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Ain't no mountain high enough

Preethi Ravi, Bengaluru, March 24, 2015, DHNS: 22:15 IST
Satyarup Siddhanta, an active member of Bangalore Mountaineering Club (BMC), had a passion for mountaineering ever since he was a kid. His journey continued over the years and today, he has climbed four of the seven highest mountains and is aiming to conquer the Mount Everest.
Satyarup Siddhanta, an active member of Bangalore Mountaineering Club (BMC), had a passion for mountaineering ever since he was a kid. His journey continued over the years and today, he has climbed four of the seven highest mountains and is aiming to conquer the Mount Everest.

Bangalore Mountaineering Club, which started as an organisation for enthusiastic adventurers, is also a stressbuster for its members. The club began in 2004 and in a decade, it has provided its members some great experiences and memories to cherish for life. “Even as a kid, I was fascinated by mountaineering. Through my experiences, I want to inspire people and spread the message that nothing is impossible. No obstacles are big enough to stop one from dreaming big,” he notes. “As someone who had suffered from asthma, I also want to instill confidence in millions of young people suffering from asthma that they can lead a normal life,” he adds.

The BMC is one of the most active clubs in the City today. The members organise adventure events such as trekking, backpacking, camping, jungle safari, white water rafting, rock-climbing, rappelling, parasailing, paragliding, bungee jumping, scuba diving and sky-diving. Neeraj, the founder, was an avid trekker during his college days in his hometown Nasik. When he moved to Bengaluru, he was unable to find a single trekking club that he could be part of. This is what led him to start the BMC.

Over the years, the club has grown from being just an outdoor adventure club. The members involve themselves in a range of nature conservation projects. “Every time we trek to a place, we not only explore it and experience its beauty but we also make it a point to conserve nature. When we went to Nandi Hills, we ensured that we picked up all the plastic bottles that were thrown around and also stuck posters about nature conservation everywhere,” says Aqib.

For Bhavani and Arita, the club is an ideal getaway from the daily grind. “It has been a holistic experience. Mountaineering has given a new meaning and purpose to our lives,” say the duo.
The club has seen more participation from women than men. “It’s heartening to see the people in the City going beyond pubs and malls and being more inclined towards nature. We have more registrations from women and working professionals. Most people want to spend their free time doing something more meaningful than just going out and watching a movie,” says Rajesh. Sourabh adds, “We mostly explore unconventional places and that is where the thrill lies. Many people also request us to trek to remote places.” Santosh, another member of the group, feels that the biggest challenge is to motivate people to go beyond limits. “A lot of people have immense potential but are driven by fear. We motivate them to trek and reach the ‘highest point’. We believe that this can actually transform their lives.”

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