As the country falters under the second wave of COVID-19, a team of 13 young people set off on a two-week expedition (April 2 to April 16) to Mount Everest base camp, located 5,360 m from altitude. . Led by mountaineer Romil Barthwal, the team included Muriki Pulakita Hasvi (13) and Rohan Reddy Thumma (13) from Hyderabad.
Speaking from Nepal about her experience, Hasvi says she was excited about the idea from the start. âRomil Sir was also my dad’s coach, so when he pitched the idea to my dad, he encouraged me to go,â she says.
As this was his first mountaineering trip, Hasvi researched the subject. âI am in sports; I am a national level skater and now I train badminton. I was fascinated by mountaineering, âshares the Standard IX student.
She embarked on the expedition taking all necessary precautions against COVID-19. As Hasvi was already playing sports, fitness was not an issue. However, the trip was no picnic either. After the first day, Hasvi suffered from altitude sickness and complained of vomiting, body aches, headaches and dizziness.
âBut the best thing I did was not push or force myself; I took things slowly. When I saw other team members continue, I was motivated to take over, âshe recalls. âI saw nature very closely. Meditating in a natural environment is so peaceful and serene, âsays Hasvi. She wants to be the youngest girl to climb the Seven Summits.
Rohan Reddy Thumma has never done mountaineering, it was his father who persuaded him to try his luck. He was initially worried about joining the expedition, fearing an upsurge in COVID-19 cases.
âI did some research and learned that the expedition would be based in Nepal, where there aren’t too many cases. So I decided to go, âRohan says with a smile.
Much like Hasvi, Rohan’s preparation also began three months before the expedition. Walking, running, going to the gym and training for the legs were all part of the workout.
âBut I should have done breathing exercises because I suffered a lot at the beginning,â he says, adding that he also made the mistake of carrying a lot of weight in his backpack. He too suffered from vomiting, back pain, shoulder pain, leg pain and fatigue on the first day. In fact, it was so bad that the team decided to fire him.
âI felt terrible when I was asked to be ready to go. I gained strength from the fact that my parents had worked a lot and spent a lot on this trip. I didn’t want to let them down, âRohan reveals. âI was a different person from that point on,â he says. Rohan finished the expedition, but jokes that he can’t remember half of it, he was so tired!
âIt is our determination that will guide us to the end,â says Rohan, also a Standard IX student. He thinks the expedition was more a lesson in life than an achievement. âI learned that you should never give up and that our bodies can take a lot; it’s the state of mind that counts, âsays the young boy, who also enjoys basketball and swimming.