Stopped by earlier avalanche, Sikh hikers reach Annapurna base camp

At the Annapurna Base Camp. (L-R) Amreek Singh, Harjinder Singh, Ravin Judge, Ravinder Singh, Ishverjit Singh and Prethpal Singh – Photo: Supplied

By Asia Samachar | Nepal |

In 2019, heavy snowfall and an avalanche hampered efforts of a group of Sikh hikers from Malaysia to reach the Annapurna base camp (4,130msl). They were forced to beat a retreat.

But they did not give up on their mission to reach the Annapurna Sanctuary, an oval-shaped plateau sitting at an altitude of over 4,000m, surrounded by a ring of mountains, the Annapurna range, most of which are over 7000m.

Last month, six hiking lovers from the Escaperados Adventure – that’s what they named their group – finally reached their dream when they set foot on the small campsite surrounded by mighty mountains.

“In 2019, our attempt was hampered by heavy snowfall and an avalanche. An obstructed path forced us to turn away at the altitude of 3,200msl. So close yet so far. Now, we are back again to finally conquer the majestic mountain,” team member Harjinder Singh told Asia Samachar.

The other five members of the team were Amreek Singh, Ravin Judge, Ravinder Singh, Ishverjit Singh and Prethpal Singh.

For the 40 year-old freelance tutor Harjinder, hiking is his way to celebrate nature. “It reminds you how small you are. It helps you connect to Mother Nature and be in a meditative state,” he said.

“I enjoy taking up challenging activities like hiking, backpacking, and running camps. For me, hiking is a personal challenge to improve on my current performance. Despite the difficult struggle, there are no words to describe the delight of reaching the peak,” said Ishverjit.

Ravin Judge began hiking very early as he used to tag along his dad, ASP (Rtd) Bhupinder Singh, for daily hikes in Penang via the Moongate jungle trail. “This is my escape to clear my mind and feel at peace, and at the same time to keep fit,” he said.

For Ravinder, a contractor by occupation, hiking provides benefits beyond what you receive from typical exercises. So, it’s a great way to keep fit.


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