I saw the Himalayas for the first time in 2003. Knew instantly that that wouldnt be the last. I had gone on a 9 day trek in the Himachal region (near Solang Nala). That was my first real trek. And the real reason for my going on that trip was neither Himalayas nor trekking. But i am glad i did that. It got me totally hooked. All around you, things are beautiful. You are heading to a peak or a glacier that has an exotic name. You exert yourself crazy doing so. A bunch of people tag along. Some swear. Some want to kick themselves for having gotten into such a predicament. Some want to kick others for getting them into such a predicament. Some are way too tired to complain or to see the beauty around. And then the destination is reached. All ills are forgotten. The entire exercise gives an illusion of purpose. It is truly amazing. And there is something surreal about defecating at 15000 ft. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Moon rays reflecting off the icy slopes. It offers such a profound contradiction. The beauty and the shit. And you anxiously keep looking over your shoulders. Someone from the camp could walk by. Or worse, a bear from the forests could walk by (thats far-fetched, but your mind can think up any crap). I got totally taken in by the idea of carrying a heavy bag and walking on trails for no specific purpose. Went there again in 2004. This time Himalayas was the real reason. After that I've been doing random treks in random places whenever possible, always wanting to do something more serious, like they show in Adventure-One and stuff. I sent a request to join some expedition in the Himalayas by a group called Stikage in Delhi last year. They politely turned me down saying i didnt have enough high altitude experience.
Anyways, shook off lethargy this year and enrolled for the Basic mountaineering course at Nehru Institute of Mountaineering at Uttarkashi. But could not shake off lethargy enough to train myself for it adequately. So here i am, 10 days away from the course. Awfully underprepared. Quite anxious. Blessed with a back that is not the best in the world. But still, looking forward to the 28-day slog-fest that is in store. Hoping to pull through. And hoping that my body does not have other plans...
This one, all grown up!
9 months ago