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  • Writer's pictureSukrit Gupta

Above Little Things: Moment of Insignificance

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“We Humans were not meant to sit in an office and work all day, We were meant to run on Rocks and Hunt Saber-toothed Cats”

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Why the title “Above Little Things” ?

In the very beginning, our primary purpose of existence on this planet was to survive. A few centuries’ later humans were fighting for domination. Time passed, we fought wars, found institutions and in the last 100 odd years because of technological advancements our lives have become a lot simpler and efficient. On a superficial level, we are familiar that our existence is trivial when compared to the size and age of our universe. But still we complain about “little things” in life getting stuck in traffic, finances, our bosses, clothes; things of little significance if any. This word “little things” was put forth by one of my climbing friends, Jayant Wakode while I was studying in IIT Bombay.

He believed our everyday problems are nothing in front of the mettle and character we develop while scaling vertical walls. During climbing, our survival instinct takes over. We are literally trying to survive because one small mistake can lead to our death. When we push ourselves to the limit and succeed. We feel more accomplished, subsequently we appreciate everything that helps us exist. Hence a life “Above Little Things”

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What is “Moment of Insignificance” ?

Once in a while it is necessary to feel insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It allows for the steam to roll off on us. One way of feeling insignificant is to throw ourselves into the laps of nature and especially the mountains where the sheer scale itself is more than enough to show you your worth. Back in 2018, I was lucky enough to capture such moments. It was all because of an Himalayan Ice climbing festival known as the ‘Screwed Up Fest’. It is hosted by team 4play (an adventure film making crew based out of Manali). Participants of this fest are known as Ice Mafias who operate out of secret climbing locations, under the guidance of our very own “Godfather” mountaineer Pranav Rawat.

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The fest’s itinerary was spread across 8 days:

26 Dec’ 18, Day 1: Let’s get kicking 27 Dec’ 18, Day 2: Acclimatizing with a dash of fresh snow 28 Dec’ 18, Day 3: Is this the day? 29 Dec’18, Day 4: It’s starting to get Mushy! 30 Dec’18, Day 5: The much needed rest day 31 Dec’18, Day 6: The Ascent of Big Daddy, the 400ft unclimbed ice wall 1 Jan’19, Day 7: Bad weather and chill, also ain’t sober 2 Jan’19, Day 8: See you when I see you

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”6337″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]Thank you all the Mafias!

Before we begin our journey, I would like to thank everyone who made this experience memorable. The ever so welcoming and humble crew of 4play, the participants and my parents who have always trusted and supported my decisions of venturing out in the outdoors.

The rest of the story goes like this…

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6340″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]23rd December, ’18

Chug… Chug… Chug, Hyderabad to Delhi.

So, the journey started from Hyderabad to Delhi by train which approximately takes 26hrs to finish the entire length of 1300 odd kms. It takes you through the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh before dropping you off at your destination.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6232″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]24th December, ’18

Delhi

Next morning I got down at Delhi around 9AM after which I decided to pay a visit to the Local Deer Park there at Hauz Khas accompanied by a good friend of mine along with his girlfriend![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6233″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6234″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”6235″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]Stare of Ageing

There I spotted one of the weirdest looking dogs ever, the one in the above picture.

Signed up for a bumpy ride ahead.

At around 9PM in the night I boarded a HSRTC bus from Delhi’s Kashmiri gate to Manali, it was pretty uncomfortable at times but the different kinds of people you get to meet on the journey makes it totally worth it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6236″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6237″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Some like it hot X2!

I did crave for a chickpea soup at 12 in the night when our bus halted at a food court near Panipat. It was around 2 Degrees outside.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6238″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]But soon we were back into the cozy warmth of the bus.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6239″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]25th December, ’18

Wakey! Wakey!

At 6AM the next morning, our considerate bus driver decided to halt for some good breakfast and chai. The breakfast included piping hot aloo paratha with vegetable pickle.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6240″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]“Your very own trustworthy service”

While we were having breakfast, there was this one person who was lost in a world of his own. At the top of the bus you will see HSRTC’s tagline which says “Your very own trustworthy service”. It has been a very well-known fact that Himachal Pradesh state transport drivers are some of the best in the world to drive on these tricky terrains.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6241″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]At around 8AM, we pulled into Mandi bus depot.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6242″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]A double exposure shot I was able to frame as we were approaching the end of our Journey.

Drop off at Manali.

At 12.30PM the bus dropped us off into the Manali bus depot at the mall road.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6243″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Crimson all around

To my surprise, there were scores of women lined up in their traditional Himachali attire just in front of the bus depot along the mall road to perform for something called as a “winter carnival”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6244″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Stay behind the Line

Just a random thought: A line to which we are confined to eventually becomes our limitations.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6245″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The local Himachali women.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6246″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Soon we all heard the sound of a conch over a loudspeaker installed at the center of the Mall road. This marked the beginning of their performance.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6247″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6248″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Search for the 4play hoffice (home + office).

After 30 mins, once the whole thing was over I decided to start my search for the 4play hoffice. It is located somewhere near the Hadimba Temple, the entrance to which can be seen above.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6249″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Sunset with the likes of Coffee and Cookies.

At 4PM: Finally I was able to locate the office after searching for over an hour. After which I decided to drop my backpack and grab a cup of coffee to get rid of the fatigue from the overnight bus journey.

This led me to a cafe known as Dylan’s, in the downtown of old Manali en route which I happened to come across an artist and a breathtaking view of sunset over the snow capped peaks in the distance.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6250″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]26th December, ’18

Let’s get Kicking.

The first day started out on a very positive note with a warm round of introduction at the breakfast table. Soon we loaded ourselves onto a couple of trucks which were 4×4 and headed straight to the crag.

After an initial hike of around an hour off the road we found ourselves at the base of the majestic waterfall known as World War III. There our very own “Godfather” aka Pranav Rawat introduced us to the various techniques of climbing frozen waterfalls which were very different from what I had learnt at the Glacier during the basic mountaineering course at NIMAS. The rest of the day went in just learning how to kick into the Ice wearing crampons and how to use the ice tools/axe efficiently.

I didn’t take the camera as I actually felt taken aback by the cold; and secondly, I had no idea as to what to expect at the crag.

However, as the day came to a close I felt confident enough to take along my camera for the days to follow.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6251″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The Crampons,[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6252″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]and the ice axes.

27th December, ’18

Acclimatizing with a dash of fresh snow. Last night it had snowed quite a bit with temperature dropping as low as -10 degree celsius. But the morning sunrise and the snow from the previous night had made the sky so clear that it gave way for a spectacular sunrise. Also, by this time I was getting used to the cold.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6253″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”6254″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]On the other hand, the 4play crew was getting all the preparations done for the day ahead just like the previous day.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6255″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The Looks.

Inside the house, I spotted Lucy the house dog with Melanie Hogg. An avid climber from Germany who was staying at the 4play’s house on her vacation to India. Here she takes a quick look at the camera as she is going through the indemnity bond which was given to all the participants that day. It states that under no circumstances 4play will be held responsible if anything goes wrong. Fair enough![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6256″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]At the breakfast table there were plenty of warm good mornings all around, with certain amount of excitement in the air for Day 2. To the left[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6257″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]At 8AM: As the sun started to rise, I quickly took my camera around the house to capture a few interesting subjects.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6258″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]There was this DIY artificial climbing wall where the people of 4play train in their free time. Me as a novice climber couldn’t even think of taking it on. But maybe I could now.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6259″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]On the first floor I could see Parshant, a filmmaker at 4play tries to mimic a “jugaad” snowfall for a photograph on a participant’s request.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6260″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]After a while when we were boarding the trucks, I saw Nidah, another participant who came in all the way from the UK, just standing there in the frame. That down jacket did make for a good contrast in the photograph.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6261″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Prashant Gawai, another participant from Delhi. We first met during our Basic Mountaineering Course. Here he packs in some important tools at the last moment. They were later used to chop off firewood, which would keep us from freezing to death at the cold and windy crag.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6262″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]But before we could head out, a vehicle got stuck in the snow right in front of us, which is a pretty common site in this part of the country especially during the winter.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6263″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Soon we were on our way in two trucks.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6264″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]An hour into the drive we noticed that one of the trucks at the back got stuck in a traffic jam, a situation so common because of excessive tourist inflow from all around the country, we decided to just wait it out for the others to catch up to us. This gave us the time to stretch out our legs a bit and well “other” stuff. In this picture, you will see Prashant and Karthik flying a drone to capture the snow filled landscapes.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6265″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”6266″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Meanwhile the others decided to have a cup of chai. Trust me, in a weather this cold you will be willing to put anything which is hot, warm and sugary straight into your mouth.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6267″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Half an hour into our recess, our buddies were able to catch up from behind and we continued to hit the road.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6268″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]A few moments later we had reached the alighting point off the road from where we embarked on a small hike of about an hour to reach the climbing site.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6269″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”6270″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Melanie and Lucy look into the camera as we followed the other truck towards the parking spot[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6271″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Let’s get hiking.

The hike to the crag begins with Karthik my roomie leading the way.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6272″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The Orange and the Shadow

Goli aka Utkarsh along with Lucy in the picture as he quickly hikes up trying to catch up with her[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6273″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]At the back we had Vinni and Prashant slowly making their way up the terrain.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6274″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

White.

As we gained altitude during the hike all we could see was only white.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6275″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The others also made their way to the top.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6276″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Mohit, a member of 4play was able to find a skull.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6277″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the World War III.

The frozen waterfall which we were going to climb for the next 3-4 days.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6278″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Off without a Belay.

By the time I reached the crag people had already begun the proceedings, with Mr. Bharat, a very seasoned climber starting off the pitch without a belay even![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6279″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]I stood along the ridge in front of the crag unloading my backpack from where I could see Mohit and Lucy at a distance.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6280″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]“and then came my favorite moment of the entire fest…”

Moment of Insignificance:

In all honesty, I would say this is the best picture that I ever clicked till date because for the first time I felt that I was able to portray the sheer scale and size of nature in front of humans. Time and again I had tried so hard to capture this concept but failed on so many levels. However this time I was just about right at least to myself.

The fall and the route in this picture was named World War III, as we had opened 3 routes to go to the top.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6281″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

At around 12PM, the weather started going bad. So before it got bad any further I started to climb and ditched the camera. There were a lot of times when I even struggled to hit the axe into the ice. Every-time I missed the mark. Though it doesn’t look that big of a deal from afar, being able to pierce the ice just about enough to allow you to climb is in itself quite a skill. The day on a personal note with regards to climbing…did end in a lot of frustration…

28th December, ’18

Is this the day?

After two days of not being able to get off the ground, it was high time for me to bring in my best. That day to get me going I reminded myself of 3 things a doctor said during my Basic Mountaineering Course, which holds true for every mountaineer.

  1. Mountaineering is not for everyone.

  2. There will be more failures than successes in your life.

  3. Not everybody is going to like you for it.

Here, I stuck to the second point and went to the crag that day.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6282″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Gearing up.

The other climbers aka Ice Mafias reached up the crag earlier than me and were gearing up to fix the top rope. To the left we have Pande, in the middle we have Abhijeet and to the right we have our “God Father” Pranav Rawat. Probably the most humble instructor I have ever had the chance to come across. Below is a candid picture of him. Being an apple farmer by profession he is one of the very few in the country who introduced the concept of Ice Climbing to India along with Abhijeet Singh. And by the way he traversed the Western Himalaya, a total of 945KMs in 45 days![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6283″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”6284″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Pull over.

Karthik standing at a distance layers himself up, while the others climbers in the back who had just setup the top rope on the fall, warm up to the fire which was just lit up.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6285″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Expensive stuff.

There I noticed Pande – A hardcore climber by practice and a member of 4play just stood there all hunched up because of the cold breeze which was coming down heavily over us. But looking at all the gear that he was wearing made me go like “That is some expensive stuff right there”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6286″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Off we go, The second batch heads back to the base of the frozen waterfall at the center of the picture.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6287″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Here people were actually preparing for a speed climb by Pranav Rawat. In this scenario you try to scale up the fall as fast as possible without depending much on belay.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6288″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Once that was done with, Nidah from london and a participant of the fest picked up the technique quickly and was on her way to finishing the first pitch while there was Karthik to her right, belaying her.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6289″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]“Finally I went off the ground…”

After so much struggle over the past couple of Days, I spent the initial few hours working on my technique of landing the ice axe perfectly. Moments later I went onto scale one of the three routes which were planned for us. There were moments which were pretty scary to say the least, but I knew nothing would go wrong as I had Pranav Rawat belaying me.

Thank you Prashant for this lovely shot![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6290″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Attack on the Waterfall.

Three climbers take on the waterfall in this picture simultaneously. I can be seen climbing the longest pitch of all towards the right of the picture in a blue helmet.

29th December, ’18

It’s starting to get mushy!

I started the day all fired up after yesterday’s climb. Today, I planned on finishing the other two routes as well but unfortunately the waterfall’s ice had started to get all mushy and loose which actually posed a threat to us. So, instead of fixing the ropes on 3 routes we just fixed them over two instead. And before I knew it, I had successfully scaled the other route as well, apart from yesterday’s. That took my climb tally to 2/3.

On the other hand we had some guests and new faces at the crag.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6291″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Lessons of screwing it right.

The newbies at the crag are getting lessons on how to screw the Ice Screw just right.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6292″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The Instructors whistle.

The lady in the picture is known by the community as “Dimple Bhabhi” who is a mountaineering instructor at ABVIMAS Manali. She was invited by the 4play team as a guest to the crag. Here she tries to teach Prashant, a member of the 4play team on how to whistle.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6451″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]“others continued their climb and so did I..”

Breaking the Fall.

Sukrit to the left pulls in the brake hand on the belay device to prevent the fall of a climber on the right. You can see his feet totally off the Ice face.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6294″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Here we have Naveen to the left and Nidah to the right, this angle shows the fall in a whole new manner.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6295″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The instructor at the crag however observes the climb carefully. As far as I know it must have been a very new experience for her too, because it is very rare that you actually get to climb a frozen waterfall.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6450″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Everybody will get to climb.

Here Sukrit and Pranav Rawat help out a wild card participant – our driver Rahul bhai. This was perhaps the best part of the entire fest that everybody no matter what background or experience you are from, if you are at the crag then you can climb all your heart out.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6297″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]“Maar..kaske..Maar.”

Translates to “hit hard”. Dimple bhabhi giving an extra bit of motivation from the ground. Moments later she took on the waterfall in her own way, like this below.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6298″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Thoroughly satisfied!

That is how I personally ended that day. It was such a delight to be finally off the ground after a struggle over the past two days. This allowed me to have a really sound sleep that night.

30th December, ’18

The much needed rest day.

After climbing non stop over the past few days we all felt quite a drag by now, so we decided to rest it out that day; but yeah! in 4play style. We took a shot at Bouldering and Slacklining in the nearby nature’s park and later went for a hot spring bath at Vashisht temple.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6299″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6300″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]On the way to Vashisht.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6301″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”6302″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Well, this is how the traffic lines up at Manali in the evening because of excessive tourists pouring in from all parts of the country. With that we wrapped up the day and retired to our beds early because tomorrow was the big day, the day of the big daddy.

31st December, ’18

The Ascent of Big Daddy, the 400ft Unclimbed Ice Wall.

What you see below is what the Big Daddy is all about. Enough to make your jaw drop. This 400ft giant hasn’t been climbed all the way to the top before. Team 4play made an attempt in the winter of December ’17 but they had to abort the climb midway because of some unfortunate event.

So the entire team this time was ready to take on this giant heads on, we were ready for it. But, was the waterfall ready for us, was the question. A trailer of last year’s fest featuring the Big Daddy is embedded below.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/7xsQuQnOkkY” align=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6303″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]In the image you can see Sukrit leading the route in Red Jacket, with Abhijeet Singh at the belay station to the left in yellow. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6304″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Preps in Full Swing but an eerie feeling follows us.

Right from the time we arrived at Manali, we were constantly talking about the Big Daddy and finally the day was here. That being said everyone was excited as hell, for it. But for me on the other side, I had this weird eerie feeling inside of me which made me kind of skeptical about the climb. I was pretty much sure that no way in hell I could topout the fall but still the feeling remained….

In the above picture we can see Karthik packing in the ropes, in the center is Shilpi and Pranav and to the right we have Sukrit and Nidah.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6305″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Which one is right?

To the left we have Naveen taking it easy and to the right we have Karthik in green and Sukrit in red having a serious discussion over anchors and stations at Big Daddy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6306″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The hook for the Station.

Pranav Rawat prepares a hook by folding a piece of metal which was supposed to be used to pull out a rope sling out of a hole.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6307″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]And there it was…

The hook in all its glory…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6308″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Big Daddy here we come!

The trucks were ready, packed and loaded. Soon we started out on our way towards the big daddy and the local kids on their way to the school![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6309″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Traffic as usual.

Getting stuck in the tourist traffic at Manali became a habit for us by now. But it also gave us the time to walk around, flex ourselves and also discuss some possibilities as well.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6310″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]There you see that gully?

Sukrit and Karthik discuss an alpine route in the meadows.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6311″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Steep, Steep, Steep….

Finally we came to a halt in our truck like every other day and started on our way towards the Big Daddy. It does look tiny when you view it from a distance. And the way to it, is incredibly steep.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6312″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The Marhi power plant.

The building in yellow is what I am referring to, in the caption. It was the point where we would alight every day and begin our hike to the crag.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6313″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Everything was good till it wasn’t.

After an hour of toil we were there. Reaching the base of the Big Daddy we started to notice that a part of the waterfall was under the constant exposure of the sun. You can see it at the top right of the pictures because of which huge chunks of ice started to fall off the waterfall. Initially, the pieces were small but as the time progressed, the chunks became significantly larger. That is when we collectively made the decision of abandoning the climb, as it was simply too dangerous under the given conditions.

So, without taking any risk we bid our farewell to the big daddy. Even though we were disheartened quite a bit after all that hike…but yeah going up is optional coming down is mandatory. And we were back on the ground right where we had started.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6314″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”6315″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The view along the river bed.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6316″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Shoes made at the Devil’s Workshop in Hell.

Karthik takes a shot at bouldering with mountaineering boots.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6317″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Abalakov.

After a while, since we were already in the vicinity of a small waterfall Pranav Rawat demonstrated the Abalakov method for building a rappelling anchor. After an hour or so, we started on our way back to the house.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6318″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”6319″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Vistas.

The sun was setting around in the distance and so was the screwed up fest, but not before the wild new year party.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6320″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]And it’s On!

After returning to the house I saw the House all decorated, thanks to Melanie and team. In this picture we can see her making a few last minute additions to the lighting.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6321″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Do the dew.

The base of Dew and pan cooked mushrooms to serve as appetizers for the drinks to follow.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6322″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Santra aka Orange.

The iconic “Santra” , a local Alcohol made from Oranges for starters.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6323″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]It’s nearing…

Soumya and Nidah takes a glimpse at the countdown towards the new year.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6324″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Get the goddamn helmet out.

Kshitij and Anuj in this very weird dance sequence where one has to wear a helmet. As far as my memory goes earlier that day one of them had won a bike race at some prestigious MotoXC event near Manali and hence the gesture. Both of them are the founding members of 4play.

I swear it was a Pinecone!

On the other hand Melanie served as a bartender, who made a concoction out of her own recipe which made everyone go wild. I swear I saw a Pinecone in there.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6325″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”6326″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Kya baat hai!

Melanie and Goli -the slack line dude at 4play just stood there in surprise and awe as they witness a member of 4play going shirtless and dancing his heart out in the cold -10 deg. centigrade. Soon it was 12AM on the night of 31st January, we all wished another and before we know we all were out cold.

1st January, ’19. Bad weather and chill, also ain’t sober.

Heavy snowfall was expected from the 1st of January, which did happen in the end. So there was no point of travelling all the way to the crag as the roads would have covered up. Also, people were taking their own time coming out of yesterday’s hangover. On the whole we basically just chilled the rest of the day. We even got a chance to see the Dawn Wall. Also, Pranav narrated to us his experiences of the Western Himalayan traverse, a story that I’ll never forget.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKMv2kktHEI” el_width=”90″ el_aspect=”43″ align=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]2nd January, ’19 See you when I see you.

Today was the last day of the fest. In the initial hours since we couldn’t go to the crag, we received an hour and half long session over Rope work and knots by Pranav Rawat himself. During that session the following photographs were taken…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6327″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]May be some day I’ll just turn out like them.

A few portraits by Prashant I assume. I don’t remember exactly who it was but they are lovely to say the least. That’s Mohit in the picture, a calisthenic fanatic who left a big job offer to pursue his passion in the field of outdoors and photography.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6328″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Me being me.

That’s me listening closely and lost in the lectures on the subject of knots, by Pranav Rawat.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6329″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Naveen’s ‘Yo Bro!’ mode.

Naveen, a good friend of mine who runs an adventure start up known as ‘WildTod‘ was also a part of the fest.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6330″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Goli with his prime.

Goli aka Utkarsh, a determined slackliner at 4play.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6331″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]You got something for me!

Here Karthik watches in awe as he realizes that he is about to receive a gift from Pranav Rawat himself, as he prepares to say his goodbyes.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6332″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Pen down the thoughts.

But before he leaves, the 4play team hands him over a pen asking him to give his feedback about the fest.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6333″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]At peace.

With still a bit of free time on my hand before I catch the bus back to Delhi, I decided to take a final stroll through the Mall road and that is where I found this cute guy all curled up nice and cozy in front of a footwear store.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6334″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The clouds started bringing down the curtains.

After returning to the house, I took a small break on the rooftop to enjoy the last glimpses of this beautiful place which treated me so well over the last few days. Being silent and staring at this serene view right in front of me just made me a bit emotional.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6335″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Last glimpse through the gap.

I had already packed my bags, but even though I was getting late to catch my bus I just wanted to take one last peek at all these wonderful people before I left.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”6336″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]8.13PM, Bye Bye Manali…

After which, I somehow was able to make it to the bus stand in time to board the bus, and then came the time to say goodbyes to this gem of a place. Until next time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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