Amidst the rush of students all around, there are only a handful of them who are heading somewhere with an apparently focussed zeal. Indus International School is catching them young and how. Meet Deep Aghara, a grade 11 student who has just returned after a grueling climb scaling a 6,111 meters peak in the Himalayas. The 16-year-old lad completed a daunting and daring expedition of climbing Mount Yunam as part of the nine-day mountaineering expedition earlier this month.
It took a few treks to scale this height, states Deep, who has been participating in adventure sports and camps from the age of five. He admits, “This wasn’t my first trek. One of the exciting adventure camps was a 15-day trek in Dalhousie when I was 12. It involved trekking across the hills, river crossing, rappelling as well as rock climbing. For the camp this time in the Himalayas, I was selected after being evaluated on physical and psychological parameters and I had to undergo a rigorous fitness regimen for two months. The nine-day expedition was keeping in mind the extreme challenge and a crash course was conducted before the final climb of above 6,000 meters. Since I am an introvert by nature, I found aspects such as interacting with new people and sharing my tent challenging, and it helped me in developing a bond with my fellow team-mates.”
Talking of the extreme challenges, he states, “At the advance base camp, the night before we were to climb the peak, there was a blizzard. Since night falls quickly in the mountains, we had to have dinner at 5:30 pm and retire in our tents very early. However, we didn’t get any sleep and we spent the night singing songs and playing games. Even though it was extremely cold, we were tucked in our sleeping bags and the snow was falling on our faces. It was a lot of fun being with a team of 14 students as we went on to surmount Mount Yunam located near the Lahaul-Ladakh border near Bharatpur, Himachal Pradesh. I was elated and overwhelmed when I set foot on the mountain peak, the sense of achievement and pride cannot be described in words. I learnt to remain calm under pressure, and I feel today if I can pass such an extreme test, I can overcome any obstacle in life.” Talking of his other passions, Deep shares, “I aspire to go to New Zealand to learn bungee jumping and sky-diving soon.”