Age no bar for this trekker

Bengaluru-based mountaineer Vasumathi Srinivasan has just returned from her trip to the Great Lakes of Kashmir

A group of 30, lead by Vasumathi Srinivasan, recently climbed the Great Lakes of Kashmir. (Above) Taken at Vishnusar Lake in the Sindh valley of Kashmir.

Bengaluru-based mountaineer Vasumathi Srinivasan has proved that age is just a number. Well into her 60s, she has trekked about 75 routes in 49 years of mountaineering. She is just back from another adventurous trip to the Great Lakes of Kashmir, where she and a group of 30 people covered 75 km in seven days in snow.

Talking to Metrolife, she says that every expedition teaches her something new and helps her value life. 


Vasumathi has completed 75 treks till date.

The preparation before any expedition is pretty intense, Vasumathi says.

“When preparing for our most recent trek, we climbed Nandi Hills and Kabbaladurga. The team also regularly hit the gym, attended swimming lessons and did yoga to build strength and stamina,” she explains. The trekkers are also told to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in their diet. “This ensures that we are high on energy,” she adds.

Even though trekking mountains is not an easy task Vasumathi attempts at least three to four treks in a year. “My treks to the Himalayas are by far the best; I have taken my family and friends too. Every time I go, I return rejuvenated and revitalised.”

She points out that commercialisation has started eating into these spaces. “I am also doing my bit to save the greenery in these spaces and also talk to people about conserving these beautiful landscapes,” she adds.

Describing her experience so far as extremely fulfilling, Vasumathi says the journey is humbling.  “In the mountains, your true self comes out because you learn to be determined and not give up no matter how hard it is, bringing out another dimension of you,” she adds. 

Leading her team during all the treks, Vasumathi says that she also ends up being the ‘sweeper’. “By that I mean, I am the last person in the line whose duty is to ensure that those with a slow pace reach safe. I think I am bestowed with an immense amount of patience to take the weak ones along and make sure that they reach their destination,” she explains.
These expeditions have also taught her and others who regularly trek with her the value of teamwork and the importance of building a strong support system.

“The mountains teach you how to smile in the face of adversities. This is one thing you tend to practise in life as well,” she adds. 

She also says that the friendships that she has struck on such treks are the strongest and last longer than most others. “Mountaineering is a journey of self-discovery. It is where you find your strength, weakness and the determination to overcome tough situations,” she signs off.
 

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