Indian mountaineer, Love Raj Singh Dharmshaktu, reached the summit of Everest for the sixth time on May 27, 2017.
A senior officer of the Border Security Force (BSF), Love Raj was on this occasion part of the ONGC Eco Everest Expedition.
He had previously climbed Everest successfully in 1998, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2013. The May 2017 expedition was his ninth visit to Everest.
“ Love Raj reached the summit of Everest around 6.10 AM on May 27,’’ Capt. S.K. Sagwan, leader of the expedition, said when contacted. According to him, a total of four team members (including Love Raj) summitted the peak on Saturday, May 27. Three other team members were slated to commence their summit attempt on Saturday night with hopes of reaching the top by Sunday morning. “ Following his successful summit, Love Raj is on his way back to base camp,’’ Capt. Sagwan said, Saturday evening.
At the time of writing this article, Anshu Jamsenpa, mountaineer from Arunachal Pradesh, who climbed Everest twice in five days in the 2017 climbing season, had a total of five successful ascents of the peak. While Love Raj’s successful ascents of Everest were along tried and tested routes, of his nine trips to the mountain, two were as part of expeditions attempting challenging faces – the Kanshung Face (1999) and the East Face (2001).
Love Raj’s sixth successful climb of Everest has happened after a long wait. It was originally slated for 2015. But that year, while Love Raj was at Everest Base Camp, the devastating earthquake that killed thousands in Nepal, struck. At Everest Base Camp, the earthquake triggered a massive avalanche with resultant casualties. The climbing season was terminated following the incident.
Love Raj is an Assistant Commandant with the BSF.
He was awarded the Padma Sri in 2014.
This blog has previously written on Love Raj and the Johar region in Kumaon that he hails from.
For more on Love Raj please try this link: https://shyamgopan.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/everest-to-the-east/ . For an account of the 2015 avalanche including Love Raj’s experience, please try this link: https://shyamgopan.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/everest-when-the-earthquake-struck/
(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai.)