“Mountains bring out the best in me,” says Saachi Soni while giggling joyously. She was the youngest Indian woman to climb Mount Elbrus (2014), which is Europe’s highest peak. She has also climbed Mt. McKinley, which is the highest peak in North America. A mountaineer with over two decades of experience, Saachi believes climbing snow-capped peaks brings out the best in her because it provides her with an opportunity to step out of her comfort zone.
She was also the youngest Indian to have climbed 10 of the highest peaks in Australia within 50 hours. Soni made it to the Limca Book of World Records after having achieved this feat. As far as mountaineering expeditions are concerned, She has been an integral part of climbing expeditions in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
It might end up baffling some, but Saachi began mountaineering at seven. It’s an age when most children are busy playing ‘gully cricket’. However, can’t say the same for Saachi. So, it won’t be wrong to say that this girl is an adventurer at heart. Snow skiing in Manali and Gulmarg has also been one of her favourite hobbies.
Juggling between work and her love for mountains is tedious. However, she has never found it difficult to take out time for mountaineering.
“If you’re passionate about something, you’d find time to indulge in it,” she says.
According to her, becoming a mountaineer requires more than just physical strength. “There are no retakes in adventure sports. So, you should always be prepared to take calculated risks,” she adds.
After having climbed some of the world’s highest peaks, she believes that climbing snow-capped peaks is her way of spending some time in the arms of nature. Whilst talking of nature, she says that nature ought to be preserved by one and all.
“Mountaineering is synonymous with life as it is all about pushing the envelope,” says Saachi, as she signs off.