Pune trekker’s death: Here’s why you shouldn’t do away with safety equipment while chasing adventure

Experienced trekkers feel that the careless attitude, selfie-mania and over-confidence are reasons behind an increasing number of tragedies.

pune Updated: Feb 12, 2018 16:57 IST
Ashish Phadnis
Ashish Phadnis
Hindustan Times, Pune
trekking,pune,jeevdhan fort
Chetan Dhande, a 27-year-old trekker who fell from Kalavantin Durg in Panvel.(HT Photo)

In the past few years, incidents of trekkers getting lost, drowned or falling down in a gorge are on the rise and earlier it was observed mainly during monsoon season, but now, such cases are being registered at regular intervals.

On February 10, 27-year-old trekker Chetan Dhande fell from Kalavantin Durg in Panvel. Chetan, who has been trekking for some time and has even trekked in Japan, did not survive the fall and lost his life.

Last year, in December, 24-year-old trekker Sharan Sawant from Bhor district had a narrow escape after falling into a 200 ft deep gorge at Jeevdhan fort.

These trekkers were experienced and yet they faced such incidents; that’s the most worrying thing for the trekking community.

Pune-based trekker Onkar Oak said, “This new trend is quite dangerous. The adventure enthusiasts, who call themselves trekkers, don’t even bother to carry safety equipment or obtain exact details of the route.

“Their careless attitude, selfie-mania and over-confidence turn out to be fatal and it’s spoiling the name of the trekking community.

“I am sure in near future, the government will put safety railings on Kalavantin Durg and it will reduce the thrill and beauty of the fort. Just because of some reckless picnickers, heavy rules are imposed on the trekking community,” he added

When asked what should be done to avoid such incidents, he said, “Creating awareness is the only solution. The beginners should understand the risk factor in trekking. Even if the route is well defined or if they are visiting the fort for the first time, they should get a local guide.

“It always helps in case of an emergency to have local aid nearby. Secondly, they should avoid rock patches if they are not carrying any safety equipment. Treat nature with respect and you will enjoy it more.”

Due to an increasing number of accidents, the organisations like Shivdurga Mitra (Lonavala), Yashwanti Highkars (Khopoli), Nisargamitra (Panvel), Pimpri Chinchwad Mountaineering Association, Giripremi (Pune) and Vaintaiya Trekking Institute (Nashik), who actively participate in rescue operations, have decided to take severe action to curb the mishaps.

“We have observed that a careless, irresponsible attitude of trek organisers and trekkers, is the main reason behind tragedies. Commercial groups are least bothered about safety measures.

“They just find attractive spots on Facebook or Google and then with the help GPS, organise a trek. They don’t even consider the degree of difficulty of the trek, the ideal number of trekkers to take and don’t consult with the local villagers, who are well versed with the area,” said Rohit Vartak of Shivdurga Mitra.

Recent incidents

1 . Sachin Lallan Upadhyay (21) fell into a deep gorge at Lion’s point, Lonavala while taking a selfie in February 2018. He was rescued.

2. 37-year-old lawyer Sandeep Maruti Borkar fell down from a rock patch on Jeevdhan fort in January 2017. He suffered severe bruises and his right leg was fractured.

3. In December, 2017, 24-year-old trekker Sharan Sawant from Bhor district had a narrow escape after falling into a 200 ft deep gorge at Jeevdhan fort. Sharan was attempting to climb the 385-ft pinnacle Vanarlingi.

4. Rachita Gupta Kanodia, a 27-year-old Hyderabad-based mountain climber, who had gone on a trek to Prabalgad Fort and Kalavantin Durg in December, 2017 was found dead.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 15:07 IST