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The Female Mountaineer

Employee Priyanka Chinchorkar from the Pune plant is the first woman to have climbed the 6,399-meter mountain, Spangnak-Ri.


Only a few Volkswagen employees have reached the heights achieved by Priyanka Chinchorkar. The 24-year-old, who works in Logistics at the Pune plant, climbed to the summit of Spangnak-Ri, some 6,399 meters up, in the region of Ladakh a few months ago. Not only that, but she was the first woman to have done so, as the Indian Mountaineering Foundation later officially confirmed. “Spangnak-Ri was completely unexplored territory. So you can imagine how excited we were when we reached the summit,” reports Chinchorkar about her challenging 16-day climb.

Chinchorkar has been seeking adventure ever since she was little. At 16, she completed her first trek at Saurkundi, a frozen lake in the Manali region. One year later, she reached the Shirgan Tungu base camp in the Himalayas. She has been fascinated by mountain climbing ever since. “I love the challenge of it. It helps me find out who I really am,” explains the Volkswagen employee. “Trekking motivates me, keeps me fit and propels me forward, despite the many difficulties along the way to achieving my goals.” It even motivates her in her professional life. “Through my hobby, I have also gotten to know many new people.”

Priyanka Chinchorkar

Priyanka Chinchorkar

Chinchorkar already has her eyes set on her next adventure: in the summer, she wants to climb several 6,000 to 7,000-meter summits in the Spiti Valley. The Spiti Valley is a cold desert valley situated high in the Himalayas. The young Indian is diligently preparing for this challenge: she regularly climbs to the Sinhagad fortress, which is situated on a hill near Pune, carrying a backpack weighing 15 kilograms. Otherwise, her fitness regime consists of cardio training and strength-building exercises. She is also carefully managing her diet.

Like many other mountaineers, Chinchorkar dreams of one day climbing the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest (8,848 meters) – and doing so with a team consisting only of women. “There have been very few female mountaineers. I am happy to be one of them.”