Heights of Adventure

Gul Panag, who is known for her adventure streak, will now play host to people climbing the Himalayas

Published: 11th March 2015 06:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2015 06:05 AM   |  A+A-

HIGHT

A far cry from her beauty pageant days, model and actor Gul Panag taps into her adventurous streak, on the reality show Kingfisher Blue Mile, leading nine winners up the gruelling Himalayas for ‘a tick on her bucket list’. She talks about their antics and escapades on the climb to the base camp.

On the Kingfisher Blue Mile.

It is a talk-to-camera reality show, which had campouts in Delhi, Wayanad, West Bengal, Hyderabad and Manchinbele. Adventurists compete in gruelling tasks to test agility and fitness levels before nine winners were chosen. It sees them on their ascent of the Mount Everest base camp. It is a great balance between drama and reality – but not in the saas-bahu saga sort of way. It’s a raw expression of what happens up there.

Tell us a bit about your role.

I am the anchor, but I don’t take you through the show as a host. I am more as a link between the camera and the winners. And being familiar with adventure and climbing, I was in a sense the expedition leader too.

What drew you to the show?

Climbing Mt Everest has always been on my Bucket List and getting to base camp is a start. Plus, the lovely bunch of people on the trip made it more worthwhile.

On the challenges.

The high altitude is the biggest challenge. Mountaineers spend months acclimating and we didn’t have that time. Taking 15 steps felt like a sprint – and I know that feeling as while training for marathons I sprint train. Your chest feels like it’s exploding. On the last night before base camp, I wanted to watch the start of an avalanche so I quickly climbed about seven feet, hardly the height of a mini van, to capture it, and I felt I would blackout. It was that tough.

Anything you learned

from the trip?

Well, I did learn that the altitude there weakens batteries too. I would sleep with my iPhone at about 85 per cent and wake up to it nearly dead. Same with cameras, laptops and MP3 players, for everyone on the expedition. Then the seasoned climbers and guides told us to keep them insulated too. So we had the luxury of sleeping with electronics in our heavily insulated sleeping bags!

What was most

thrilling?

Just being up there is very exciting. And I was so amazed by how sometimes you can climb so quickly and sometimes it takes ages. In the mountains, you need to walk like an old person, and literally trudge.

Once we reached to about 14,000 feet it started getting really hard. Then at 18,000 it is like a crawl. It’s amazing to see what that does. But in a positive way. Also, the ice falls and glaciers are just majestic. So fantastic. And seeing them fall sometimes is thrilling. It’s like watching dynamite exploding.

Premieres March 14, weekends at 8 pm on NDTV Good Times.

Stay up to date on all the latest Hyderabad news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp