Deepak Das, a trekker to Stok Kangri, demonstrates that it is the attitude that counts when you are in the mountains. With his indomitable spirit, he shows that a happy, fulfilling trek is not just about meeting expectations or scaling peaks. It is all about tuning your mind to be in perfect rhythm with the terrain you’re on, and just going with the flow.
Due to bad weather, Deepak’s batch was unable to scale the summit. And Deepak desperately wanted to reach the mountain top. “I was definitely disappointed when I heard that other batches were successful. But we were a large team of mixed abilities. What with weather playing adhoc and schedule going awry, these things were bound to happen,” he admits, adding that his enthusiasm has not waned one bit and that he’ll go back to scale the summit some time. Looks like Deepak was mentally prepared for such eventualities.
Stok Kangri demands fitness. And Deepak was aware of this. Though he did not follow any strict fitness regime, he took care to see that he was fairly active. “I try to work out regularly for an hour or more every day. Running for 15 minutes interspersed with cycling for 20 minutes; sit-ups to benefit knees and thighs and cross country training is something that I have tried to consciously adopt in my daily workout,” he says. This discipline helped him a great deal. He fell sick a couple of days before the planned Stok Kangri trek. And he could not follow any kind of fitness program.
His trek leader Soumya Jyoti Mitra was full of praise for this soft-spoken young man. He says, “Deepak involved himself wholeheartedly in all the activities of the trek group. He used to mingle with people freely and cheered people who were feeling low. He also lent a helping hand in trekking activities and was a cooperative person.” Nowhere did Deepak act as a tourist and keep to himself. Rather, he tried to form meaningful connections with people wherever he went.
Deepak’s unwavering belief was that, high up on the mountains, you need to stick together and work as a team. It was this thought that helped him reach out to elderly people in his team who needed his assistance. And it was these traits that made Deepak the most valuable trekker of the July 12th batch.
Deepak kept a positive frame of mind throughout the trip. Whether it was donning crampons for the first time, or walking on the steep snow slope, he found the whole experience exhilarating. You realise that when you free your mind of unnecessary worries, you actually enjoy what the mountains have to offer.
The disappointment of not scaling the mountain summit did not prevent Deepak from seeing the trip in a positive light. “I am taking back a lot of learnings from this trip. I learnt about Gamow bags used for treating High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). I used climbing gear like crampons for the first time. And I witnessed a rescue operation of an injured climber by air force choppers that provided me a lot of insight about trekking expeditions ,” says Deepak.
So, a right mind-set and a positive attitude can literally take you to the top!