26 April 2010, 10:07

Pune, April 25 (IANS) Braving strong gales and temperatures below minus-20 degrees Celsius, Pune mountaineer Krushnaa Patil Sunday scaled Europe’s highest peak, Mt. Elbrus (5,642 metres).

Accompanied by a sole guide, Vladimir from Russia, Krushnaa started the treacherous climb in a blanket of 20 cms snow at 6 a.m. Sunday.

“Owing to heavy snowfall, low temperatures and strong winds, she had to wait for three days at the base camp for the weather to clear. Luckily, she got a window today to finally attempt the climb and succeeded in reaching the summit by 1 p.m.,” her mother Ranjana Patil told IANS here Sunday night.

By late afternoon, Krushnaa started her descent and is expected to reach base camp - at around 3,694 metres - by early Monday morning, Ranjana, herself an avid mountaineer, said.

With this, Krushnaa has scaled six of the world’s seven tallest peaks in all the continents and her eyes are now set on Mt.McKinley in Alaska (6,194 metres).

Incidentally, last month (March 13), Krushnaa and Ranjana both scaled the 2,228-metre Mt. Koscinszko, the highest Australian peak.

A couple of months before that, Krushnaa summitted South America’s highest peak Mt. Aconcagua - 6,961-metres high - in January this year.

Earlier, in May last year, Krushnaa reached the summit of the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest (8,848 metres), followed by Africa’s tallest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro (5,895 metres) in October and the highest peak in Antarctica, the 4,897-metre tall Mt. Vinson massif, in December.

Ranjana Patil said her daughter plans to conquer even Alaska’s Mt. Mckinley within the next few months. She added preparations are already underway for the effort which will make her the first Indian to scale all the seven peaks in the seven continents of the world.

Krushnaa, who is pursuing Bachelor of Arts (BA) at Pune University, is a professional Indian classical dancer and choreographer. She also designs dance costumes, jewellery and home interiors.