ROURKELA: Perseverance is key to all things good in life and that is what City boy Rohan Pattnayak realised while hoisting the Indian Tricolour atop the Kedarkantha summit after an arduous four-day trek last month. He, along with his six Odia friends, were part of a 50-member contingent that embarked on the mountainous journey.
Apart from 27-year-old Rohan, a software engineer with Amazon, the other Odias who successfully completed the journey are Sumanta Nayak, Subrat Patro, Suman Majumdar, Niranjan Patnaik, Pratyush Mishra and Kamakshya Prasad.
Thirty people managed to reach the peak. The team undertook a moderate level trek from Sankri to Kedarkantha summit (around 13,000 ft) in Uttarakhand organised by a travel firm from January 25.
On the first day, they covered an altitude of 9,100 ft trekking 8 km in as many hours to reach their camp at ‘Juda-ka-Talab’(Frozen Lake). Camping in zero degree temperature at night, the next day, the team hiked to an altitude of 11,300 feet and reached Kedarkantha base camp at noon. On day 3, the trek to the summit started at 2 am. Equipped with gaiters, crampons and head-torch to beat snow deposit and darkness, the team covered 6 km. Inching closer to the summit, the last 30 minutes were the most challenging amid freezing temperature, said Rohan adding, the challenge was worth it when they reached the peak and hoisted the national flag during sunrise.
“We had to climb fast to witness sunrise from top. With oxygen levels dropping, every step was exhausting. Some of the fellow trekkers quit before reaching and it was demoralising. But we kept going with the belief that new dawn awaits the darkest night,” recalled Rohan. His father Ranjan Pattnayak, who is the IIC of Government Railway Police in Rourkela, said he was proud of his son’s feat. “The journey to the summit has taught him to never quit in the face of adversity, and that perseverance is key to achieving what may look impossible,” he said.
The equally demanding downhill journey notwithstanding, every phase of the trek was a unique learning experience, the seven Odia youths said in unison.