Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Survived...


28 days. 18 days of it above 11500 feet. 4 baths. 2 T-shirts. 2 pants. 4 underwears. No washing of clothes of any category (unless you are a DIG or some decorated Army officer, in which case you could get special treatment). A place where UK is an acronym for Uttarkashi and RC for Rock climbing (i am yet to come to terms with RC being Rock climbing and not Royal challenge:). Where tea is typically had at 4:45 am. Where you carry ice axes when you go to shit (to make pits), and you wave to batchmates while you're at it (beleive me, after a point, it is not embarassing, and shitting with a view of the Himalayas is no longer surreal)! Where you figure out if your socks is wet or just cold by checking if it is half-solid cos of frozen sweat. Where you're ordered to do knuckle push-ups or frog jumps, depending on the instructor's mood, for acts of indiscipline (like being late for a fall-in). You camp on snow and there is just snow all around. And it is not like being in a dream sequence...it is so fucking cold that you put your hand in your crotch or arm-pits for warmth (i found the former more effective). Along the way you are taught Rock craft, Ice craft, Snow craft, Crevace crossing, Crevace rescue, Map reading and navigation techniques, among other things, and you're taken to a height of ~16500 feet as part of the height-gain exercise. You're made to do things that are so demanding physically that you wish that the course gets over soon. And when it does get over, you hug your rope-mates (the batch is divided into sub-groups of 8, called ropes, and each rope is assigned an instructor), you hug other friends you've made, you hug your instructor, and you think the course was a pretty good thing to go through after all. And when the jeep rolls out of NIM, you look back at the campus fondly, and wonder if you would go back to do the 'Advance' course. (Ofcourse, for that you need an 'A' in Basic, and the inclination).

11 comments:

Parth said...

Boy, seems like you had a 'rocking' time :-)

said...

Welcome back. Looks like you had a great time! Man sure I misspent my youth ...

Balai said...

welcome back Avi and congrats on surviving the test. Seems like a lot of fun...although tough.

frissko said...

parth - yea i did...and like most things, this is even better on hindsight...[you're the second complulsive punner i 'know':)]

kousik - thanks..yea i had...but hey there were a couple of guys around 40...so it is never too late[they were from the army though..so that like a civilian 25!]...

balaji - thanks man...

theanalogkid said...

congrats on "surviving" man. am so J.
:)
thats a very nice photograph. that ice axe is too cool. did u get to keep it?
looks like the wrist strap was rearranged to make a better photograph. i can see the marks ur hands made in the snow. :)

frissko said...

thanx..the pic was taken after a some 6 hrs of incessant snowing...the entire place looked spotlessly white and surreal...and yea i did rearrange:)..

no, we dont get to keep the axe...(cost of the entire course is 4K and that of the axe is 6K!)...

Shreemoyee said...

That was quite an adventure you had.

sou said...

wow.. look who's back (and look who's late to ur blog) :)

want to see more photos. want to hear more about the whole experience. ok maybe i should just go for it too.. since we seem to go to the same places :| but it sounds a li'l scary!

frissko said...

shreemoyee - sure it was:)...

sou - yet to upload the pics...and yea, they've a couple of girls' batches a year for the basic course (u shud be up for carrying 25 kilo rucksacks though)..

theanalogkid said...

u shud be up for carrying 25 kilo rucksacks though

wait wait.. i'll go get sou to see that.. :-D
hahahah... brings back some great memories from kumaraparvata trek...

RTD2 said...

OMG!! You are my hero :)