The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer is this, 'what is the use of climbing a Mountain?' and my answer at once be, 'it is of no use'. There is not the slightest prospect whatever of any gain. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, nor a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise the food. It is no use.
So you must understand that there is something in man, which responds to the challenge of mountains and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is that is struggle of life itself upwards and forwards. What we get from his adventure is sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life is for.
(George Leigh Mallory)
When we were on the Kalindi Khal trek last year, we had decided that we would be doing a simple scenic trek the following year. We had been battling with high altitude and extreme conditions throughout the trek of Kalindi Khal and we thought we had had enough.
And here I am; back again on higher altitude. When we were deciding on this year's trek, after a lot of discussion , we decided to to do something different. Mountaineering had always been intriguing for me. I used to wonder how people do it; what with all those gear, trying to tackle ice walls, glaciers etc. Anyways, as I said, after a lot of discussions, we decided, we would try to attempt climbing a peak. We would do some initial training that is required and then attempt the summit. Of course, finding a peak that would allow us to do just that in a matter of two three weeks was in itself a task. There were so many names taken at first Ladakhi, Shitidhar, Stok Kangri and we even tried to see if the mighty Kalanag was doable as a first peak.
However we decided on a simple peak, not quite known to the rest of the world. This peak is called Mount Yunum and is near the Lahaul - Ladakh border near Bharatpur in Himachal. Mt. Yunum is about 6100 mts (20000 ft). We spoke with Kaushal from above14000ft.com and after a few days of discussion, drew up our plans. It was going to be a two week affair.
It was the same team as last year's Kalindi Khal expedition with the addition of two new members. Dan and Chris were going to join us for this expedition, all the way from Sweden..
As I have said earlier, preparation for the trek is almost always exciting as the trek itself. But not this time. The most frustrating part was, there wasn't any kind of information on the internet available about Mt. Yunum, about its surroundings, route etc. So it was only until after we actually reached the area that we knew something about what we were getting into.