Greater Hyderabad Adventure Club members achieve the formidable task in five days

In a rare trekking expedition promoted by Greater Hyderabad Adventure Club, a team of veterans from the city, all on the wrong side of 40, has achieved the formidable task of scaling the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The team of four which left for the expedition in the last week of January trekked for nearly five days and 5,681 metres to reach the Gilman’s Peak of the volcanic mountain on January 29. Incidentally, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in the African continent at 5,895 metres above sea level.

The team was led by a businessman Ranjan Sood, and included Popuri Mouli, a software engineer, and Kiranmayee, a teacher. Another member Bhaswati Chatterjee joined them from Bangalore.

All the team members had prior experience in trekking. Mr. Sood, the senior most member at 56, had already attempted for the summit of Mount Elbrus in Georgia, besides making it to the Everest base camp. The two women members too had made it to the Everest base camp while Mr. Mouli had trekked 14,000 feet in the Himalayan range.

The team signed up at Kilimanjaro Park at the base of the mountain, and started off along with two guides and seven porters, the latter carrying the cooking equipment and additional baggage.

Unpredictable weather

“The mountain has two peaks. We made it up to the Gilman’s Peak, and returned. The Uhuru Peak was just 200 metres away, but we did not attempt it as the changes in the weather were unpredictable,” recalled Mr. Mouli.

Final leg of the expedition proved to be the toughest, as the team had to trek very steep heights non-stop for seven hours.

“It was a very tough trek because we climbed more than 12,000 feet in just four days, and on the final day we climbed almost 7,000 feet in 18 hours. The final climb was very steep and full of loose pebbles. It has been a great feeling and my hard training of almost three months paid off,” recalled Mr. Sood, who proceeded to the Chimp Trail in Uganda soon after finishing the feat.

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