My first steps in independent outdoor travel

Mountain Self Sufficiency Course | 4Play

We were picked from Shimla bus stand and dropped at the Giri Ganga camp site.

Pranav Rawat gave us a briefing on acclimatization (Climbers must adapt to the higher altitude in order to avoid altitude sickness).  There was a lot to learn about camping and climbing practices. Rope work being the most important thing to learn. We learnt about various knots, hitches and anchoring techniques.

Mountain Self Sufficiency Course | 4Play

The most important practice in high altitude solo trekking, is to travel light in order to improve efficiency and save energy. We were tested for rock climbing and running in order to gauge our capability to walk for long. It is important to maintain your pace while walking or trekking, staying hydrated and healthy.

Mountain Self Sufficiency Course | 4Play

In order to assure we learned the knots properly, we were made to rappel down a 70 m high wall, using an improvised harness made of tape sling. It saves a lot of time and effort when descending steep terrain. One can climb up easily but it’s difficult to retreat.

Mountain Self Sufficiency Course | 4Play

Diet is as essential while trekking or climbing, as any other skill or ability. We were educated about trail food and single pot cooking practice.

Navigation too plays a critical role in efficiently completing an expedition. We learnt how to create our own route using GPS, eliminating the need for a guide. Offline-GPS activated smartphones come in handy for this exercise.

We were put to test again, requiring self navigated trek to Kupper top. We executed this exercise successfully using the View Ranger App.

Mountain Self Sufficiency Course | 4Play

Journey begins. We moved out from our campsite in Giri – Ganga and drove down to Tangnu village. Everybody was pumped. In order to reach our first campsite, we covered 7 km of steep terrain. We continued our trek via Janglikh village till Simru Thach.

After setting up shelters and sleeping systems, everyone gathered and discussed the day; sharing their experiences. We were allotted energy bars for the next day, for a continuous source of carbohydrates on the arduous trek.

The next day was seemingly easy as we had to walk only for 2 hours for acclimatization. Going to the summit camp based on 15,000 ft. and back.

Mountain Self Sufficiency Course | 4Play
30m below the summit we realized that we have to climb this plain and steep rock slab.

While climbing to the summit everybody was pumped to see the peak so close. But the route contains big rocks and shaky boulders. One needs to go through this sketchy terrain in order to reach the top.

Using proper anchoring techniques and rope work, we were finally able to summit the peak.

30m below the summit we realized that we have to climb this plain and steep rock slab.

The first batch of the Mountain Self Sufficiency Course, atop Bhushan Peak (5200m).


Author: 4Play is India’s first adventure sports channel which curates stories from the outdoor extreme and adventure sports. An outcome of roughing it up in the outdoors, living on the cutting edge of what may be termed as extreme, and basking in the experiences that came along.

Mountain Self Sufficiency Course

1 Comment

  • Swapnil Saxena

    Really Informative blog for non professional yet seriously passionate trekkers like me. Keep sharing such wonderful experiences and tips

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>