Call Of The Mountains

Post 886 of 1734

Vineeta Muni has been scaling new heights for the last 30 years. She’s almost 50 now, but she’s not hanging up her hiking boots anytime soon, finds Deepa Suryanarayan

In Vineeta Muni’s suburban Mumbai home you can find a huge floor- to-ceiling artificial climbing wall replete with grips for hands and feet. “When I am doing housework, I often take a break by climbing the wall. It strengthens my tendons.” Not a popular pastime among city slickers nearing 50. But Vineeta is far from average. She’s trekked the entire length of the trans- Himalayas— from Arunachal Pradesh to Jammu & Kashmir, across Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal, Garhwal, Kumaon, Spiti and Ladakh. Vineeta was part of an all-women team that walked over 4,500 km over a period of seven months in 1997. In 2014, she made the first ascent of Rassa Kangri (6,250 m) on The Himalayan Club expedition to the Rassa Glacier. “I am often asked why I haven’t climbed the Andes or the Alps. But a lifetime is not enough to experience the Himalayas.” Age is not an obstacle for this adrenaline- junkie. “I am 49 now. I haven’t slowed down. On treks, sometimes I feel more tired, but I take better care of myself, stay hydrated and eat high-energy snacks. Right now, I need my knees for trekking and climbing. In my 70s, I’ll learn to fly.”