“Mountaineering is not just an adventure sport,
but an intriguing spiritual experience.
Every trek or expedition helps one connect with the real Self”
– Sumit Upreti
My recent visit was to Friendship Peak (5289 m or 17352 ft). It is one of the most famous treks and summit peaks located in Pir Panjal range in Himachal Pradesh. We boarded an overnight ordinary HRTC bus from Delhi and reached Manali by 10 am. This was a conscious decision to enable gradual acclimatization as most of our team members were traveling from Kolkata (sea-level).
Being a nature lover and a classical yoga teacher, I had the opportunity to merge my two passions. I could teach my mountaineering team unique principles of harnessing Nature’s energies through ancient yogic techniques. This turned out to be immensely beneficial for all team members in difficult tiring situations throughout the expedition. This was the first time I could experiment with a Pure Vegetarian diet in high altitude areas and without any artificial food supplements.
Day 2: Trek to Dhundi (approx 4 hours, 2900m). Tent pitching and then height gain trek. Evening Fun and Group Singing. Session on Yogic Breathing and Food Consumption in high altitudes.
Day 4: Trek to Vyas Kund. Height gain (4200 m) and snow craft training to all members with Snow boots, mountaineering equipments and Ice Axe usage. Session on Yogic Meditation and Power of Visualization.
Day 9: Departure from Manali to respective destinations.
The Expedition was facilitated by our guide Mr. Ravi Sharma (aged 35 years). He has over 18 years of professional mountaineering experience and has climbed over 15 peaks. We really enjoyed his company and freshly cooked delicious meals his team prepared with loads of love.
I must mention my amazing experience with Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus services. The bus service on Delhi – Manali – Delhi route was perfectly on-time. The bus was flying at top speed without compromising passenger safety. The road via Chandigarh is smooth like butter. Must try for those traveling to HP.
Finally, each one of us really enjoyed this opportunity to spend a few days in pristine mountains. We all come back with newer experiences and life long memories. We return stronger, calmer, peaceful than ever before. High Mountains teaches us the real value of our life and directs us towards a greater purpose of our existence.