Published: 07th October 2017
This NCC cadet was among the only two girls from Tamil Nadu to be selected to climb the Ladakh Peak
The climb took a lot of preparation, training and 'roughing it out' before the adventure to the summit actually began
An 18-year-old NCC Cadet from PSG College of Arts and Science was one of the two girls from Tamil Nadu selected to recently climb the Ladakh peak during her NCC adventure mountaineering camp in New Delhi. The Ladakh peak is 5345 meters and 17, 825 feet high. and is named one of the toughest peaks to climb because of the density of snow and stones that make up the mountain.
As a kid, adventure and sports were her hobbies and is one the main reasons that she enrolled for NCC.
“ I won an individual gold medal in obstacle training and silver in cross country running last year at the Uttrarakhand mountaineering camp and that’s how I got selected this year for the 70-day camp,” says Gayathiri.
The 70-day camp involves a lot of physical and mental training and only qualified cadets were selected for the Himalayan camp. The 19 day Himalayan camp was divided into base camp, camp one and summit.
“A total of 20 people were selected to climb Ladakh peak. We were separated into two groups depending on our speed. “ says Gayathiri.
The base camp, held for five days, trained the cadets on how to walk on snow and the mountains and taught them what to do during an emergency. “During our base camp it was raining heavily for the first three days and we could not leave our tents. It was horrible as the climate was bone chilling” she says.
After the base camp, they moved to camp 1 where they went on 11 small treks for five days to reach Solang Valley in Manali. “It was a little tough as we had to carry around 25 kg of bags and walk for a long time. The first two days here were full of snowfall and rain. And during the third day we got a little sunshine, so we decided to do the training and go climb the summit” explains Gayathiri.
After five days at base camp, the cadets decided to climb the summit. “My team started for the summit at 12 am in the morning and trekked the entire night to reach it. By the time we reached the peak it was nine am” she says. It took the team another day to reach the base camp again.
“My nose and mouth were bleeding, I went and told the doctor that I could not make it but he assured me it was normal at this altitude and after giving myself a small pep talk, finally managed to reach the peak. I will never forget the sense of achievement I felt at that moment.”
Her other aims include playing for the National Women’s Cricket Team and to do a lot of adventure sports.