The Journey of an Engineer turned Mountaineer!


Whenever I used to go to the hill stations during summer break with my parents I used to think about life in the mountains always. I always wanted to live in mountain villages and their wooden houses. And since childhood, I have always thought of living in a village rather than a city because I don't have any ancestral village as my family belongs to Delhi.


Then while growing up I got busy in my studies and mountain love vanished somewhere in the head. Like everyone else, I was also part of the race to get admission in a good college and future planning. I ended up in B.tech Computer Science as usual family pressure like always. I did a few road trips to Mcleodganj, Dharamshala and Mussoorie during my college days and they weren't as popular as today and Bhagsu Nag waterfall used to be a quiet place to chill and relax. But still, the happiness I was searching in the mountains wasn't fulfilling.


Then again I got busy in job placements and luckily I got one. I started working as a Sybase Database Administrator in HCL, Noida right after passing out from college with great marks in 2014. Though my job was really great and I was doing well in corporate but there was no satisfaction or enjoyment in that life. So one day I was working and my colleague and a very good friend Akshay Awasthi asked me for a trip to Himachal Pradesh. I straight away without any second thought said yes and we took leaves and left for an Unplanned trip to Kasol and Khir Ganga.

This was a life-changing trip for me as I explored many hidden villages in Parvati Valley of Himachal Pradesh and ended up in a paradise which is called Khir Ganga. The happiness which I was looking for since my childhood and the desire of living in mountain villages got fulfilled. But again that wasn't permanent. I had to join my office and my life was here in a city in Delhi. Every day I used to think about the valleys, rivers and wooden houses. I started doing high altitude treks and expeditions like Hampta Pass, Pin Parvati Pass and many more to fulfill my happiness of living in mountains.

After all this, I grew a passion in me for exploring mountains deeper and I started loving that life of being away from all the comforts. So I decided to find a job which will help me in exploring the Himalayas and fulfill my dream of living in mountain villages. After my research, I got to know about Trek Leading which was getting popular at that time and for that, I had to do professional mountaineering courses. So after gathering all the information about mountaineering and learning the pros and cons of leaving city life for the Himalayas, I took this decision of switching my career from an IT job to a full-time Mountaineer. Though it wasn't easy for me to switch it wasn't impossible too. I had to convince my parents which was not an easy task and had to think about my savings also. It took me one whole year after leaving my 2.5 years IT job to start my career as a full-time trek leader with a Rishikesh based popular trekking company Trek The Himalayas.

In that one year, I did my Basic and Advance Mountaineering Courses from Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali in which I covered areas of Beas Kund Glacier, Friendship Peak, Jagatsukh Glacier and Mt. Deo Tibba and after the courses 6 months part-time job in Decathlon as a Mountain Sports Leader where I conducted many trekking workshops and treks to Kedarkantha and Khir Ganga. All my hard work and confidence helped me to achieve what I had visioned. It's been more than 2 years now I'm leading and exploring treks in the Himalayas. I have explored Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand Himalayas as of now and lead many high altitude treks such as Chadar the frozen river trek, Pin Parvati Pass, Hampta Pass, Bhrigu Lake, Rupin Pass, Roopkund, Kedarkantha, Har Ki Dun, Kuari Pass, Valley Of Flowers, Dayara Bugyal, Chandrashilla Tungnath and many more day hikes.


My passion for mountains has always given me true happiness and confidence to keep on exploring the Himalayas and myself. I believe when God has given us feet then instead of converting them into roots I should be wandering and exploring our beautiful Earth.




 

Chahat Channana

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