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CTCS

WILDERNEWS
LITTLE FEET
Shanti Balasubramanian

ISSUE 3

11 / 2012

Spreading the love for Outdoors...

INSPIRATION FOR MY TREKKING


Chandrashekar A.K

VOLANT
Sagar

HEALTH IS LIFE S WAY


Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev

THE JOURNEY OF BANGALORE ASCENDERS


Mudassar Khan

MY ANSWER TO THE IRONMAN CHALLENGE


Dipankar Paul

COVER PHOTO
Rajanikandh www.chennaitrekkers.org
Chennai Trekking Club

CONTENTS CONTENTS CONTENTS CONTENTS CONTENTS


02 CONTENTS

CTC S WILDERNEWS

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03

4. FROM THE FOUNDER


PETER VAN GEIT

16. THE JOURNEY OF BANGALORE ASCENDERS


MUDASSAR KHAN

SADHGURU JAGGI VASUDEV

8. HEALTH IS LIFE S WAY

22. VOLANT
SAGAR

24. MY ANSWER TO THE THE IRONMAN CHALLENGE


DIPANKAR PAUL

10. LITTLE FEAT

SHANTI BALASUBRAMANIAN

26. QUIZ

UNDERSTANDING NAGALAS TOPOGRAPHY

12. INSPIRATION FOR MY TREKKING


CHANDRASHEKAR. A. K

CONTENTS

30. CTC EVENT CALENDAR

04

FROM THE FOUNDER

SO WHAT S YOUR PLAN THIS WEEKEND?

CTC S WILDERNEWS

11 / 2012

05

SO WHATS
YOUR PLAN

WEEKEND?

THIS

PHOTO : RAJIV

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FROM THE FOUNDER

SO WHAT S YOUR PLAN THIS WEEKEND?


Whenever I roam around in the city someone will stop me and say "Are you Peter from CTC? Not having seen the person before I strategically respond "Yes, on which trek have you joined us before?". The answer that follows 9 out of 10 times goes like this "Actually, I have been a member for 1 year but never gotten a chance to join..." The last time I counted I found 52 weekends in one year... This seems to align with the statistics. We have around 500 new members sign up in our group every single month. At the same time we probably see maximum around 50 new faces each month which means 90% seems happy being a passive member just reading post write ups and looking at the photos? Second typical encounter. Friday evening in the lift of TIDEL Park with a few of my office colleagues. I ask them "So what's the plan this weekend guys?". The response always goes like this "Uh... nothing really...just staying at home.. sleeping late...watch some movie...". It hits me as very sad that these youngsters who could be doing so many exciting things outside simply remain immobilized by a rusted, lazy mindset. Third observation - through our 5 years of existence I see the average "active outdoor life span" of our members to be around 6 months to 1 year. The group of regulars on our treks and other events seems to rotate over the same period. Few members remain active for a longer duration. Among the top threats to an active outdoor life seem to be "am busy in office", "I got married", "relocated out of Chennai", etc. The few years of possible active life between "busy in college" and "got married" seems to be further reduced by "busy in office". So the majority of us appear too busy to set some time aside for exercising our body? CTC is not just a hard-core trekking gang anymore. We have diversified into so many other things cycling, swimming, running, biking, green & social initiatives, women events, marathons, triathlons, snake & bird walks, workshops, photography trips, etc. I believe it's highly time to stop searching for excuses, free up one of your upcoming weekends and sign up for your first CTC outdoor event and connect with the many other like minded souls in our group. Common response I get from freshers - "this was great, why didn't I join earlier?" As the wise old Greeks used to say - a healthy mind in a healthy body. And in CTC we guarantee you both!

CTC S WILDERNEWS

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07 04

Stop finding excuses not to go out with CTC on one of the many outdoor options arrayed Peter in his own statistical style explains how.

PHOTO : PETER

PETER VAN GEIT

PHOTO : GOWRI

PHOTO : PETER

PHOTO : RAJANIKANDH

PHOTO : PETER

PHOTO : OMI

08 HEALTH IS LIFE S WAY SADHGURU JAGGI VASUDEV

CTC S WILDERNEWS

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Health is Life's Way


Narrating a story of how he happened upon an army encampment in his youth, while trekking through a jungle near Mangalore, Sadhguru delves into how one can keep his health at optimal level:
Once, about 35 to 40 of us were on a trek in the Western Ghats near Mangalore. We heard the story of a naval helicopter that had gone missing only six weeks ago. It had crashed into the jungle, and a full battalion of army soldiers was camped there, combing the jungle from end to end to locate this helicopter and recover whatever they could. We were having problems in the jungle with cooking and the heavy rain, when we reached this army camp. The generous officer welcomed us and was very happy to have us he offered us food and a place to rest. One of the soldiers there just looked at us and asked, Why are you walking? Just like that, we want to walk, we said. He just could not believe it. Just like that? he asked. We have been here for six weeks and we are just waiting for this whole exercise to be over. Every day, we have to walk 20 to 30 kilometers searching for the helicopter that we cannot find, and you are just walking for fun? What the soldier did not understand was that the exercise forced on him in the army was keeping him so healthy and well. Health one of the simplest things about health is just to use the body. If you do that sufficiently, the body has every means to create health for itself. It does not mean nothing else will happen to you, or you will be perfect. I would say if we used our body as much as we should, approximately eighty per cent of the ailments on this planet would just disappear. Of the remaining twenty, ten per cent is because of the type of food that people are eating. That means if food habits were also changed, only 10% of the worlds ailments would remain. If out of all the sick people, 90% became healthy just by using the body and eating the right food, the remaining 10%could be easily handled. But now, the volume of illness in the world is so large because we do not eat properly or use the body properly. To put this very simply as you exercise your body, if you just open and close your palms several times a day, after a month you would see how well your hand would work. If you do this with yourbrain, it would also work wonderfully well in a months time. If you do this with your heart and your life energies, they would work wonderfully well too. When all these things work well, that is health. Health is not something that you invented. Health is not your idea. When life processes are happening well, that is health. If at all we have created anything, it is ill-health. If you lived on this planet 200 years ago, physically you would be at least 20 times more active than you are right now. You would have walked everywhere you would have done everything with your hands. Today, life is different we cannot go back to the old ways anymore. But that doesnt mean we have to become 60 when we are 20. A lot of 20-year-olds today cannot perform as much activity as 60year-olds used to do 100 years ago. It is a fact, isnt it? This means, we are just weakening humanity. Over a period of time, we will become a degenerate human race.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, a yogi, is a visionary, humanitarian and a prominent spiritual leader. An author, poet, and internationally-renowned speaker, Sadhgurus wit and piercing logic provoke and widen our perception of life. www.ishafoundation.org | blog.ishafoundation.org

You just have to use your body, use your head and use your energies. If these three things are well exercised and balanced you will be healthy. A sudden burst of activity may lay you down, but if you build physical, mental and energy-based activities into your life, you will be healthy. If your body is working well, your mind is working well and your energy is supporting the two, making sure nothing goes wrong, that is health. When life is happening in full flow, that is health.

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LITTLE FEET

SHANTHI BALASUBRAMANIAN

CTC S WILDERNEWS

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LITTLEFEET
SHANTHI BALASUBRAMANIAN
PHOTO : OMI

A Full Marathon by her Hubby and KIDS RUN by her Children at CTC Marathon Shanthi describes the Happiness of Running as a Family
The smiling faces of the little children who had probably stepped out of their comfortable spaces well before dawn for the first time was more than enough to earmark the success of CTCs first running event. It was a joy to watch the children participate with such enthusiasm and vigor. They seemed to look forward to the event but were also worried about their PBs (I think!). Thanks however, the wonderful anchors and all the CTC volunteers who kept up the cheer & high spirits with their fine sense of humor & encouraging words. I also hope parents will continue to encourage their children to participate in such events with a view to enjoying themselves first without worrying about competition, prize, medal etc. The little feet that ran the few kilometers effortlessly was indeed a joy to watch. In a time, when many of the children are cooped up at home with the various gizmos depending on the affordability of the parents, it was quite nice to see so many of the parents making that extra effort to get their children out and running. My son & daughter participated too & were thrilled to bring home a medal each. A special thanks to all those runners who were magnanimous enough to forgo their medal for the little ones. I look forward very much to the next CTC event & hope that many more children will come out to enjoy the sunshine & sweat.

PHOTO : GANESH

PHOTO : NAVYA

PHOTO : NAVYA

PHOTO : GANESH PHOTO : OMI PHOTO : PETER

12 MY INSPIRATION FOR TREKKING

CHANDRASHEKAR. A.K

CTC S WILDERNEWS

11 / 2012

13

Inspiration for My Trekking


Trekking is a Life-time Passion Chandra recollects his trekking journey from Mount Kailash to Munnar
Could a boys short hike with his father to Tatta Pani on Sutlej bank near Simla hook him to trekking for life ? Possibly yes, in my case. My Simla childhood memories are mainly about winter-snows, swinging langurs, and my slipping down a path-side cliff, saving myself by grabbing bushes and passers-by pulling me up. Later, school lessons in Kolkata about Tenzing-Hillary Everest climb of 1953 sparked lure of mountains in me. My leisure-reading dwelt on explorations of Columbus, da Gama, the Polos, Amundsen, and Everest heroes of 1950s/1960s. The scattered Eastern Ghats with their red earth chequered with greenery offered a visual treat. My first hill climb was with my grandparents to Tirupati in 1950s. During my visits to Chennai in 1960s, I climbed hills around Chennai and hiked cross-country from Villikwakkam to Chromepet across fields and Adyar with rabbits, deer, mongooses, foxes etc seen en route. Climbs of monoliths near Hyderabad followed. Drawing and painting of explorers, mountaineers, mountains and their flora and fauna were my added interests.
BERGSCHRUND AT THE FEET OF NANDA DEVI

14 MY INSPIRATION FOR TREKKING

CHANDRASHEKAR. A.K

CTC S WILDERNEWS

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My first trek in 1974 from Harsil to Lam Khaga Pass on HP-UP border with colleagues in Govt followed by trips in 1970s to Badrinath by bus and on foot to Kedarnath with parents started my passion for Himalayan trekking. Voracious reading followed about early exploratrions/climbs of Matterhorn, Nanda Devi, Everest, the Poles, Africa, the Americas, Australia, India, China, Tibet and Mongolia. In 1976, I completed a mountaineering course at HMI (Directors: Tenzing/Gombhu), Darjeeling, leading me close to the majestic Kanchenjunga range. My career as a Finance Director in PSUs left hardly any time for my passion for treks. During 1986-2007, I trekked infrequently to Sahyadris Munnar/Agasthyarkoodam and remote Nilgiri peaks and Tibets Mount Kailash and Manasarovar. Last decade of my career took me to 36 countries and I briefly visited/saw from air: Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Fuji Yama, Everest, K2, Matterhorn, Himalayan range, Rockies and Alps, Nairobi National Park, African equatorial forests, Sahara and Arabian deserts, Jordans Iranian and Afghan highlands, Greenland/Iceland glaciers and Canadian Tundras. On retirement and settling in Chennai, I enrolled online with CTC. Fired by Peters leadership and camaraderie of his organizers/members, I relive my youth and continue trekking to beautiful locations like Parvathamalai, Kodai, Nagala, Nagari, Venkatagiri and Munnar proving the power of natures freedom, beauty and mystery to inspire !

CHANDRA SHEKHAR,A.K

SAGARMATHA OR CHOMOLUNGMA OR EVEREST

MATTERHORN - TYPEWRITER DRAWING

16 THE JOURNEY OF BASC MUDASSAR KHAN

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The Journey of Bangalore ASCenders


Ascend, Explore, Care, Conserve, Volunteer, Lead.... Mudassar explains the growth of BASC

PHOTO : RAVINDRA

18 THE JOURNEY OF BASC MUDASSAR KHAN

CTC S WILDERNEWS

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Born and brought up in a small forested town called Dandeli (now a popular adventure holiday destination) I was made for outdoors. At times I recall how I used to avoid roads and make way trough bushes and mounds to reach my school or how I used to take my friends to Kali River for fishing following smaller streams, during my high school days. During my stay in Mysore for college and early days of job I scouted in and around many places for multiple times, sometimes even solo.Only after relocating to Bangalore for a job in mid 2004 the structured way of trekking started with few of my colleagues. But it was not that easy as I needed to initiate a trek, motivate them to participate and bringing together a team of 1520 ppl on a specific weekend was a herculean task. Things went on this way for the next 4 years, we trekked many peaks mostly in Karnataka and during this period couple of them became regular trekkers. Then our company opened its new branch in Pune and many of them relocated and we were left with very few ppl to trek with. Then around the end of 2008 I started posting our trek invitations at Orkuts trekking communities, and the response was better than expected. Finally in April, 2009 I started Bangalore ASCENDers, together with few long time trek buddies. With a modest start of around 14 members the group has grown into a huge 3000+ member group.Bangalore ASCENDers fondly called as BASC is an on-line not-forprofit group. The tag line of the group is Explore Nature dont Exploit and every member of the group ensures this.
PHOTO : JINU JOHN

explorenature don't exploitit

http://www.bangaloreascenders.org/

20 THE JOURNEY OF BASC MUDASSAR KHAN


Some of the highlights of the group:
An actual non-profit group: All costs of the

3500 3000 2500 2000 1500


1198 1558

CTC S WILDERNEWS

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3046 2803

21

2450 2400 1876

event are shared equally by ALL the participants.


Exclusively managed by the efforts of CORE

team and the organizing team.


We are not limited to organizing treks alone

1000
609

889 360 14 158

500 0

but also include cycling expeditions, biking trips, photography trips, himalayan treks, treknics, photography learning sessions, rock climbing, other adventure sports, etc which may span from half a day to many weeks.
Socially responsive group: We indulge in

Apr Jun Aug Oct Dec Feb Apr Jun Aug Oct Dec Feb Apr Jun Aug Oct Dec Feb Apr Jun Aug Oct 09 09 09 09 09 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 12 Total Strength

Total Strength
CD 157

123 C 111 CCC 98 84 67 D 73 D 61 C 43 32 14 C 4 0 B 43 72 69 D 61 C 39 69 108 CB 98 89 85 79 D 69 101 CBC 95 85

123 C

activities for social causes like taking less privileged kids for a day out close to nature, outing with elderly people from old age homes, supporting orphanages/old age homes with monthly groceries, supporting poor students by providing them books and school uniforms, organizing forest regeneration events, participating in forest fire fighting activities during summers, etc
A single platform to indulge in adventure,

90 B 73 D

87 84 D 59 38 43 50 B

86

B 60
43

62

D 47

38

M M G Jun Aug Oct M G Apr Jun Oct M G Oct Apr Jun Aug Oct Dec Feb Apr M Dec Feb Aug M Dec Feb Apr Jun Aug M 09 09 09 09 09 CB 10 CB 10 10 10 11 CC 11 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 12 B B B B B 10 CB 10 CB CB CB CC 11 CC CC CC CC C C C C C

social and conservation activities.


Scope for volunteering and building

leadership qualities.
Group members take part in blood donation

activities.
Knowledge sharing sessions are conducted

Around

150
events organised till date

New members added every month

on a periodic basis, on the topics ranging from fitness to outdoors for the benefit of the members.
In the year 2011 BASC organized around 55
PHOTO : PRADEEP PARAMASETTI

events that comes to an average of 1 event every weekend.

MUDASSAR KHAN

2,00,000
Close to two lakh hits on the website

3000
Close to members participated

22

VOLANT

SAGAR

CTC S WILDERNEWS

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23

VOLANT
Love for Birds Sagar relishes chirping of Cuckoo's
Sometime during my adolescent years, I larked with my mom that she was growing old: as she was observing birds for a pastime. She urged me to give it a shot. I humored her, only to get sucked into a world of colors, bird songs, patience and discovery. A lot of us are completely oblivious to the avian life around us, and it is really turkey that people can only recall the crows, pigeons or sparrows when we talk about birds There are more than 1200 species of birds in India, with more than a third of them found in south India. In fact, if one goes to pallikaranai or the IIT Madras campus, you can spot at least a dozen different species. In my next few blogs, I hope to touch upon some common species of birds around us, their habitats and characteristics. The Cuckoo or the Koel has always fascinated me. There are about twenty different species of cuckoo found in India, such as the malkoha and coucals: the most common being the Asian Koel. Seldom seen in the open, there is much more to this shy bird than just a sweet call. The cuckoo is found throughout India, and even in parts of Pakistan, Bangladesh, SriLanka, Indonesia and also China. The male is shiny Black in color, and the female is dull brown, and is spotted. Their diet comprises primarily of fruits, insects, lizards, small snakes and even small rodents. The breeding season is generally in the summer months between March and June. Some species build their own nests and raise their young, but the more common cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. It is a misconception that cuckoos lay their eggs in only crows nests. They are brood parasites, and target a large variety of birds. Generally, a single egg is laid in the hosts nest and the young cuckoo once born, pushes out the eggs and hatchlings of the host out of the nest. Sometimes, the host bird is a very small species, such as the reed warbler, with the cuckoo being larger than its host parents at birth itself. The small birds struggle to keep pace with the rapid growth and to satisfy the immense appetite of the large cuckoo, often driving them to the brink of exhaustion. It is quite easy to spot these birds. They prefer open woodlands, gardens and even cultivated land. They often can be seen next to cattle, to eat the insects that are flushed out as they graze.

SAGAR
PHOTO : THANGAMANI

24

MY ANSWER TO THE IRONMAN CHALLENGE

DIPANKAR PAUL

CTC S WILDERNEWS

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Just Me

My answer to the IronMan Challenge


Challenge than to Submit Dipankar traces his story of becoming an Iron Man

Being an outdoor person and always ready to push my own limits, each day for me has been to live to its fullest, live like there is no tomorrow. After joining a few tough treks with CTC and some long cycling rides on my own, crave for more just kept piling up. The thirst for testing my own physical limits made me look beyond the boundaries and found about the existence of a very popular event called IRONMAN. The Dream Event of many The IRONMAN is a triathlon consisting of 3.86 km swim followed by 180.25 km cycling and ending with a 42.2 km marathon to be raced without a break and completed in a strict time limit of 17 hrs. Its not only about completing this event but there are cut-off times for each event again. The Challenges The first thing that came to my mind was Man thats the challenge you got to complete!! Without a second though I signed up for the neatest possible Ironman which was happening in less than 6 months in a city called Nice in France since all other events of the year had sold out. Only after registering I came to know that the France Ironman is the toughest of all Ironmans in terms of hill climbs (almost 2000 mtr altitude gain) and also one of the shortest in terms of cutoff (16hrs)!! But since the registration had already been done, there was no looking back. To save

up for the event participation, had to cut down on my expenses by saving up on food intake, travel and even packed up my cycle since every penny counts. The Preparation With just a month to go, took out my bike to start training and joined the swimming pool nearby. The very first day I realised that I had lost all stamina because of the long rest and with just a handful number of days remaining, I pushed by training to a break-neck pace, spending about 6 hours each day into swim and biking. Ankle pain because of a past ligament fracture prevented me from doing any run training. With that one month could never manage to allocate enough time to train enough for any of the event distances. The Event I could hear my own heart beating hard when I stood at the start line of the open sea swim with about 2700 other athletes. The turning point in the sea after 1.2 kms was almost invisible. Kept calm and with the whistle, dived into the sea. Initial kicks and punches were enough to set in a fear along with misdirection because of not being able to understand the correct destination in that huge crowd of swimmers. With a strong determination and controlling my pace, I soon finished the swim and moved over to the cycling section consisting of massive climbs. Saw many athletes getting tired and failing on the climbs. After a wonderful descent back to start location the toughest section

of the event for me, the run, came up. With a very time calculated approach in terms of each kilometre pace and limping at the end because of ankle pain, I managed to reach the finish line with just about 30 minutes to spare. The feeling of having done it was exhilarating! The feeling of having done it can be best expressed by the trademark of Ironman "Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life" On a personal level, it gave me the will power of If I can endure such pain and still complete an event this tough, I can do ANYTHING!

Dipankar Paul

26

QUIZ

UNDERSTANDING NAGALA S TOPOGRAPHY

CTC S WILDERNEWS

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UnderstandingNagla's Topography
Indicate following terrain features on the left (right) map and email your answers to news@chennaitrekkers.org The 3 best answers will receive a CTC t-shirt and be published in next months edition. New to maps? Tutorial @ http://www.chennaitrekkers.org/p/learning.html (Trekking Bootcamp)

10

A. encircle 10 prominent peaks on the map in red

C. mark atleast 6 size-able side-streams of the 3 main streams in light blue

D. indicate at least 6 major ridges starting from the main streams and connecting to one of the peaks in green

B. mark 3 major streams or valleys in dark blue which drain rainwater from this range to the plains

28

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

PHOTO OF THE MONTH CTC S WILDERNEWS

11 / 2012

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We don't stop hiking because we grow old, We grow old because we stop hiking. - Finis Mitchell

PHOTO : THANGAMANI

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EVENT CALENDAR

CTC S WILDERNEWS

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EVENT CALENDAR
TREKS
Diwali Mission 4 days difficult trek - Peter Nagala North East to Picnic Pool Prem Kumar Venkatagiri 3 & 4th November Chella Babu Tada Top 24 & 24th November Chella Babu Trek to Nagala - Raj Jacob & Anavarathan Freshers trek by Emperors Makalidurga by Damodar Javadhu by Emperors - 3 & 4th November Sirumalai trek 10 & 11th November - Durai Salem Exploration 3 & 4th November -

CYCLING
Cycle Rides around Chennai Peter Javadhu Cycling Peter Cycle ride to South Chennai Prem Kumar Cycling 25th November Thilak

SWIMMING
Prem Kumar

Bi-monthly Swimming

RUNNING
CTC Daily Run Prem

Kumar

LEARNING
Trail Marathon Peter Trekking Boot camp Peter (December) Heritage Photo trip 18th November Nivya Heritage Photo trip 22&23rd November Nivya Workshop on Golden Hours

Poonkathirvelan

ENVIRONMENT
Weekly tree Plantation

by Sidharth, Siva

TRIATHLON
Triathlon Peter Half Iron Man Peter

SOCIAL EVENTS
Diwali Celebrations 13th November at Anbu

Illam, Child Home, Home of Hope, Nalmanam Thilak and Vadivel


Social Trek 41 with Anbu Illam Thilak and

Vadivel
Cycling to Anbagam home for special people

AHS WRI
your photographs taken during CTC events give us your

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