Meet Rahul Gupta, a 22 year old student of Delhi University (Kirorimal College) popularly known by the pseudonym of ‘Mountain Man of Chhattisgarh’. Hailing from a small town Ambikapur, Rahul was also a bright and a meritorious student scoring 90% in 12th Boards so as to grab a seat in DU’s Kirorimal College (North Campus) in 2012. In his very first year, he had an inkling to push the boundaries and discover himself. “Coming to Delhi from Ambikapur was not enough to contain the adventurer in me”, he states. He found about the Hiking Club at St. Stephen’s College and went to enroll in one such programs, when he was rejected by them point blank due to regionalism and favoritism, when the authorities discovered he was from the tribal state of Chhattisgarh. He didn’t let this rejection decide his fate and took it as a challenge . He raised a proposal at Kirorimal College to open a Hiking Club, which was again rejected by the college authorities citing lack of trained /skilled personnel. These incidents acted as catalyst and strengthened his resolve and pursue hiking and learn mountaineering on his own.
In July 2013, he joined Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering at Pahalgam and even got trained under the Indian Army at HAWS (High Altitude Warfare School) at Sonamarg. And from there Rahul’s career as professional mountaineer started and since then he never looked back. He climbed across the Karakoram peaks in Laddakh, all over 6000 mts. (20000 feet) altitude, in 2014. Then in late 2014, he decided to pursue 7 Summits and 2 Poles Conquest which is every mountaineer’s dream and only a selected few have conquered this humongous feat. In January 2015, Rahul scaled Mt. Kiliminjaro, Tanzania which is Africa’s highest peak at 5,890m (19,300 feet) elevation. In April that year he went on Mt. Everest expedition from the Chinese route and went up till advance base camp at an elevation of 6,800 m. approx, but his expedition was abruptly terminated due to the Nepal earthquakes which epicentered at Pokhra. Later that year, in September, he conquered Mt. Elbrus, Russia the highest of Europe at 18,500 feet. So, 2015 was his most busy year mountaineering across 3 continents. In May 2016, Rahul embarked on the Everest Campaign for the second time, again from North face route, China. This time he outdid himself by reaching till Camp 3, at 8,300 m. But this expedition was plagued with health and technical issues as he suffered from snow blindness, hypothermia, frost bite and lack of oxygen supply, so he had to retreat back so as to save his life.
Presently Rahul is living in Raipur, and is involved with multiple projects and policies associated with State Government to set a platform for mountaineering / rock climbing and encourage all adventure sports amongst the youth of Chhattisgarh and further open opportunities and employment in adventure tourism, under his pilot project “Mountain Man Foundation”.
Finally due to his sole efforts and heroics of Rahul Gupta, after 15 years, in September 2016, a Hiking Club was opened at Kirorimal College. Life indeed came as a full circle in such a short span for Rahul, as it was the “lack of trained personnel remark” which ignited the fire of mountaineering in him.
scaled 12 summits: 9 National and 3 International
Delhi Gaurav Awards (2015)
Shaheed Bhagat Singh National Award (2016)
National Gaurav Award (2016)
Limca Book of National Record.
Associate Member of Indian Mountaineering Foundation.