The IMF Webinar Series is a series of illustrated presentations on the Indian Himalaya, highlighting diverse subjects such as mountaineering, exploration, mountain ecology, biodiversity, cultural ethos, livelihood issues, conservation efforts, mythology, history, books and films.
Here are a few webinars which highlight India’s front footedness when it comes to mountaineering, exploration and adventure around the Himalayas.
Meru - The Easy Way : Prof. Tejvir Khurana
The mighty Mt. Meru has recorded a few successful expeditions over the years, yet listening to Prof. Tejvir as he vividly describes how climbing this gigantic monstrosity feels like, you will not help, but only wonder how they did it. For starters, this massive wonder is unlike any other in the Garhwal Himalayas. It is huge, extremely tough and punishing to scale any of its three peaks – South, Central, and North peaks, not to mention the almost inherent risks, including rockfall and avalanche.
Prof. Tejvir, on the other hand, isn’t your ordinary mountain-climber. It took him and his team six days to make it to the top and conquer a giant that has a reputation of being almost unconquerable. In the video, he gladly shares his secrets behind their successful conquest.
In his reflections at the tail end of the video, he reflects back at several aspects. He talks about their preferred alpine style of climbing it, and the best route of approaching their chosen peak, and how to best acclimatize, stay fit throughout the several days, and still have fun.
Indeed, Prof. Tejvir makes this almost insurmountable mountain look conquerable. He perfectly sums up how one can climb Meru Peak using what he considers “the easier route.”
#MtMeru #FirstAscent #AlpineStyle #Climbing #Uttarakhand #Tapovan #GarhwalHimalaya
The Nanda Devi Sanctuary : Harish Kapadia
As this exciting list of IMF Webinar Series continues, Harish Kapadia – in his presentation – takes a closer look at the unique and breathtaking Nanda Devi Sanctuary. And wearing a classic demeanor of a Mountaineer, Explorer, and Writer, he describes this amazing glacial basin tucked between several peaks, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in detail.
The brief history explains a lot about early and most recent explorations, notable accidents to have occurred throughout the years, and the October 1965 Plutonium saga. Just by listening to the presentation, you will certainly wonder what the US and India’s Intelligence Bureau were thinking with the decision to install a nuclear-powered sensor on the summit of India’s second highest peak.
But what’s perhaps noteworthy is how Harish also delves into the awe-compelling scenery of the vista of gorges making up this sanctuary has perennially attracted mountaineers from across the planet. The gorges’ outstanding natural beauty with all the beautiful meadows of endemic alpine flowers complements so well with the rugged mountain wilderness and its snow-capped peaks.
It is unbelievable how this massive beauty of a mountain can harbor so much controversy, as explained by Harish Kapadia. But still, going by his experiences climbing it, getting injured, and later having to be evacuated using a chopper, the Nanda Devi Sanctuary isn’t for the meek, weak, and cowardly.
#NandaDevi #Uttarakhand #NandaDeviNationalPark #Kumaon #Climbing #Exploration #NuclearIncident
Tenzing Norgay Sherpa - Tiger of the Snows : Sujoy Das
As the world celebrates 67 years since the first-ever high-profile ascent up the mighty Everest, the IMF Webinar Series chose this auspicious moment to honor the pioneer mountaineers. One such individual who, unknown to many, daringly braved the tough and punishing conditions of the mountains and hiked to the very top without the modern-day gear is Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.
As told by Sujoy Das, the story of this little-known amateur Sherpa tells a tale of sheer bravery, enthusiasm, and determination. It talks about the zeal a little Tibetan boy nicknamed ‘Tiger of the Snows,’ a yak harder, had in being a Sherpa, despite having been rejected before.
The Tiger of the Snows embody the extremes a spirited, passionate, and determined climber can go to conquer the unconquerable. It tells an unreal story of Tenzing Norgay, a “nobody” who would rise to the top of the world – literally and figuratively – to show that a human spirit can triumph over the insurmountable.
Tenzing may have experienced many misfortunes before his grand success, but his role in every expedition he participated in was pivotal. He helped several pioneer westerners conquer major Himalayan peaks, established trails that would later help many climb the mountains, and left a legacy.
In all the trips he took part in, even as an amateur Sherpa, this super-amazing mountaineer exhibited unmatched expertise. In total, over 30 years of his life were spent as a mountaineer, and even though his story has been told, repeatedly, there is no doubt that Sujoy Das and the IMF Webinar Series did it better.
#Tenzing #Norgay #Sherpa #Everest #InternationalEverestDay
Icing on the Lakes : Sankar Sridhar
It’s always a pleasure to listen to a mountaineer who also doubles as a professional photographer, talk about the Himalayas. Sankar Sridhar, on this IMF Webinar Series, makes the trip through Ladakh a lot more interesting.
Using a collection of award-winning shots of frozen rivers and waterfalls, rapids standing still in sub-zero temperatures, beautifully eerie, yet rugged mountains, and lots of wonderful photos, he tells of his solo foray. And, Sankar being the talented story-teller he is, he was so mesmerized by the Changthang region that he went again to explore its magic.
Listening to him and his adventures, sounds implausible how beautiful Ladakh and its frozen mountains, at a temperature of -48 degrees at night is. But perhaps the most interesting bit is how he discovers how the animals and humans residing in the region survive the freezing conditions.
You can accompany him as he talks of his escapades traversing a region whose roads are impassable once winter sets in. It is a 12-day trek from Chang La, through the frozen rivers and mountains, the Ladakh wilderness, and the lonely valleys, all the way to Kyon Tso. Watching him, you get to learn lots of unknown mysteries, little secrets, and fun facts about the Changthang region.
#Ladakh #Changthang #HimalayanLakes #Himalayas #Exploring #NaturePhotography
2,800 Kms - Swimming the Ganga : Wg Cdr Paramvir Singh
Swimming the mighty Ganges River is not news. Nevertheless, when the IMF Webinar Series covers the entire 2,800km Himalayan stretch of the Ganga, courtesy of Wing Commander Paramvir Singh, it definitely has to hit the headlines.
The presentation is wholly about a serving officer of the Indian air force, whose 43-day, 12-hour a day exploits on water, swimming, and sometimes rafting, are well-documented. He swam from Devprayag in Uttarakhand to the Bay of Bengal, an experience he refers to as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ exploration, and a fascinating outing.
It is a truly exciting tale, especially with the hurdles he faced and conquered, including having to breeze through chilly waters, facing dangerous water animals, and having to swim for 12 hours a day. He talks about the pains of swimming through the unforgiving Ganga, including getting bruised by rocks and having to battle horrendous tides and waves.
Priceless beauty, amazing sights, hospitable locals, breathtaking wildlife, and much more; most of it beautiful to see. Unfortunately, the clean fresh and unpolluted waters down the Himalayan stretch of the Ganga would soon give way to the toxic and highly polluted waters downstream.
The best part of this trip is the eye-opening experience and the lessons he shares with whoever would want to attempt a similar feat in the future. He is an ultra-endurance athlete, a highly decorated officer of the Indian Air Force, and a Tenzing Norgay National Adventure awardee.
#Ganga #Swimming #Himalayas #Devprayag #BayOfBengal #Exploration
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