Bhopal based Jyoti Ratre, 55, Becomes Oldest Indian Woman To Conquer And Scale Mount Everest

Bhopal based Jyoti Ratre, 55, Becomes Oldest Indian Woman To Conquer And Scale Mount Everest

Bhopal based Jyoti Ratre, 55, Becomes Oldest Indian Woman To Conquer And Scale Mount Everest

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Her fascination with adventure began during the COVID-19 pandemic when she decided to transform her fitness regimen into a pursuit of high-altitude climbing. 

20 May 2024

By Ishika Kumar

On a crisp May morning, a historic feat was achieved on the towering slopes of Mount Everest. Jyoti Ratre, a 55-year-old entrepreneur from Madhya Pradesh, etched her name in the records of mountaineering history by becoming the oldest Indian woman to scale the world’s highest peak. Her ascent on 19th May, 2024, marks a significant milestone in Indian mountaineering, breaking the previous record held by Sangeeta Bahl, who accomplished the same feat at 53.

A Journey of Determination

Jyoti’s journey to the top of the world is a testament to her invincible spirit and unwavering determination. Her fascination with adventure began during the COVID-19 pandemic when she decided to transform her fitness regimen into a pursuit of high-altitude climbing. This newfound passion saw her conquer several formidable peaks before setting her sights on Everest.

In her inaugural attempt in 2023, Jyoti faced severe weather conditions that forced her to retreat from a daunting 8,160 metres. Undeterred, she resolved to give it another shot. The year 2024 presented similar challenges, with high winds compelling her to stay at Lhotse Camp (7,800 metres) for four days and one night at Everest Camp-4 (above 8,000 metres) before making the final push to the summit.

The Support System

Jyoti’s ascent was supported by an experienced team of climbing guides, including Lakpa Nuru Sherpa, Ming Nuru Sherpa and Pasang Tenzing Sherpa. This seasoned trio played a crucial role in navigating the treacherous and harsh conditions and ensuring her safe passage to the top. Her husband, KK Ratre, revealed the immense logistical and financial challenges they faced in preparing for the expedition. However, Jyoti’s resolve and the support from her family and sponsors ultimately paved the way for her success.

The Mountaineering Milestones

Before her historic Everest climb, Jyoti had already made a name for herself in the mountaineering community. She summited Mount Elbrus (5,642 metres) and Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 metres) at the age of 52 in 2021. Her climbing selection also includes Island Peak and Mount Kosciuszko, showcasing her versatility and commitment to conquering some of the world’s most challenging peaks.

Her successful summits have not only been personal triumphs but have also inspired many, particularly homemakers and women of her age, to pursue their dreams irrespective of societal norms and expectations. Her ascent of Everest, organised by the 8K Expeditions team and led by Bolivian climber David Hugo Ayaviri Quispe, saw 38 climbers from their group reach the summit, including 17 clients and 21 guides.

A Legacy of Inspiration

Jyoti’s journey into the world of mountaineering began in earnest during a trek to Deo Tibba in Manali, a peak that stands at approximately 6,000 metres. This trek ignited a passion for climbing that would see her aim for even greater heights. Despite initial reluctance, concerns and disapproval from her family about her age and health, Jyoti’s determination remained unshaken, she worked and trained hard for it. Her success is a powerful narrative of perseverance and self-belief.

Beyond her mountaineering achievements, Jyoti has been an avid participant in marathons and cycling challenges. In 2020, she completed a 36.47 km cycling challenge in Bhopal, and her marathon participations include the India Freedom 3.0 in 2022, the Panchmarhi Monsoon Half Marathon in 2023, and the Shaheed-Azam Bhagat Singh Marathon in 2024. These activities not only bolstered her physical fitness but also prepared her mentally for the gruelling demands of high-altitude climbing.

Personal Life and Inspirations

Jyoti’s life before her mountaineering exploits: she was an entrepreneur who managed a school uniform business in Bhopal before dedicating more time to her climbing ambitions. Her Instagram account, @jyotiratre, is a vivid chronicle of her adventures and passions, showcasing breathtaking landscapes and her love for dance and arts. She often shares her experiences and the serene beauty of the mountains, inspiring her followers to appreciate the wonders of the world around them. 

Jyoti’s Rottweiler, Mike, is a constant companion and a symbol of her love for animals. Her journey is as much about personal fulfilment as it is about inspiring others to pursue their dreams, regardless of the obstacles.

Jyoti Ratre’s ascent of Mount Everest is more than just a personal triumph; it is a beacon of inspiration for countless individuals. At 55, she has demonstrated that age is no barrier to achieving greatness. Her story is a powerful reminder that with determination, resilience and support, one can conquer the highest peaks, both literally and metaphorically. As the oldest Indian woman to stand atop Everest, Jyoti Ratre has not only made her family and city proud but has also left an indelible mark on the world of mountaineering.