IITians pedal to reach a new high

THE STUDENTS of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-K) are not only techno-savvy, they are adventurous too. They have an Adventure Club at the institute to promote expeditions to the most difficult hilly terrains . This year the Adventure Club added another feather to its cap when a team of 14 students led by Gaurav Bhutani completed a 10-day cycle expedition from Shimla to Kaza situated at a height of about 3,600 metres.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 00:11 IST

THE STUDENTS of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-K) are not only techno-savvy, they are adventurous too. They have an Adventure Club at the institute to promote expeditions to the most difficult hilly terrains .

This year the Adventure Club added another feather to its cap when a team of 14 students led by Gaurav Bhutani completed a 10-day cycle expedition from Shimla to Kaza situated at a height of about 3,600 metres. The team conquered Kibber, the world’s highest village at a height of 4,550 metres above sea level, on bicycles. Though Kibber is in the Spiti region and connected by motorable road, it is one of the most difficult terrains of the country.The team members, Krishna Pal Singh ,Ashish Agrawal,Ravi Verma, Ajayendra Reddy, Sukrit Goel, Sumeet Kale ,Ishdeep Singh, Sankalp Gulati , Ankit Jain, Pratul Varshney, Adele Vacogne, Ajay Choudhary and Mohd. Saquib Aslam, led by Gaurav Bhutani, covered a total distance of about 8oo kilometres to Kibber on bicycles, travelling at least 90 kms everyday through rough weather . The expedition was undertaken on March 8, just before the examinations and it ended on March 18.

Talking to HT, Gaurav Bhutani and Sukrit Goel said that they had proceeded to Shimla by bus. In Shimla, they hired 10 imported ‘Firefox’ bicycles at a rent of Rs 100 per day as they had four bicycles from the club. Since the cost of a bicycle is around Rs 8,500, it was not possible to buy them for every member.

From Shimla, they reached Narkanda at a height of 2,708 metres, and proceeded to Rampur, Recong Peo, Puh, Hoorling and Kaza, returning to IIT –K by bus and train.

Their expedition confirmed their belief that strong determination can endure the toughest and the most difficult assignment in life. According to them, they experienced temperature as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius and travelled through blinding snow without taking proper rest at nights.

At Kaza, they met a serious landslide and had to carry their bicycles on their shoulders for about 1.5 kilometres. Similarly, near Kufri in Narkanda, they had to cycle through deep snowfall. The breaks and the gears of the cycles went out of order. Parts of their body became blue and numb and they had to to warm themselves with a bonfire.

They also had to mend their bikes several times, yet cycling down a slope of 40 degrees through rain and snowfall was a thrilling moment in their lives, the team members said .

The team found the simplicity and innocence of the inhabitants of these areas admirable.

These people were ever ready to help one, they said. On several occasions, when the team did not get space to put up tents, these people offered food and shelter in their homes.

Gaurav Bhutani said that the Adventure Club at IIT- K had always been organising challenging activities and this was just another of its accomplishments.

First Published: May 20, 2006 00:11 IST