‘Being a successful climber is more about the state of one's mind rather than physical stamina'
“I call myself a global citizen. Show me a vacant space anywhere in the world and I can make myself at home there,” said Renu Kotian, a corporate consultant by profession, and a mountaineer and avid traveller by passion. She recently led an expedition to the base camp of Mount Everest and Kala Pathar (5,800 metres).
Renu was drawn to trekking as a student when she listened to a talk on responsible tourism and outdoor leadership. She started by making trips to places such as Savandurga, Ramnagaram and Kumaraparvata.
“Meeting and interacting with mountain guides who have a strong sense of community can be a humbling experience,” she said. “For them, climbing up and down the peaks is a way of life and source of employment. Although they are very friendly and helpful from the first encounter, they do not talk much about their achievements.”
“I realised that being a successful climber is more about the state of one's mind rather than physical stamina. Heading a team of mountaineers also taught me when to say no and make pragmatic decisions for a fairly diverse group. That has helped in my line of work, where I advise executives who tend to be older than me,” she said.
One of the basic things that she teaches trekking groups is ‘leave no traces' (LNT) travel, to prevent trekking routes from becoming litter trails.
“It is not much of a problem to keep your empty water bottle back in your bag. One must simply believe in and adopt these simple yet important practices all the time to ensure that trash does not pile up,” she said.
Renu has set her sights on summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and the Annapurna range of Nepal. She enjoys driving around on her motor bike and hopes to own a Bullet some day.