Daring Series: The retiree who climbed Everest

Mithan Kansal chose a retirement filled with death-defying mountain climbing


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Retiree Mithan Kansal climbed Kilimanjaro

We all dream of dropping everything to pursue our passions. As part of our Daring Series, Post City chatted to the Torontonians who actually did. Find out why they think you should too #PostCityDaring

Mithan Kansal decided to forgo a life of leisure in his retirement and challenge himself instead.

“I wanted to do something different,” he says.

He set out to fulfill his dream of climbing the world’s highest summits, training his body and mind to withstand the physical and mental challenges involved. The first peak Kansal set his sights on was Aconcagua in Argentina — the highest mountain outside Asia. Instead of feeling defeated when a snowstorm prevented him from climbing, the adventurer moved on to the next peak on his list, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

“I made it all the way to the top. That was the greatest thing that ever happened to me,” he says.

From that point, Kansal was unstoppable. Next was Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe, and then, Mount Everest base camp, where he would experience one of the most terrifying moments of his life when an earthquake hit Nepal.

“I was standing on a mountain and all of a sudden the mountain started shaking. I knew I was going to die, so I just prayed to God, ‘Give me a peaceful death, please,’ ” he says.

Luckily, he was spared and Kansal returned to Everest a year later and made it to base camp. The climber says the feeling of facing his fears to reach his goal after the earthquake was indescribable.

“I think the greatest strength in human beings is the mind,” he says. “Once you learn how to deal with the fear, you can accomplish amazing things in life.” 

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