At the age of just 7 years and three months, Arjun Wahi completed his trek to the Kedarkantha Peak on 29th December and made us believe that kids are no less. We recently interviewed this schoolgoing boy from Mumbai, and he narrated his awe-inspiring experience and journey to this beautiful winter trek, we hope to inspire many with his trek story. Read on!
Q: What inspired you to go trekking?
A: I love being outdoors with my mom, dad, and brother. I inherited my love for trekking from my father and he is my inspiration. From the very beginning, my dad has taken me on many small treks in and around Mumbai and Lonavala. This year, I learned skiing and climbed down Aparwat phase 1 ( 11,000 feet) in Gulmarg, Kashmir. Kedarkantha was the first Himalayan Trek for me and my elder brother.
Q: Why did you choose Kedarkantha trek? How was your experience?
A: When my dad got to know about this trek he told us that the highest altitude was only 12,000 ft. and this would be an ‘easy’ trek for kids. Also, we were fortunate enough to find suitable dates during our winter break.
My trek experience was amazing. I made a lot of friends who pampered and cheered me throughout the trek. Our trek leaders Ameen Bhaiya and Sandeep Bhaiya took good care of me and made sure I had enough sleeping blankets throughout the night. I also want to mention Faizal Bhaiya, Harish Bhaiya and Darshan Bhaiya for their constant support, motivation and cheering. I enjoyed my trek thoroughly.
Q: Do you also motivate your friends and classmates to go trekking?
A: Recently, I have not been able to connect with too many of my friends, but yes, I think I was able to motivate my cousins and close friends.
Q: For a young boy like you, this trek must have been difficult so what kept you going?
A: It was a winter trek so we were prepared for the harsh and cold weather. At night, the temperature was below freezing point and it got really chilly but our trek leaders made sure to check up on me every night and provided extra sleeping bags etc.
Q: Do you inculcate this passion for trekking from your parents?
A: Yes, my father and grandfather are both from the Armed Forces. They have always been enthusiastically active and they love being outdoors and they make sure to take us children with them. My elder brother also encourages me to participate in such activities and he is a big influence on me.
Q: In those five days of trekking, what is the most memorable event?
A: My best memory of the trek would be the time I reached a small ‘Maggi Hut’ on the summit day. After almost 4 hours of trekking in the dark and in sub-zero temperatures, we reached that small Maggi point. But the moment I reached there, everyone made space for me to sit next to the fire. And I was treated with hot Maggi noodles.
Q: Was it a proud moment when you reached the summit?
A: Even though I was extremely tired, I jumped with happiness when I reached the summit. I remember, for almost an hour Ameen Bhaiya kept motivating me by saying “10 minutes more, 10 minutes more”.
Everyone took pictures with me, Faizal Bhaiya threw me in the snow, it was a lot of fun!
Q: Was there any particular event from this trip that challenged you?
A: The climb to the top of the summit was the most challenging task, we woke up at 3:30 am, the temperature was below zero. We got ready and by 4:30 am, we had started our trek. I was walking with my dad as there was a long and continuous stretch of ascent and we kept walking for 3 hours and the trek got tougher due to low temperatures. However, I was rejoiced and rejuvenated once we took that break at the ‘Maggi Hut’.
Q: Any advice for young first-time trekkers out there?
A: I think every young trekker must try to attempt ‘Kedarkantha trek’ once in their life. And they must do it with Ameen and Sandeep Bhaiya because they are a lot of fun and take great care of kids.
Q: Can you sum up your whole experience in few words?
A: It was a wonderful experience and I made a lot of new friends. Trekking in the Himalayas is very enjoyable. I would love to come back every year during my school breaks.
At this young age of 7, Arjun amazed us all with his determination and willpower. Arjun is an inspiration to all of us, his trek to the Kedarkantha peak proves that anyone can go for this mesmerizing winter trek. Arjun definitely had an amazing experience. Do you think trek to the Kedarkantha could be your winter adventure too?