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Raja on Shivling and Devali message!

Date: October o8
Submitted by: Alan Tees

After a dull day, it's time to laugh!

After the meditation comes enlightenment!

After some hard work in the thin air it's time to celebrate!

When all our efforts had failed, it was surrender! A sad absent minded retreat! We did not want to do something utterly 'heroic' (to be read "stupid") on the overhang 'water ice' wall of the final serac barrier. Climbing that water ice at an altitude over 6140m seemed simply out of the equation. The avalanches ( in an average 3 per day) from the serac barrier, the 3 days of new powder snow, the knee deep old, slushy snow on the moraines of Meru glacier; we had faced them all and fought them well. We did fix rope all the way to the Serac Wall, to our Camp 3. But we were not strong enough to tackle the final barrier. Surely its features have changed from the last year's pictures that we had seen from past expeditions on Shivling!

When any of my expeditions fail to reach the summit, I tend to take the blame on me. I can't help but feel sorry in some way or other. This time also I feel the same.

But when I look back at my track record of accident-free expeditions, I feel re assured again. For God's sake, we don't want to lose any of my clients or any of my boys up there! It's simply not worth it! For me safety has always been ahead of summit, and so it shall be! Let that be the 'mantra' of Adventure Mania!

For that matter, I have seen excessive amount of carefulness among the Chamonix guides. They would not move an inch for summit, if they have a bad meteo! And the clients do listen to the guides. But we being born in the Indian soil don't yet have that air of authority over our clients. So we still have to try hard to make our clients understand their own safety (It's not always the case though, sometimes the clients are actually more reasonable and rational than I am!)

But I must confess that in comparison to the European guides', we take risks by leaps and bounds!

Now, back in the chaotic realities of my country, it's a challenge to get back home. It's a challenge just to get some train tickets for my crew, which will magically avoid the political strikes and terrors of my native land and take them home before Diwali!

Everybody wants to be home this Diwali, the festival of lights! Everybody wants to be near their loved ones and be in peace and love!

For once, for God's sake, can India come out of its mad, headless, nonstop anarchy?

Can't we all just live together and celebrate peace and harmony and be happy?

Just even once for a change?

30 Oct 2008
Alan Tees

Anyone interested in Sikkim Nov 2009?

Photo of Route