KULGAM — Mahfooz Ilahi Hajam, a 28-year-old youth from district Kulgam in the southern region of Kashmir, has brought laurels to Jammu and Kashmir by climbing the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, on June 1.

After scaling the world’s highest peak, Mahfooz, who works as an instructor at The Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports (JIM&WS) in Aru (Pahalgam), said, “On 1st June at 6:20 AM, I scaled the Mount Everest, which is the highest peak in the world, with help of my mentor Colonel I S Thapa, who has made to Mount Everest twice before and is currently serving as the Principal of JIM&WS.”

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“The entire credit for this expedition goes to Colonel I S Thapa, who planned this expedition,” he said.

Mahfooz said the expedition was full of stress, since weather fury was there after two back-to-back cyclones hit during their expedition. “With all the hurdles, the event was a success, with no injury or fatality,” he said.

Mahfooz’s father, Mohammad Yousuf, who works as a barber, said that it is a matter of pride for the whole country, especially Jammu and Kashmir, as his son has scaled the Mount Everest. “My joy is boundless as my son has achieved such a great feat,” he said.

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While thanking his mentor, Colonel I S Thapa, and all those who assisted him in reaching the destination of the world’s highest peak, Yousuf said, “My son was fond of trekking since his childhood and had pursued many courses in mountaineering that motivated him to achieve the feat.”

While appealing to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to play an active role in adventure sports, Mahfooz stated that the sport has a great potential in the valley and that one can make a professional career in it.

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