From the sublime to the ridiculous

From the sublime to the ridiculous

Sitting wilting in Delhi’s brutal heat (try 33C/91.4F at 6 o’clock in the morning for size, dear reader) it is almost impossible to think that just a week ago, we were at Banderpoonch Base Camp, swaddled in layer upon layer of fleece and thermals.

The thought of curling up in my wonderful arctic-temperature-rated sleeping bag, as I did a week ago, is almost unbelievable.

We ate inside our tent most of the time, too cold to venture out…

You get the picture, right?

As the title of this blog post says, we have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in just a few days.

It’s always difficult to come back down to earth after a climb, and this one perhaps more so than any other I have ever done.

Climbing Banderpoonch is the toughest physical challenge I’ve undertaken, and I think most of the lovely people in our climbing party would agree with me.  There were no newbies or first-timers in our happy, friendly, experienced group but I think all of us agreed that Banderpoonch was one of the most challenging climbs we have, collectively, undertaken.

Over the course of the next few days, I’ll be posting more about the climb here in this blog, as I gradually “decompress” from the experience.

One needs a few days to put into perspective all the joy and the beauty and yes, the struggles & the discomfort of a climbing trip.

Inevitably, of course, one forgets the uncomfortable/cold/scary/exhausting parts and remembers only the good.

So the scary memories of our first night in Summit Camp, when a howling gale threatened to blow our tent away, will soon fade, as will the sheer terror of rappelling down an ice wall.

Less than a week from that moment of terror, I can still hear my own scared, raspy breathing as I rappelled down, but in a few weeks, it’ll have been airbrushed to an exciting memory.

In fact, in less than 36 hours back in the miserable heat of Delhi, I have already been onto the website of White Magic Adventure Travel to see what my next Big Adventure might be…such is the magical, hypnotic power of the mountains.

They test you, they overwhelm you, and their siren call lures you back.

Enjoy a few more images, and I’ll be back later with more memories of the sublime.

The lovely Isha (right) was my tent & room-mate all the way through this trip.  Vandana joined us for our nights at Summit camp, when we were 3 to a tent, all cosy and warm as we huddled together and chatted and slept and ate together.

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