Jamshedpur: After climbing the world's highest peak Mt Everest in 2009 and then the 19,340-foot Mt
Kilimanjaro in Africa last year, 28-year-old Gaurav Sharma now aims to conquer five other top summits of the world.

On his radar are Mt Acancagua (24,000 ft) in North America, Mt Denali Mckinley (22,000 ft) in Alaska, US, Mt Elbrus (18,510 ft) in Europe, Mt Pyramid (5,000 mtr) in Australia and Mt Vinson (5,000 mtr) in the Antarctica.

The 28-year-old from Rajasthan, who climbed the Mt Everest in 2009 before reaching the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro last year revealed, “I have planned to set out for Mt Acancagua in February next and am looking for sponsorship. Mountain climbing is a costly affair and it needs sponsorship,” said Sharma, a native of Churu, a small town and gateway to the Thar desert in Rajasthan.

The mountaineer said he had borrowed Rs 25 lakh for his Mt Everest expedition in May, 2009 and was still paying the instalments.

Asked if he had received any financial help from the Rajasthan government in repaying the instalments, Sharma replied in the negative, but admitted he had been assured several times.

He, though, disagreed that it was difficult to get sponsorship for adventure sport like mountaineering, but said it needed proper marketing.

“We have to present our sports properly like cricket did to bag sponsorships,” said Sharma, who was in the city to meet Bachendri Pal.

He insisted that scaling Mt Everest was no less than winning a gold in the Olympics.
Sharma added that one way of getting the sponsors was to take help of social network sites like 'facebook'.

He informed that the estimated cost for his five-peak expedition would be in the range of Rs 44 lakh and said he has convinced the Rajasthan government to bring an amendment to the sports policy making provision for financial help to mountaineers.

Following the amendment, the state government has agreed to allot 25 bighas of agricultural land to persons achieving the feat of scaling the world's highest peak, he said.

Sharma added that he had been allotted one such plot at Mohangarh in Jaisalmer district.

The Rajasthan lad has also scripted and produced a 40-minute documentary titled “On top of the world,” and is currently engaged in writing two books entitled 'Everest' and 'Youth and Courage'.

Sharma has also scaled Mt Kedardome (22,000 ft) in Garhwal and 25,000 feet Mt Kamet 25,000.

(Agencies)