Welcome back dear friends. I am sure you all must have enjoyed the earlier 2 write ups of Dating with the nature. Here comes the concluding write up of the series. I have titled it “Vertical limit”. Friends, you must have seen the movie Vertical Limit which is based on true story of the climbers trekking in Pak occupied Kashmir, attempting to climb K2, the second highest peak in the world and most difficult to climb. I would like to relate the story with our third adventures in Shulpaneshwar wild life century for, we went through the similar experience not one but twice on the third day.
It was the great lesson learnt that the experts rescue once life by keeping their life in danger and no matter how difficult the situation, they keep their calm, only because of their rigorous practice and expertise combined with their experience and decision making abilities. Since it was the last day of the camp, and it was announced on earlier day that the participants who could not do climbing and rappelling, will go through some other exercises. To our surprise, when we all assembled at 5-45 in morning for the roll call, we saw all material and equipment ready to be carried for climbing. We were quite happy that we might have a chance to do the adventurous activity, I was still afraid even f we were to do this, I will not go.
To the surprise of all, the climbing and rappelling was on for remaining 2 teams and other two teams were to do the similar activities which we did on the previous day. Again, the tiring trek of almost 8 kms. but since last two days, we were accustomed to walk a lot, hence it did not troubled more and actually I was really enjoying the trek. The silence in the morning, with only the feel of cold waves of air, the wetness of surrounding since it rained last night. The sun rays started spreading, the birds flying with music, it was the heavenly scene. I thought it continue for the long and I be a part of it. I noticed many members of our group were way ahead and we eight people were far behind. We hurried, and we missed the trek.
We went on the other hill and wondering we are on the wrong way. Luckily we were having coach and co coach with us. They found the correct way but in the process, we went down the straight hill the zigzag way so that we come down safely. Anyways, we reached Ninai falls site. Since the place was familier and we had a time till the ropes are fixed both for climbing and rappelling, we moved around. did some rock climbing. Some good photo sessions. In the meanwhile, the breakfast arrived and we enjoyed it. The time came and the climbing begin. I was at the bottom and though I will watch some participants climbing and then decide whether I shall go for it or not. I saw the small and big stones falling while some friends went up climbing, everytime the stone or some object falling down, our climbing coach Bharatbhai was shouting,’watch out’ and we knew some thing will come on our head and try to save ourselves.
The climbing, it seemed to me very difficult because, One has to grip the rope with both hands and climb on straight muddy surface of the hill. It was very risky as there was no safety measure and if some one leave rope and slip, he will fall down and no one can save him. I was continuously praying for well being of every climber and also gathering the conscious so that I decide for myself to go ahead as I did not wanted to miss the opportunity either. Everything was going smoothly and people reaching hill top cheering others to come early. We had one lady aged around 40 years plus with a bit heavy body and having very strong will power and very enthusiastic to carry on with what ever may come. Her name was Rupa. When she started climbing, she slipped and injured a bit, but again started climbing, but once she reached half the way, she did not find the way and called for help. Bharatbhai was near to her and he took her to show the way.
She reached finally and I decided I must go ahead when Rupa Madam can do it I must d. She motivated me a lot. I was ready for next and before me ther was one climber, who reached just 10 feet and there came the big stone from the top and directly hit on the chest of Bharatbhai, he felt down and slipped down, was coming at a high speed, this all happen all of a sudden and we were shocked and before we realize of the fact that a very serious fatal accident is taking place, Bharatbhai got the support of the climber. He stopped there. Everyone was freeze like a statue. On the other side, the reppellers were not able to see what is going on the climbing side, but they realized that something happened and they also were stunned.
Here, Bharatbhai was injured with lots of scratches and blood shed here and there. But the man was so brave, he became normal instantly. He announced that he is safe anf fit and just needed first aid kit to do some dressing and ointment on scratches and wounds, And he was ready to go at his place to help climbers climb safely and if needed, to rescue and save them as well. Hats off to this guy. So brave and dedicated to his profession. Another lesson he taught to me and all others. The climber because of whom Bharatbhai saved, decided to come back from there only and it was my turn to climb. I prayed to God and decided to go with full confidence. I catch hold the rope in both my hands and took position, started climbing, slipped once and hit both the knees, it pained a little, breathing deep, I started climbing but the rope was slipping from my hand and I was finding it very difficult to go ahead, in all those struggled moments, I realized, I reached at dead end and now there is no way to go and a tree in the middle with its roots cam out giving the space to stand there firmly by holding it.
Could not find the way and confused, shouted for help to bharatbhai, he guided me to go to the left of the tree where I found a stiff slippery gap was there and I afraid to go that way. I instead tried to climb on the roots of the tree on with I was holding my hand. It was a crisis situation for me and I was afraid to give up the roots as I was literally hanging on it. I sat ther for almost ten minutes. Here, every one was wondering why I did not reached on hill top. Finally, I dare to give up the hold on roots and slowly slipped towards the right side where I found a little hole like gap where I kept my legs and found the branch of the tree to fix my hands on it. Ah, finally I climbed the hill top, and rolled on the ground, just felt lying on the ground and let my body sizzled to normal breathing and heart beats.
I had been there for almost 15 minutes by then Rupaji was all ready got down the hill by rappelling and I heard a lot about how she was counselled to rappel down by the master Sandeep,behind me my captain came and she decide to go first, I agreed. By then the rappelling coach was already tired as he was standing there since 7-30 in the morning and it was 11-30 now, we were only 4 climbers remaining by then. After the last climber Harshil reached hill top, Bharatbhai also came on the hill top, he decide to take place of the coach Sandeep. The place where Sandeep was standing was 15 feet below the hill top, hardly some space to keep the feet there and he was standing there since last 4 hours and helping others going down after checking all equipment and safety measures. He decided to take my captain, Khushbu, a young lady, down there and once she goes he will come up. Khushbu went down to Coach Sandeep, and stuck up in the middle as she did not wanted to face down. Now she was in such a place to go up also was difficult and going down was the only alternate.
She decided to be there only and requested the next one to go down first, she will observe and then follow the steps. The next one went down very smoothly and got down quickly. Then Khushbu went down with the help of Sandeep, while he took her down, Khushbu’s hairs came between the rope and he skull. She had no option to take off the hairs as, hand can not be taken off the rope else, she will go down quickly. Her skin over eyelid got damaged it gave severe pain to her. But she had no choice, she went down. Once she landed, Sandeep came on the hill and Bharatbhai replaced him. It was my turn now. I could hear the voice of the water fall. Also I saw my team mates starring at me with many other tourists as it was sunday and place was full of visitors. God knows how I reach to Bharatbhai, he checked my harness and found it was not properly in place. He removed it completely and again I wore it.
Then It was the time to hang on the rope in a sitting position with the help of harness, oh my God, due to gloves in hand I was unable to take the grip on the rope and started slipping fast, I shivered and shouted for the break, thank God, the guys standing at the bottom, if they hold the rope tight, I cant go down. With the help of those, I came down and thanked all of them and God for making me land safely. The experience was like I won the world title. I was very happy and proud on my achievement. Before I cheer up, it was the time to accompany the guys going in car to the camp so that come back in car to pick up the team members. Very exhausted though with no option, started climbing the falls to reach car park.
While we were going ahead, we suddenly hear the scarry voices of many, and what I saw the last man, Harshil was hanging on the rope, the coach Sandip and Bharat both were down the hill and carrying rescue to save Harshil with the help of team standing at landing place. It took almost 20 minute for all of them to take Harshil down, and then we understood, his harness belt got opened and he was just hanging on the rope without the help of harness, It was just the expertise and experience and mental toughness of coach Sandeep and the will power of Harshil, God saved him. Every one was so quite after this incident and just praying their God for saving all of us from going through the fatal tragedy if something would have happen. But the God is there with the brave always. I don’t have much to repeat the sequence except that we gave the standing ovation to both Sandeep and Bharat for their brave act because of them we were all there to celebrate the completion of the adventure camp safely. It was the time to be back with loads of memories and learnings for life. Very soon will be joining the next adventure camp. till then we will meet and discuss various interest. Good bye for now.