Mount Everest is the dream every climber hopes to conquer. However, it is also one of the toughest climb possible. In May 2019, hundreds of mountaineers stood in queue to make it to the summit of the world’s tallest mountain.
This hours-long wait in freezing temperatures at high altitude resulted in congestion building up on Mount Everest. Many brave climbers died as a result of these conditions. Nihal Bagwan was one of such unfortunate souls.
Bagwan had tried to climb Mount Everest in 2014, but poor health conditions made him abandon the climb and he missed his destination by just 400 meters. Vexed for five years, he decided to scale the mountain again in 2019.
He successfully climbed Mount Everest on May 23, 2019 and conquered his dream. But not everything went according to the plan. The 27-year-old from Akluj in Solapur, Maharashtra was among three Everesters who died during the descent that night. He died of dehydration and exhaustion. Anjali Kulkarni (54) of Mumbai, and Kalpana Das (49) of Odisha are the other two who died.
Nihal Bagwan had a master’s degree in physical education from Bharati Vidyapeeth in Pune. Anand Bansode, Bagwan’s friend and mentor from Akluj, who had already scaled Everest in 2012, said. “All of us in Solapur were extremely thrilled with Bagwan’s achievement as he was the second mountaineer from our region to climb mount Everest. We were shocked to hear from the sherpas that he had passed away.”
Bagwan was also an active member of Bharati Vidyapeeth’s Kabaddi team. He had attended two professional mountaineering camps and had also scaled many mountains in the Sahyadri range.