Prakash Raj Pandey. (Photo: Khabarhub)
KATHMANDU: ‘Life is like a mountain, hard to climb but worth the amazing view from the top’ reflects Prakash Raj Pandey’s view on life and the adventures one is subjected to in it.
Prakash Raj Pandey, 28, hailing from Likhu Tamakoshi Gaupalika -7, Ramechaap, has proved himself as a successful climber.
He never deemed himself as a prospective climber in the beginning. However, his quest for something challenging and ‘worth doing’ led him to the mountaineer.
Being a member of scout and graced with ‘positive thought’, Pandey ascended his first peak — Baden Powell Scout Peak (5890m) — and created history by being the second climber in Nepal Scout to scale the peak on June 26, 2016, and again in 2017. Before him, the peak was first climbed in 2007 to mark the centenary of the Scouting.
As part of the Scouting 2007 Centenary, the government of Nepal renamed Urkema Peak to Baden-Powell Scout Peak, to commemorate 100 years of Scouting in honor of British soldier Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the World Scouting movement.
After climbing the Baden Powell Scout Peak, he wanted to take more challenges and thought of ‘what next in life’. So, he decided to climb Mt Everest. As groundwork for Mt Everest, he climbed Island Peak in 2017.
Most of his family members are serving the nation as part of the national security force. He was fascinated by the valiant deeds and successful mission of the security personnel and his parents wanted him to take the same as his career.
“My family wanted me to join the Army and I started with the scout,” he told Khabarhub.
He wanted to prove himself that he was capable to do whatever he tried.
As a normal middle-class family, climbing Mt Everest was like a daydream. It seemed a nightmare while collecting the fund for it. During his fundraising program, he asked everyone he knew. Many times he returned empty-handed with the word ‘next time’.
Though it was a very small amount, it meant a lot for him. His students at VS Niketan School, where he trained scout to the student, helped him from their piggy bank. They had kept the money saved from their tiffin and donated it for his expedition. He is thankful to everyone who supported him in his mission.
With all supports and wishes, he went climbing Mt Everest.
Arranging the money, though one of the uphill tasks for the persons like him, was not enough to ensure ascent. More challenges were awaiting on the way.
He recalled his struggle on his way up from Camp III to Camp IV.
It was May 14, he was going up from Camp III to Camp IV and all of a sudden the weather got worse. The wind and the snowfall made his journey much tougher. To his dismay, his guide Chhiring Bote Sherpa recommended that they must get down.
It was the immense bad transition in life that he made him think he lost himself for the first time. He was depressed and nearly lost himself.
“I remembered the efforts I had made for the journey, I remembered the people who prayed for me and helped me in my mission contributing whatever possible,” he became emotional speaking about the moment, “Everything is gone, I felt and remembered the proverb, Man proposes and God disposes.” But, miraculously for him, the weather got better and he pursued up again to the summit and finally stood at the summit on 16 May 2018.
Yes! He had made it! He hugged his guide Sherpa and happiness exploded in the form of tears. He remembered everyone who helped him and wished his success of the expedition.
Summit gave him the everlasting positive vibes. It was a fair, good feeling at that time. When you are in the mountains, no negatives things can come around you because mountains are fair and clean. “No words can share the feelings of what one feels once the person reaches the top of the world,” Pandey recalled and tried to relive those moments.
“In a mountain, you will be a real hero when you come back safely sometimes the journey back turns fatal,” he told Khabarhub.
When they were getting back at one moment he even thought ‘it’s my last day.’ After the summit, they skipped Camp IV and headed to Camp III for safety reasons.
But due to darkness and fatigue, he could not reach Camp III and was compelled to stay at Camp IV of Mt Lhotse.
His guide was much worried, there was not enough oxygen; there was nothing to eat and no place to sleep properly and even no water to drink!
Recalling those moments, he thinks it was the best part of his life. He remembered one should not let oneself die unless the heart stops. “It is the best struggle of my life. A man should struggle to survive unless they are finished.”
He ate the ice as water. This incident made him more confident and hopeful in life. He was taught and he had shared to many the scout motto ‘We can overcome.’
That night, we had nearly concluded that it was the last night of our life’.
Everest has taught me a lot in life. It has taught him to be calm, disciplined and motivated.
“When you do hard work with good dedication, you will be successful,” Pandey says, “You should judge yourself, retain your determination and listen to your ‘self’ with confidence”.
“We should not give up easily, if I had given up easily in Mt Everest and abandoned the expedition, I would not have been here with you as a mountaineer,” he shared happily with Khabarhub.
The success at Everest climb aroused the mountaineer in him and provoked him to try further.
After Mt Everest, he climbed Mt Manaslu and Mt Amadablam and now he is planning to scale seven top mountains of every continent.
Besides it, he has been working in the field of social works under the banner of Scout for SDGs.
For his efforts to bring out Scout’s ideals into practice the World Scout honored him with the Messenger of Peace.
“I am not only fulfilling my dream; I am also raising the voice of indigenous children who have never seen a classroom.” He updated his involvement these days.
Pandey has taken the initiation to support the Indigenous Chepang Children at Mangalpur, Chitawan. Pandey and his team provide rice, education materials and warm clothes to the 165 children.
Likewise, he held the health camp at Bhimthang, Manang a place at the height of 3700 meters.
He thinks there is much to do a lot in life.