By Tiger Solanki
Having heard about the tales of Himalayan Expedition on several occasions and having listened to my son’s tales several times, I was little apprehensive whether I can do a Himalayan expedition or not. I was having back pain and was apprehensive about the cold too but I could still do it and that was a moment to celebrate, says Suma Mahesh, Past President of Innerwheel Club of Mysore Central.
Tiger Adventure Foundation (TAF), in association with The Mountain Goat, had organised an exclusive trekking to Mount Baraadsar Pass for the women folk of Karnataka from April 18 to May 2, 2018.
I was a witness to the 67th Republic Day celebration on Jan.26, 2015 which was the first R-Day for Narendra Modi, as the Prime Minister of India and it was he who gave a call ‘Nari Shakti’ wherein the females from all the Tri services, namely Army, Navy and Indian Air force marched with pride on the Rajpath. And in the team which marched on the Rajpath, we had one girl officer Ananya Balasubramanya of NIE College who made into the Services from Mysuru. She was in the Indian Air Force Contingent. Marching on the Rajpath is a rare honour anybody gets in his/ her life.
Taking a cue from that day, we at TAF had taken an all-ladies team to the National Himalayan Trekking Expedition-2018 to Mount Baraadsar Pass which is located at a height of 14,500 ft between the Rupin and Supin valleys. The Pass is virtually on the border of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and it also coincided with 65th year of first ascent on Mt. Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.
About 27 females participated in this expedition; the females were from Shivamogga, Chikkaballapur, Madikeri, Bengaluru, Hassan and Mysuru.
PHF Riya Solanki, a 13-year-old girl from Mysuru who has got the track record of summiting six Peaks/ Pass/ Tops, in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand since last five years apart from summiting on the Everest Base Camp which is at a height of 17,590 feet last year in Nepal, had taken the mantle of the expedition.
Earlier the trekkers left Mysuru city on April 17 via Delhi and reported to Dehradun on April 20 and the team had acclimatisation, orientation, at Sankri Base Camp. Before summiting on the Baraadsar Pass, the team passed through various camps like Sankri, Khasla, Saral, Dhal dhal, Devabasa and Bhesa.
I have seen hail storm in Mysuru city to sometime but at Dhal Dhal Ridge Camp the trekkers experienced huge hail storm which turned the camp site into white out, says Kalpana Seervi of Mysuru; It was freezing cold and when we all came to Devabasa camp and suddenly all our tents were collapsed and we were sent to the dinning tent were in the trekkers experienced huge snow fall and it was almost like 1 feet snow all around and it was a bliss to experience such a moment, says Dr. Pratibha Garla, a dentist from Mysuru.
The trekkers, after ascending 70 degree glacier mountains for over two hours, had summited on Mt. Baraadsar Pass on April 26 at 10.38 am. After spending few minutes on the Pass, the trekkers hoisted the National Flag and saw peaks and valleys like Kedarkantha, Rupin & Supin. It was exhilarating moment, says Dr. Rani Trishuli of Mysuru.
Sharing her experience, Dr. Kalavathi, a Gynaecologist from Mysuru, said having trekked in Kudremukh and Kanoor Kote in Karnataka, it was different feeling trekking on the glacier mountains, it gives a action-packed experience as well the cold send shiver in the spine too.
The team has gone through a tough regime of endurance at Kukkarahalli Lake, Chamundi Hill, Kunti Betta, Hosahalli and Gangothri from Feb.24 to April 14. They were trained by various adventure enthusiasts like A. Anil Kumar, Vinay Singh, Anjali, Navya Ramesh and Tiger Solanki. The trekkers were medically examined by Dr. Bharathi Kondajji Ramachandra.
The expedition was ably guided by ardent Adventure enthusiast PHF D.S.D. Solanki of TAF of Mysuru, Naturalist M. Mohan Kumar from Kanha Tiger Reserve (Madhya Pradesh), Sujith (volunteer), Vaibhav (volunteer) and A. Anil Kumar, Chairman, TAF.
The team members were Riya Solanki (Team Leader), Akshara Anil Kumar, Akanksha Ashok Kothari, Anika Vipul Priya, B.L. Arunakshi, Battapate Rashmi, Chaitra S. Rao, K. Chandni Kushalappa, Dr. Hemalatha, Dr. V.S. Kalavathi, Dr. Pratibha Garla, Dr. M.S. Savitha, Dr. M. Rani, Dr. Sudha Rudraiah, Dr. Suniana Pandhare, Manasvi, Kalpana Seervi, Nirmala Matapati, Nidhi Balaji, S.R. Sunitha, Prathima Prakash, H.C. Shaila, Shree Chaithra, Siri Balaji, Suma Mahesh, Rani Narendra and N. Nagalaxmi.