Healthy Living » Travel & Leisure » Mountain Climbing: A Bird’s Eye View   Login

  Travel & Leisure

Mountain Climbing: A Bird’s Eye View

Chitra Sanam

It’s all about living on the edge to not take up too much space! Hang around with a bunch of adrenaline junkies and you’re bound to hear them describe adventure sport in these words. Sounds bizarre, did you say? Betcha!

Especially for the metropolitan, whose whole world is exhausted in one word – comfort! The thought of climbing a mountain is a far cry, and that when one can fly over it and capture a panoramic view and even have high res pictures taken for keepsake.

But browse through blogs of those handfuls who choose to tread the road less travelled, and amidst all the fun and the rich escapades, they share some of life’s most valuable lessons learnt.

On higher ground
He’s just made his way back from having camped 7000 metres above ground level. If the weather would have permitted, mountaineer Shekhar Babu would have trekked the remaining 1000-odd metres to reach the top of Makalu, the world’s 5th highest peak. To make a detour after having almost made it to the top can dampen spirits, to say the least. But there’s not even a hint of despair in Babu’s voice. “There’s nothing much to be disappointed about. Mountaineering is a sport where weather dictates terms, and this year we’ve had a prolonged monsoon. Nature will not allow us to head there as per our convenience,” he explains. With dogged perseverance Shekhar Babu’s dodged weather mood swings and has made his way to the top of the Everest and other peaks too. “The mountains will always be there, but I won’t,” shares Babu. With that overwhelming thought in focus, he continues to plan other higher pursuits in his quest to draw closer to nature.

Care for the environment
“There’s a temple that was built exactly where the Gangotri glacier begins, but today the glacier has started to melt and there’s a rift between the temple and the glacier,” explains Babu. As the threat of global warming looms large, the best lesson adventure sport teaches is to observe and care for the environment.

Yawar Ali Baig, management consultant and a professional trekker says, “The Rotang Pass is one of the highest garbage dumps in the world. The pollution there will choke you. That’s why adventure sport is a fitting tool as it has the potential to teach us to care for our environment.” Baig’s corporate treks often engage groups to clean up messy landscapes.

The Nepal government too has imposed certain checks in place. Mountaineers have to deposit huge sums of money before they head out on a trek, and the amount is refunded only when garbage is brought back from up there. Talk to mountaineer Bachendri Pal and she shares, “I’ll speak for myself. When I climbed to the summit, I brought back 500 kilos of garbage. It’s about self-respect, respect for people and respect for the environment. That’s what adventure sport teaches one.”

Corporate climb
ImageNet, a corporate organization in Japan made headlines when they called in their prospective employees for an interview that was scheduled at the top of Mount Fuji. Of the 22 applicants short-listed, 11 climbed 12,388 feet and only four were roped in. The recruiters wanted to test applicants and see to what extent they could go to achieve the company’s business goals. Phew! Aren’t we glad that didn’t happen in India so far?

But jokes apart, today’s corporate culture does rope in adventure sport to teach or test crucial management skills, especially in the area of leadership and team work. Baig, however, points out, “If adventure sport is a preferred option to imbibe corporate skills, then it’s necessary to have a competent facilitator who understands the science of the sport and the business of the corporate world. A competent facilitator can take one through the physical lesson and translate that to fit the corporate setting. Otherwise one can have a picnic and that will be it.”
Corporate programs
Tata Steel Adventure Foundation

JRD Tata Sports Complex
(Eastern Wing)
Northern Town, Bistupur
Jamshedpur - 831001, India

High Places Management Pvt. Ltd.

“EEPSIT” Balwantpuram,
S. No. 110/1/A, Off Paud Road, Kothrud,
Pune 411 038. Maharashtra. India.


# 4, 9th ‘A’ Cross, 12th Block,
Kumarapark West,

Mountaineering and other sports

  • Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi
  • Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Dargeeling
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali
  • Jawahar Institute of Mountainering and Winter Sports, J&K
  • Ski Himalaya, Gulmarg

 Also See

 Related Articles