On Top of the World…
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On Top of the World…

May 22, 2024

City Doctor Usha Hegde becomes the first Mysurean to summit Mt. Everest

Mysore/Mysuru: Mount Everest, the highest mountain above sea level, stands at 8,848.86 metres (29,031 ft.) and according to records, only 6,664 mountaineers of different nationalities have been able to complete the summit (reaching top of the Everest) and among them are 544 Indians. Joining the list of the elite mountaineers of the country and the world is 52-year-old Dr. Usha Hegde, Professor, Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, JSS Dental College and Hospital, Mysuru. With this achievement, Dr. Usha has become the first Mysurean to summit Mount Everest.

Dr. Usha Hegde started her journey from the South Base Camp located at a height of 5,364 mts (17, 598 ft) in Khumbu Pasanglhamu (Nepal)  on Apr. 4 and ended on May 19 reaching the top of the mountain completing her 45-day journey.

Prior to starting her summit, Dr. Usha had to undergo training at different levels on reaching upper camps which included ascending and descending the peak, and slow walking among others.

Dr. Usha Hegde taking a selfie with Sherpa Phurba, who accompanied her during the summit.

Speaking to Star of Mysore over phone this morning from Kathmandu, Nepal, Dr. Usha Hegde, sharing her experience said, it was a very fulfilling but a tough experience. “I was preparing for the summit for a long time. Over the past few years, I have taken part in various adventures including mountaineering at Leh and Ladakh. I have also undergone training at the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation in Jamshedpur which has been of great help,” she added.

A relieved Dr. Usha Hegde also mentioned that her family was worried during her summit since there was no mobile connectivity but having completed the summit and descending from the mountain successfully, the family and friends have expressed a great sense of joy and happiness.

“Once the ascent to the Everest started from the base camp, it took us five days to reach the top of the peak which is at a height of 29,031 ft. and then it took us three days to descend. We also had to wait for good weather to start our summit,” said Dr. Usha Hegde.

“The journey was not easy as I was staying in a small tent at the base camp where I had to acclimatise to the weather conditions with temperatures ranging from -5 degree Celsius to -10 degree Celsius at the base camp and up to -40 degree Celsius at the upper camps,” she added.

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Dr. Usha was accompanied by Sherpa Phurba during her journey to the top of Mount Everest, who she says was very encouraging and reassuring to climb with.

An avid fitness enthusiast, Dr. Usha Hegde has been taking part in Marathons, Ironman Triathlons and many such events. Her fitness regime includes regular visits to the gym and also climbing Chamundi Hill and much more.

Dr. Usha Hegde with her husband Dr. Ajay Hegde, who went to receive her at Kathmandu, Nepal, this morning.

Dr. Usha is married to city’s renowned Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Ajay Hegde, who is also a sports and adventure enthusiast. The couple has two sons — Akarsh, a House Surgeon and Aryav, II year MBBS student at A.J. Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre in Mangaluru.

Dr. Ajay Hegde, who was in Kathmandu to receive his wife this morning as she returned from the mountains, said: “I may have not been to the top of the world but I am on top of the world too. And I am proud of Usha.”

“Usha loves adventure and takes it seriously. She has trained hard to achieve her goal of summiting the Mount Everest. I am just waiting to see what she will do next,” he added.

Dr. Usha says she can do these adventures as her family is very supportive of her outdoor endeavours and when asked what’s the next adventure she said, “For now, I just want to enjoy the achievement and get back to Mysuru and relax with  the family.”

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