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Pranav is now a full-time apple farmer and mountaineer. He is gradually foraying into alpinism and ice climbing, trying to push the boundaries of the sport in the context of our country.
Rawat comes from a family of farmers from Hatkoti Village in district Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. An engineering dropout, Pranav climbed mountains purely out of passion without any professional training. Subsequently, in 2012, he enrolled in and graduated from all the required mountaineering courses at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (ABVIMAS) within one year. Today, in a little over 5 years, he has gained celebrity status within mountaineering circles and is highly looked upon by most professionals from the Indian circuit.
He is currently working towards creating new avenues for people looking to explore the mountains, imparting the right set of skills and knowledge to such enthusiasts. He believes that before starting any journey in the mountains, people should learn to respect them and when faced with complications or crises, should know how to tackle them. Thus, the Mountain Self Sufficiency Course has been conceptualized by Rawat to promote independent trekking on a personal level. Rawat recently received sponsorship from Mountain Dew for an ice climbing project called “The Fall”, a path breaking documentary in the Indian alpine circuit that has won multiple awards at various movie screenings and has also been covered by renowned publications.
Though an uplander at heart, he only started considering mountaineering as a profession in 2012, after giving up Aeronautical Engineering as a career option.
As his pre-graduation journey took off, jaundice took a toll on him both physically and psychologically, thus leaving him disturbed and unfocused in life. Finally, in 2009, following a depressing six years of being victim to jaundice, he gave up formal education altogether, realizing his calling for the mountains instead.
He weighed a total of 102 kg when he applied for the Basic Mountaineering Course at ABVIMAS in 2012. It was an uphill dare for him, bearing in mind the shape he was in back then, as compared to the rest of his batch mates. Having dealt with a lot of emotional and medical blows in life, he was low on confidence and had a cloud of negativity around him. Nevertheless, he went ahead with the course and completed it.
After graduating from the Basic Mountaineering Course, he enrolled into the Advance Mountaineering Course, and subsequently into Method of Instruction (MOI) within the same year, where he was also titled Best Trainee of the Course from a batch of 57. He went on to assume the role of a visiting instructor at the Institute.
In 2014, he was accepted into IMF’s Climbathon program, thus furthering his experience, skills and qualifications. This meant he could now lead semi-technical expeditions up to 6000 – 7000m peaks.
He has now developed The Mountain Self Sufficiency Course to promote independent trekking on a personal level.
Pranav is a very personal and intimate relationship with the mountains, believing the mountains heal him. In his own words, “If you remove the Himalayas from me, I’ll be lifeless.” According to him, every uphill hike brings him back a better human being than before. True to these words, the mountains are now Pranav’s second home. If found nowhere in the plains, he can be seen on the mountains discovering the inner-self and exploring new trails.
He believes the mountains heal him. They teach him lessons of life that are not to be found in the everyday life of the plains. When he was having a bad time with his academics, it was the mountains which relieved him and showed him the way of life. Moreover, he is quite environmentally conscious mountaineer. He believes that the Himalayas should be kept clean to preserve their serenity. This has been the paramount inspiration behind the Mountain Self Sufficiency Course, where he educates hikers to leave nothing more than footprints on mountain trails. He openly professes that he chose this path not to prove himself or to make a name, but solely to grow as a person and experience life through the eyes of a mountaineer.
The Trans-Himalayan Journey (Sep 2017) - 700km long journey of a solo mountaineer traversing through snow clad mountains, glaciers, high mountain passes, cold deserts and frozen lakes. A little traversed route, one which is varied in texture, topography and climate will be undertaken. Starting from the barren and beautiful land of Ladakh, across seven mountain passes, touching almost 19,000 ft and finally into the lush and verdant lesser Himalayas, the journey will close at Joshimath in Uttrakhand. The sojourn would ideally last 45 days, at an optimistic rate of 15km a day.