Call of mountains happens differently. Surabhi got such a call in 2010 when she got a chance to go on a trip to Mount Everest. From that time onwards, her life revolved around mountains. They became her teacher and they guided her. Mountains taught her the biggest lessons on life. She was in love with them, and they loved her back.
“Those who travel to mountain-tops are half in love with themselves and half in love with oblivion.” – Robert Macfarlane
Surabhi’s father used to take her for trekking when she was a kid. He taught her to love nature and gave all freedom in life. All the trekking with her father inspired her to start rock climbing, and at the age of 14, she joined Swami Vivekananda Institute of Mountaineering. While training there, she got a chance to visit Kugti Pass and successfully completed trekking it, which was 16,600 ft.
The experience was tempting, and that was the call she received from the mountains. By the time she returned, she had taken the decision to learn mountaineering in order to climb as many mountains as she could. Her most important bucket list born that day – to climb Mount Everest. She went to Kashmir, and joined for a basic mountaineering course.
On completing the training, she came back to Pune where she was working. But, she wasn’t able to work with a peaceful mind with the call of mountains continuously echoing in her ears. So, she quit her job!
She contacted some expert mountaineers in Pune and got valuable guiding from them. And then she started her preparations for climbing the highest mountain in the world. The preparations and training were very hard, but the image of Everest was leading her further.
She got a sponsorship from Gujarat government which paid half of her expenses, and the other half was her father’s contribution. So, after all the preparations and training, she headed to Mount Everest. The attempt was from North side. She started from Katmandu on 11th of April and reached the Base Camp (5182 meters) within 6 days.
While climbing high mountains, the climbers follow acclimatization schedule. They have to give time to their body to synchronize with the thin air. As a part of acclimatization schedule, Surabhi and her team climbed up and down from Base Camp to Advance Base Camp (6492 meters) via Intermediate Base Camp and gained height up to 7000 meters to reach up to Camp One. It took 23 days for them to reach Camp One from the Base Camp.
From Camp One, they again went back to Base Camp. They waited there for the good weather to the summit. On receiving the good weather report, they started their Summit Push on 19th May from the Base Camp. They reached up to Camp Two which is 7400 meters, but due to bad weather she became sick and had to turn back.
The young enthusiast was not depressed or sad. She was happy and proud of her achievement. She believes that she will receive the call again from Mount Everest, and she is determined that she will climb up to the top that time. Her next bucket list items are to do paragliding from different parts of the world and to climb the seven summits.
“Mountains help me sort out what’s important in life. The world is so big, and we are negligibly small; we are nothing. Value whatever you have. Love the nature.”