This article was first penned 7 years ago, when Medium didn’t exist. Surprisingly, the lessons I learnt during the expedition, still hold true.

The mountains are still the same and so are the mountaineers — both waiting to feel each other.
Here’s a recollection of the remarkable time I had as a part of my trekking expedition in the Great Himalayas.

As soon as I reached the base camp, I came to know that we were 66 in all, called ‘SP32’. Gradually I realized how during the whole trek this new name would become a whole new identity for me. From one camp to another, wherever we went, we were referred to as ‘SP32’. Group identity mattered more than individual identity.
Lesson №1: I learnt how a group name can bind together different people coming from different regions speaking different languages and carrying different perspectives towards life in general.

The first few days which we spent at the base camp (Kasol) were the easiest part of the whole trek but here is where we all geared up for our BIG ascent. We learnt the importance of one of the most undermined values in a millennial’s life: “Discipline”. Waking up on hearing the sharp sound of a whistle wasn’t easy. What was more difficult for me was to somehow gather the courage to take a bath when the water was freezing cold and rendered the whole body numb. No wonder after the first 2 days, I switched to simply washing my face and hands just like others. “3..2..1.. Go”, that was my everyday countdown before splashing the ice-cold water all over my face. Breakfast, morning exercise, acclimatization walk, lunch, dinner, campfire.. from everything to everything was scheduled. No one was allowed to be late and here is where I learnt the next lesson.

Lesson №2: I learnt how being punctual and disciplined can make things easier and wonderful as opposed to making them burdensome.

As we headed towards our next camp from our base camp, we were asked to carry in our rucksacks only the necessary stuff.. rather the crucial stuff. As they said, “ Even a needle seems heavy when you walk on the mountains”. And so, our load was supposed to be as light as possible. Allow me to flaunt a little bit of philosophy here...

Lesson №3: Shed off the unnecessary load you carry in your mind. A lighter mind can make the journey of life more pleasant.

As we moved up, there were steep climbs, really steep ones. But what surrounded these climbs were beautiful valleys, rocketing trees, smiling flowers and chirping birds. The scenic views kept us going.

Lesson №4: I learnt that nature possesses a mysterious power which can make fatigue disappear.

With each passing day, the climb became laborious, the climate became severe and the camps became rudimentary lacking even the basic facilities...Surprisingly the graph of our enjoyment kept on increasing exponentially.. Each difficulty we faced together, each hindrance we crossed together brought us closer as a group. The campfires started becoming more interesting as we learnt more and more about each other.

Lesson №5: It is at the time of adversity that perfect strangers can become perfect friends.

During the trek, a lot of us staggered, stumbled and slipped but there were angels all around to lend us helping hands to keep us from falling. Whether one walked with the speed of a horse or the pace of an ant there was always gentle and entertaining company around. But there were problems too...In spite of the fact that I considered my immune system robust enough to help me get through any condition, I faced a lot of problems including loss of appetite and sleep at the same time. At Nagaru (one of the most dreaded camps) I was even warned that I would not be allowed to move forward and could be sent back to base camp if I did not get well by the next day. I almost broke down... But my new-found friends were there to take care of me, support me and to help me revive myself within a day.

Lesson №6: You are not afraid to fall if you know you have someone to fall back on.

Girls’ tent rocked! There was not a single moment I remember when I found myself getting bored. There was always something interesting happening in or around the tent. As an observer, I saw in every girl an innocent child, a loving sister, a passionate lover, a caring mother and a reliable friend. What was new was when the crazy deranged maniac avatar of every girl came out in glory and danced its heart away!!

Lesson №7: Fourteen girls in a tent= (craziness)x14= Insanity at its best! = TENT ON FIRE!!

Each camp had its own memories and so did each path. Resting points were the most awaited spots. Here is where we opened our weirdly stuffed lunch-packs and ate heartily while having conversations about the most idiotic subjects we would have ever thought of talking about. And then there were the most admired Maggi selling uncles and aunties! Sharing Maggi inside a shaky plastic tent when its hailing outside, can be real fun!
Lesson №8: Maggi tastes best at 13000 ft ;) and so does Bournvita ;)

As we neared completion we wanted to hold on to every single memory. We didn’t want the campfire to end at our last camp. And as we headed back to the base camp we wanted to treasure every bond that we had made there. People were thanked, apologies were expressed and together we moved on to Manikaran, a place synonymous to HOT WATER! Finally, we could take a plunge in the warm waters of Manikaran and relieve ourselves of all the fatigue, exhaustion, aches and of course germs!
And as soon as our great bath was over, we realized..a lot of things were over...

Lesson №9: All good things come to an end….But there’s always more waiting ahead...

Finally, we were back to Kasol. Everything looked just the same. The rocks, the trees, the tents, the breakfast, the lunch, the ice cold water and the LED lit campfire! Email ids, Phone no.s and FB ids were exchanged. We received our certificates, said final goodbyes and made our way back to places where our smartphones would always remain charged, where our pockets would always carry wallets, where 10 kms would be a short distance to be covered on a bike or a car and where the world would be on our laps just a click away.. 

Author's Bio: 

Founder of Wytti | Chief Content Strategist | Storyteller