CHENNAI: A re you one of those who find excuses to stay from even the least enduring physical activity? Here is your dose of inspiration to keep that adrenaline pumping! A group of 10, forty-something fitness-cum-adventure junkies from the city recently scaled the 4,700 metre-high Pangarchula peak in Garhwal Himalayas.
Meet Madras Mustangs! A group of like-minded people who got together to share the joy of being fit and spread the importance of fitness since 2014. City Express caught up with the core members of the group — Sairam Ramaswamy, Gayathri Satish, Rajesh Ramani, Deepa Kaliur and Sujitha Arvind — to explore their Himalayan experience.
“My mind is still there. In the hills, slopes and valleys,” grins Sairam. “I have trekked in the Himalayas twice before, but this one was the best.”
While he has had prior experience, the rest of the team were new to trekking. Exhilarated by the whole expedition, the girl gang of the group narrates, “We are a group of people who crave for adventure. When Sai flagged this idea of a trek we immediately signed up for it. Since all of us have been fitness-enthusiasts for over two years, we were confident about the trek. But you never know what surprise awaits you until you go there.”
The group guided by Sairam, trained and prepared themselves by trekking down the famous Nagalapuram trail. “We worked out and tried getting a hang of trekking terrains, but this was much bigger than we expected,” claims the group.
“Constant weather change and sudden drop in temperature were major challenges,” says Sujitha Arvind, an ultra-marathon runner. “It used to be hot during the days and extremely cold at night. We had to stay in our tents with a thin blanket on the ground and I can confidently state that we fought through all odds.”
Climbing slopes that were 65-75 degrees (and more) steep and sometimes even sliding on them (while coming down), the Mustangs completed the trek on the fourth day. “It was a total of eight days. Four days of travelling and four for the trek and it has been a life changing experience for us,” shares Gayathri describing the violet flowers, bushes and other mystic elements that they found on the way.
“All of us had small ailments before this trip. Once we came back home, we noticed that we were cured of these niggling pricks. Well, that’s what they say about nature’s touch!” explains Deepa.
Nodding in agreement, Rajesh explains, “We weren’t connected with our family for four days. It was just us and nature. All of us have a new perspective towards life and are different from who we were before this expedition.”
So, what is the plan of Madras Mustangs for the future? “We want to spread the message of fitness and grow the fitness community. We are going to unveil our jersey soon,” smiles Sairam. The group has plans to be a part of the Everest Base Camp (EBC) 2017.
For details, visit their page madrasmustangs on FB.
Tips for First-time Trekkers
- Get out of the inhibition that it’s expensive
- Preparation in terms of fitness and workouts is important
- Mentally prepare yourself for hostile weather condition and be ready to move out of comfort zone
- Pack light when you trek
- Replenish yourself with protein bars and nuts
- Keep layers of clothes
- Keep your head covered with a head gear to avoid headaches
- Keep yourself hydrated and make sure you drink water before you feel thirsty
- Take precaution and carry necessary medicines for acute mountain sickness