before our trek. However, she is quite fit. So, it's just me who took the effort to check my stamina and fitness by consulting doctors. Both of us used to go on regular walks and also practise by walking with heavy bags on our shoulders. As we have to walk for around eight days carrying our bags, this was essential,” he explains.

What you need is strong muscles on your legs, primarily, for this feat, says Shibu. “There is no way that we can practice high altitude conditions in Kerala and it is possible only after reaching Nepal. The terrain we have to trek on is tough, the level of oxygen is low and so is the air pressure. And it's in this condition that we walk till the summit,” he says. Shibu and Ann left for Nepal on April 12 and successfully trekked to the Everest Base Camp by April 22.
Kilimanjaro, next
Shibu says that next year, they are also planning to scale Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa. “We can plan our trainings and trips only around Ann's holidays, as she is a student. We hope to scale the 6,000 metres of Mt Kilimanjaro, next as it's elevation is a little more than that of the Everest Base camp,” says Shibu, signing off.

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