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Kolkata: BENGAL mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta today set off for a summit that very few mountaineers from India have scaled so far and no mountaineer from Bengal has dared yet!

Siddhanta, the 34-year-old mountaineer from Kolkata, is on an expedition to scale Mt Vinson Massif, the highest mountain in Antarctica and the remotest in the world. He flew out from the city tonight for Amsterdam via Mumbai.

According to the mountaineer, the entire expedition will last for 50 days. “From Amsterdam, I will travel to Chile and take a chartered aircraft to the Antarctica. Accompanied by five other mountaineers, I will start scaling Mt Vinson Massif on 7 December,” he said. “If everything goes as scheduled, I shall land back in Kolkata on 22 January next year.”

Siddhanta, who works as a software consultant for a living, said that the expedition will cost him Rs 66-lakh. “I could manage only Rs 36-lakh through sponsorship, donations, and by auctioning old gears. Hence, I had to obtain Rs 30-lakh as a bank loan.”

Interestingly, Siddhanta was an asthmatic since childhood and he started mountaineering to get over the disease. He started scaling high-altitude peaks in 2012 starting with Mt Kilimanjaro and has by now scaled all the six highest mountains in each of the continents of the world but Antarctica.

If Siddhanta is able to scale Mt Vinson Massif this time, he will become the first individual from Bengal to have scaled all the seven highest peaks in the world.