MOUNTAINEERING MAGIC, Day 02: 10 May 09
The group of 31 is divided in to six groups, or ‘Ropes’ as they are called in the mountain lingo. Each rope has a ‘Rope Leader’ and a ‘Rope Instructor’. I’m the rope leader for Rope no. 1, also the Course Senior. The morning begins at with a PT at 0600 hours. First a 2km run on these spectacularly beautiful roads, then we stop near a park and do some strange exercises whose benefit we will apparently know when we start climbing, and then the 2km run back. I am losing most of the long cherished belief that I’m extremely fit. Running on the roads and tracks in Lonavala hasn’t prepared me for this mountain workout; I huff and puff in pain through the morning, among the last in the group to reach back at the institute.
Breakfast at 0730, followed by classes.
So many classes..
1. Lecture on Ropes – their types, uses and maintenance
2. Demonstration of Knots.
This one was maddeningly funny. Suraj Gurung (Rope instructor for Rope 2) would demonstrate a knot with a Piece Rope( ref to lecture on Ropes; a Piece Rope, also known as a Sling, is 5-6 feet long, has a diameter of 5-6 mm and is used to tie harnesses, Jumars, etc. It can take upto 150 kg wt. Ha! My Rope Instructor will be proud of me). The rest of us would watch, transfixed with concentration – and then attempt to make our own. Ok, pull this one, make a loop, put this end through the loop, umm… other end through this, and…What happened? Looking at each other with frustrated confusion…”Did you get it? “And then so much sheepish laughter. It was a riot. No less than nine type of knots. It was a long class.
3. Lecture on the Himalayas – their origin, six main divisions, important peaks. Fascinating class. Phuchung took this one methinks.
4. Lecture on Avalanches - What causes them, how many types there are, what to do if caught in one. Exciting, interactive session.
5. Lecture on First Aid. The less said the better. The medical assistant may be a good guy (he is, actually; he managed a lot of mountain maladies quite well in the trek) but he is no good with teaching.
MOUNTAINEERING MAGIC, Day 03: 11 Jun 09
The morning run today was followed by a Yoga class. Our instructor, Dheeraj, looks like everybody’s idea of Little Buddha. Very cute. But this is not one of those popular, breathing type of Yogas. Terrible, painful contortions.
Classes of the day –
1. Principles of Rock climbing
2. Mountain Terms. From Bergschunds to Verglass, I love all the mountain jargon.
3. Mountain Hazards