Bengaluru-born Aparna Kumar, a 2002 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer who had never seen mountains untill she was commanding the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) battalion in Uttar Pradesh some years ago, has gone on to scale six of seven summits in the southern pole.
Kumar, a mother of two, is looking at scaling Mt Dinali in North America later this year, which would make her the country's first female iPS officer to achieve the feat of conquering the highest peaks from North Pole to South Pole.
Kumar, who is posted as Deputy Inspector General, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), had a bout of pneumonia before she went on the expedition to scale the South Pole, the Hindustan Times reported.
She still managed to complete a 111-mile trek to scale the summit amid icy winds and snow. The minimum temperatures recorded on Antarctica - the coldest and driest place on earth -- ranged between minus 38 to minus 40 degrees Celcius.
Kumar had taken her prescription medicines along and suffered from severe frost bites while she trekked for 8 hours daily under freezing weather conditions. She had to carry along a 30 kilogram sledge too which made the task even harder. Kumar's two team members who were a part of the South Pole expedition left mid-way while she braved the odds and achieved the feat.
Remarkable journey as the country's leading female mountaineer
Kumar brushed up her mountain climbing skills at Lal Bahadur shashtri Academy of administration in Mussorie in 2002, while she was inducted into IPS and since there was no looking back for her.
One after the other, Kumar has sucesfully scaled the six summits across the six continents, with the conquest of Mount Everest in 2016 being her highest achievement after two unsuccesful attempts to climb the world's highest peak.
It took her almost 45 days to climb the Everest braving the tempeartures that plummeted to minus 45 degrees, a journey which she succesfully finished and made her lose 14 kilograms of weight.
She has been a part of the sucesful expedition team conquering peaks in Europe, Asia, Africa Australia, South America. In between her expeditions, she trained hard for enhancing her rock climbing skills and improving physical strength.
Her being posted in the 9 batallion of the PAC, which was manning the Indo-Tibetan border, is still considered by her as the precursor to all her feats where she honed the skills of working at high altitude places.
Kumar says her guiding force is her husband Sanjay Kumar, who is secretary, urban development, in Uttar Pradesh.