Let’s Be Outdoorsy organises a special breakfast meet with an outdoorsy Champion every month. We call it Breakfast With Champions. The 2nd edition of Breakfast With Champions was held on 24th September at an outdoorsy venue, Patwardhan Park in Mumbai with epic mountaineer and nature photographer Mr. Kuntal Joisher. Here’s Pooja Dande sharing the event highlights.
Yummy breakfast, a film screening and Team LBO were all set to welcome our champion Kuntal Joisher and a 40-people strong audience full of marathoners, mountaineers and nature lovers. The session stared with Diipti sharing her inspiring thoughts and introducing LBO. Kuntal then shared his story from the first day he thought about climbing mountains. He had decided to quit his job for the Everest expedition but his boss supported him and offered to sponsor his expedition. Meanwhile, we served a special vegan tea; everyone from the audience appreciated it a lot. Tea made of lemongrass, fennel seeds, cardamom powder, jaggery, tulsi leaves, and ajwain; brewed to a boil. I personally suggest you try this, you would surely like it. Kuntal started his short movie and simultaneously the audience interacted with him over hot poha and sanas breakfast.
Kuntal’s attempts to Summit Everest
Kuntal started his mountaineering journey in 2014, it was his first attempt but it failed because of a life threatening avalanche. This was one of the biggest accidents in Himalayas which killed 16 sherpas. Luckily Kuntal’s Sherpa team survived. Kuntal and team turned back home. A few days later, he planned for Mt. Manaslu expedition, the eighth highest mountain in the world. Kuntal was the first vegan and second Indian civilian to summit Mt. Manaslu.
His second attempt for Mt. Everest was in 2015. This attempt failed due to the devastating earthquake in Nepal. The earthquake not only destroyed Nepal but also was the reason for a gigantic avalanche that hit the Himalayas. Luckily Kuntal and team survived but the picture they saw of the other camps was horrifying. As it was not safe to head further, Kuntal and his fellow team members decided to leave; and they volunteered to assist relief work for earthquake hit people.
Kuntal’s 3rd attempt for Mt. Everest was in 2016. On 19th May he finally summited Everest. Kuntal described the experience saying, “I had decided not to cry but at the point of 20m, away from Summit I started crying loudly. The feeling of summiting Everest is above everything. At the peak, removing my goggles and oxygen mask is risky but still I removed them for few seconds to click the picture for my family. One of my Sherpas was insisting we leave the peak and walk down to which I answered, Itne saal lage hai yahan pahauchne mein, 5 mins toh rehnede!”
Chat and Breakfast
Over yummy vegan breakfast of Idli, chutney and poha, the movie went on and questions too. Dada Somani, the senior member of the audience asked, “When you reached the bottom of Everest, did you have a feeling that you are being guided by your own destiny? And did you gain that massive courage of overcoming the challenges to summit Everest?” Kuntal answered with a smile saying, “I am not a believer in Destiny. But I certainly knew that I’m ready and sure if things stay well in terms of weather on the mountains I will make it through.” My question to Kuntal was, “How do the team members manage to carry equipments and who sets those ladders over the mountains?” Kuntal explained very well, he said, “Equipments are shared between the team members. And sherpas are the one who set the ladders, it’s their duty to visit the mountain as the season starts and set ropes, ladders which help a mountaineer to climb safely.”
Rama Dsouza who was a volunteer at Rio Olympics 2016 & Nrupal Choudhary who also goes for mountaineering expeditions shared their experience. Vandana Jhangiani ended the event with a lovely poem. Kuntal distributed LBO post cards feauring pictures of his Everest expedition. Group pictures bloomed the event.
Team LBO is thankful to the audience for attending the event and supporting us. Thanks to Kuntal for his valuable time. For those who were unable to attend this Breakfast With Champions, fear not. We will be back with the next power-packed session of Breakfast With Champions in October. Grab all the details on www.letsbeoutdoorsy.com . See you all soon, till then Astalavista, stay happy being outdoors.