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Trekking in the Himalayas: What I Broke and What I Found!

Break my ego again and again.

Recently, while trekking in Himachal, my fellow trekkers talked about losing weight afterwards. My inner hero pounced and claimed I had never lost weight as I understood my body and ate adequately during the trek. Here I am after the recent trek. I lost 5 kg, probably pure muscle mass, and feel weak - Ego Smashed!  

A makeshift wooden bridge before reaching the basecamp
A makeshift wooden bridge before reaching the basecamp

Last year in Sikkim, a few trekkers complained that sleeping was difficult every day in their cities. I thought they were all lazy, so I told them they needed to tire their bodies a little more and keep their minds fresh by learning new things and staying stress-free. While it might have been the right solution, it came out of the ego of feeling superior.

Nature busted the ego on the same night. While everyone was sleeping in their tents, I was completely awake the whole night and counted how many times each horse made noise and of how many types.

Beautiful Dream Like Camp-Sites
Beautiful Dream Like Camp-Sites, Yet! Sleep Deprived

Patience and Perseverance

I have seen many people come unprepared on treks, eventually panting and giving up or getting rescued by the trek organisers. Mostly, these are youngsters in their 20s who have never known the feeling of getting out of breath. Some try to walk fast out of impatience, and some overestimate their youthful energy.

Three trekkers recently felt out of breath on day one of the Himachal trek. I thought there was no way they would complete the trek, but they had a fantastic sense of perseverance. They kept smiling on every failure and listened to the trek leader, who gave them the right medicines and motivation. These three completed the trek—they may have been a little slow, but they did complete a challenging trek with patience, perseverance, and a smile.

It's like fighting—some give up when they get hit, while others smile, appreciate a good strike, and continue. Perseverance is real.
Full Moon Guiding Us to a 70 degree sharp Summit
Full Moon Guiding Us to a 70 degree sharp Summit at 3:00 AM


Preparation is necessary

I wrote earlier about youngsters overestimating their bodies and giving up on the trek. While most experienced trekkers never take a trek lightly, they always follow the recommended preparation and come thoroughly prepared. I have never seen people in their 30s and 40s fail in a trek because they were prepared physically and carried suitable clothing and gear, giving due respect to nature.

Full Moon Guiding Us to a 70 degree sharp Summit
Walking on Glaciers which may melt very next moment

Age no Bar

Trekking, just like martial arts, is a tough nut that requires one to work.  

Recently, I met two trekkers in their 60s. Both completed the trek with ease and were full of life and energy. Their constant quest to learn new stuff and keep fit is the secret.

Just like the Hombu (main) dojo in Sweden, where we meet so many people in their 60s, 70s and even 80s who I would never dare to mess with.

Meet Milind Kaka- Age-60+, Fittest Trekker I met
Meet Milind Kaka- Age-60+, Fittest Trekker I met

Chance to Help Others

Gratitude is a word often used or abused these days. On my first Himalayan trek, I carried bulky camera equipment and found it difficult to carry everything around my neck. A fellow trekker, Javed, saw me entangled and lent a helping hand. His small gesture remains etched in my mind forever.

I do whatever I can to help fellow trekkers, especially the ones struggling- offering muscle release massage, stretching, cheering them on their way and maybe even lifting their luggage for a while; it feels good to be of help.

Surviving a Broken Glacier Via Makeshift Log
Surviving a Broken Glacier Via Makeshift Log

Respect for My Consistency

Most trekkers I meet prepare for a trek. They start their preparations a month or two before the trek. I have never done any special preparations. My schedule remains the same, irrespective of what happens. So far, my training has always served me on a new trek. Next year (2025), I plan to make the most challenging trek in India, and that will confirm the hypothesis.    

Here's the schedule I follow

  • Monday- Strength (lower body)

  • Tuesday-Karate with Sensei Yashpal

  • Wednesday-Strength (Chest and Shoulders)

  • Thursday-Outdoor Running, Rope Climbing and Stretching

  • Friday-Strength (Back)

  • Saturday-Karate with Sensei Yashpal (Also, Ice Cream Day)

  • Sunday- Rest

Even when injured, I try to sit and observe the sessions; learning is beyond physical.

A good martial artist should always be ready for war (or trek). What would you choose to be?
"A Warrior in a Garden or a Gardener in a War"

Martial Artists Should Always be War-Ready
Martial Artists Should Always be War-Ready

Connecting to the Energy Sources

Mountains, valleys and free-spirited rivers resemble the universe's energy. Trekking allows spending time in untouched and free-spirited spaces. I have felt connected to the universe on many occasions- listening to the sound of flowing streams and waterfalls, sitting in awe of the mighty and holy peaks, mesmerised by endless valleys with open or closed eyes.

It feels like getting a recharge, or a system reboot, to say, for the old generation of mine:)

Sleeping next to massive waterfalls is a Therapy
Sleeping next to massive waterfalls is a Therapy

Getting Comfortable in Discomfort

Just like tough sparring, trekking offers a chance to get into uncomfortable situations and test your character.

Unlike sparring, uncomfortable situations in trekking can be anything and for an unseen time. It could be a lack of sleep, washing your tiffin box with cold water, or just waking up for the toilet in the middle of the night in the bracing cold—the situations keep challenging us and bring out our true character.

We gradually learn to get comfortable in discomfort- just like martial arts teaches us.

1500 Feet Ice Wall to Climb Down- Joy or Panic?
1500 Feet Ice Wall to Rappel Down- Joy or Panic?

Love, Shikher

52 views2 comments


You've always been an inspiration. This a beautiful post!

Replying to

Thank you Vaishnavi, Thanks for dropping the comment and reading :)

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