This weekend, the Himalayan Club will host its two-day annual seminar. A must-attend for seasoned trekkers and beginners, the event will have alpinists and experts from across the globe recount anecdotes of memorable ascents and share invaluable tips
As the famous quote by author and ski teacher Lito Tejada-Flores goes, “You never climb the same mountain twice, not even in memory.” Perhaps it’s this allure of the rocky terrain that drives mountaineers to seek newer peaks and brave all hazards to make it to the top.
Mountaineers ascending the Phukpoche glacier
The city boasts of a dedicated population of mountaineers who seek guidance and a chance to meet the legends in the field. It was towards fulfilling this need that The Himalayan Club (founded in 1928) has been hosting its annual seminar for the last four decades.
What’s so special?
Speaking about the event, Divyesh Muni, mountaineer and committee member of the club, says, “The seminar is an annual event coinciding with our foundation day on February 17, 1928. This annual event has been on since the headquarters of the club shifted to Mumbai in the early 1970s.”
Main Rongbuk glacier, then and now, by David Breashears
Muni adds that the seminar aims to create an opportunity for local mountain rangers/ Himalaya lovers to meet, listen to and interact with internationally renowned climbers, mountaineers, writers and filmmakers. Leading mountaineers including Sir Chris Bonington and Steve Swenson, naturalists and environmentalists like Dr Salim Ali and writers such as Bill Aitken have been part of their past seminars.
What to expect?
The event kickstarts today with a narration by Marko Prezelj, a Slovenian mountaineer, of his experiences as part of the Kaivan Mistry Memorial Lecture. Prezelj is one of the world’s renowned alpinists and has climbed tough routes in the Himalaya and around the world.
Summit camp on Chamshen Peak; the first ever ascent to the peak happened last year
It will be followed by the Kekoo Naoroji Book Award for Himalayan literature, which will be presented to UK-based Jim Perrin for his book, Shipton and Tilman: The Great Decade of Himalayan Exploration. The book delves on the two British Himalayan explorers of the 1930s. Perrin’s talk will examine the nature of their friendship and collaboration.
On February 16, Prezelj will take to the stage again to talk about his mentorship programme for young alpinists.
Himalayan mountaineer Harish Kapadia will talk about exploring passes on the India-Burma border and navigating the Chaukan Pass (one of the most difficult and remote passes), the Pangsu Pass and the Lake of No Return.
American mountaineer David Breashears, who has climbed Mount Everest five times and made award-winning mountaineering documentaries will follow next where he will speak of his expeditions, his films and his project. He is also the founder of Glacierworks, a non-profit devoted to saving the fragile ecology of the Himalayas.
Divyesh Muni will next speak of his ascent of Chamshen Peak last year, which was the first-ever ascent to the peak.
The final session will feature Pradeep Sahoo, engineer and mountaineer, who will present a photo essay and talk about his ascent of Plateau Peak near Saser Kangri.
A view of the Noa Dihing river in Arunachal Pradesh
“Every one of the seven talks are of the must-attend variety, otherwise, they would not have been there. It is a tightly capsuled programme,” sums up Muni.
On February 15 (4 pm onwards) and 16 (11 am onwards)
At Auditorium of Air India Building, Madam Cama Road, Nariman Point.
log on to www.himalayanclub.org.
Cost Registration fee for two days is `200 per person