How does it feel to climb to the top?

Ananya Shroff
4 Min Read

Look there, the Himalayan range. Where? Sunil Rai, who was acting as a guide along with the driver during our trip to Sikkim, pointed his finger at the snow on the top of the mountain. This was my first experience of seeing the Himalayas, even if it was from a distance. This was the physical experience of the Himalayas, which also has a spiritual world of its own. Who knows how many people he must have invited here in the hope that they would be able to understand themselves after going there.

But understanding yourself and overcoming your desires to reach your destination does not connect the Himalayas only to the spiritual world. The Himalayas also teach similar things to mountaineers in the physical world. That is why Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbing Mount Everest in 1953 was considered such a great achievement. Before that 145 mountaineers had failed in this task. In 1924, a group of British mountaineers remained just 250 meters away from Everest, but due to the disappearance of two members, they had to return without setting foot on the peak. But with time, conquering the Himalayas has become easier.

Between 1994 and 2003, 24% of those who tried to conquer Everest were successful. This is double the success rate compared to the previous decade. Between 2004 and 2013, the success rate increased to 51%. After this, it has increased further. This is the wonder of technology. Just as technology has made the rest of the world's work easier, the lives of mountaineers have also become easier. The capacity of oxygen tanks has doubled. Suits and gloves are of high quality and double insulated boots keep the feet of mountaineers warm. Accurate weather forecasts have also made difficult mountain climbing easier. In the case of the Himalayas, the contribution of Sherpas must also be remembered. Without their help, such success could not have been expected from mountaineers.

Despite all this, mountaineering is a difficult task. So difficult that it is considered a man's pastime. 'Time on Rock' takes the initiative to remove this misconception. This book has been written by Anna Fleming. In a way, the book introduces readers to her mountaineering life. What did she face when she tried to climb mountains for the first time? What was going on inside her? And how by the age of 30, she became a champion mountaineer. How this sport attracts humans along with mountains, this information also reaches readers through Anna Fleming. Through her experiences, she has also shared the fear and thrill felt in mountaineering. She tells how it started as a hobby for her and then became the center of her life.

Anna Fleming's book not only explains what it means to be a female climber in a male-dominated sport, but it also educates readers about the characteristics of different rocks. She writes about how rocks that look similar from a distance, reveal how different they are from each other when approached. And how these rocks become the medium to take the climber to his destination. Anna Fleming also explains that reaching the top of the mountain is not a reason for momentary happiness. The process you go through before reaching the destination gives a unique feeling. For people like Anna Fleming, this is where the physical world meets the spiritual world.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author's own.

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