Parmender Shandilya is an avid mountaineer from Haryana. Living an ordinary life was not an item in Parmender’s bucket list. Adventure outdoor activities were always his cup of tea as he was a person who used to do trekking, rock climbing and traveling a lot. Mountaineering was something he always wanted to do, and somehow climbing Mount Satopanth (7075mts) came on his bucket list.
In 2012, he joined Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports. After completing his basic mountaineering course from there, he joined Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling to do his advanced course in mountaineering. And, from that time onwards, he has done a lot of major climbing till date.
Even though he was doing these many climbing all these years, Parmender got the opportunity to fulfill his bucket list this year only. He was working with Indian Mountaineering Federation, Delhi, and got the chance to be a part of an expedition to Mount Satopanth. It was an awareness program conducted by IMF.
The Indian Medical Expedition was conducted as part of an awareness program for the mountaineers and trekkers. Many people love to do climbing, but most of them don’t have the basic knowledge about handling situation if something goes wrong. Anil Grothe, who is a senior climber and a doctor, took the class. It was conducted for 12 trekkers and 13 mountain climbers.
After the awareness class, on May 8th, the team started from Delhi to Satopanth. The trekkers and the climbers were trekking together, along with the awareness-program-team, and reached Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi on May 12th. From NIM, the team reached Vasuki Taal (Base camp of Mount Satopanth) via Gangotri, Bojwasa, and Nandavan on the 17th of May.
There was one more awareness class by Dr. Anil at Vasuki Taal, and after that class, the trekking team went back. On 20th, the mountaineering team started their summit. They didn’t set up any other camps in between and reached the advance base camp. They stayed there for three days and after that, they moved to the Cole camp. It was at 6000 meters height, and they had one more class by Dr. Anil at the Cole camp. The team stayed at the there for 2 more days, and on 27th of May, they started their final summit push.
Parmender and team slowly started from the Cole camp. They were advancing little by little. But, the climate was not looking so good. And the members were also finding it difficult to move forward. Since the weather was bad, they had to return to the Cole camp. They took rest and waited for the good weather.Then, on 28
Then, on 28th night, since the weather was looking good, they again started their summit push. The weather and the surrounding were looking good. They advanced slowly, and by 6.30 am on 29th, they reached the top!
Parmender was feeling the happiness and satisfaction on accomplishing his bucket list. All the team members were happy on their accomplishment. They spend some time on the top of Satopanth. Before leaving, the team sang Indian National Anthem and recorded it. It was entered in the India Book of Records as the record of singing Indian National Anthem at the highest point in the world.
Mountaineering – A Learning Process
“There will be problems in the life. We usually give up. The main lesson mountaineering taught me was to be patient and not to give up. I learned that I can achieve anything with patience and planning. I can handle any situation in my life now. Mountaineering made me more confident!”
Parmender says that the satisfaction and the joy he received after accomplishing the bucket list was indescribable. He wants more people to make their lives extraordinary like his, by spending more time with mountains. Mountaineering will also help one with the fear for height, and make the person bold and courageous.
Other Bucket Lists and the Message
Parmender’s next bucket list is to go on a cycling expedition from Siachin to Leh as part of a ‘Drug-Free-India’ campaign.
“Reinvent yourself with adventurous activities like mountaineering. Mountains are so beautiful. Love and enjoy the mountain more closely. But, don’t spoil it. Nature has provided us with everything. It’s our duty to respect and protect it.”