The just-concluded International Women’s Day was special for Preeth Appaiah of Mysuru.
For, the resident of Bannimantap defied doctor’s advice and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in Africa.
Trained by Vinay Singh and Shankar Subramanya of Royal Riders and International Academy of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Preeth Appaiah’s tryst with mountains began when she went on a trekking expedition to the Himalayas a few years before the pandemic and summitted Mt.Brighu in 2018. by mountain addiction, Ms. Preeth Appaiah followed it up with treks to Mt.Sarpass, Valley of Flowers and Great Lakes of Kashmir.
But the news of a group of adventure sports enthusiasts from Mysuru, led by DSD Solanki of Tiger Adventure Foundation, making an expedition to Mt Kilimanjaro in 2022, kindled interest in Ms. Preeth Appaiah to have a go at Africa’s tallest free-standing mountain peak.
But down as she was with sciatic nerve issues, her doctors were firm in their opinion against what they described as “any misadventure” lest it aggravate her condition.
But after a fair bit of workouts to attain fitness Ms. Preeth Appaiah, encouraged by her husband JN Aiyanna, an advocate and son Aryan Kuttappa – who himself has gone on a trekking expedition to the Himalayas – set off to Tanzania in Africa.
But this trip had her adrenalin pumping as she had embarked on the expedition alone without the company of known people unlike her treks to the Himalayas. ”I tried to coax my friends and a few other people to be part of the expedition but none could join me and hence I set off alone”, according to Ms. Preeth Appaiah.
Recalling her experience she said the treks through rain forests to Mandara Hut and Horombo Hut, walking along the woods to moorland to catch a glimpse of Mt. Kibo, was mesmerizing and the effort was worth all the difficulties. However, she was afflicted by Acute Mountain Sickness en route. But as advised by her mentors Ms. Preeth Appaiah consumed lots of liquid and rested before hitting the mountain trail again.
”It was March 8, 2023 when I had the final go to reach the tallest peak in Kilimanjaro which is Mt Uhuru h(19,341 ft. above sea level). The trek was arduous, lasting nearly 10 hours, recalled Ms.Preeth Appaiah who held afloat the Indian tricolour. Incidentally, her final ascent to the peak coincided with the International Women’s Day. ”I sprinkled a few colors on the summit as it was Holi too on that day”, recalled Ms.Preeth Appaiah who is celebrating what is her personal milestone.