An American by birth, John Porter climbed as a teenager
in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, before serving
his mountain apprenticeship in the Rockies and Yosemite.
After studying at the University of Oregon, he went the UK
to do post graduate studies at the University of Leeds.
There he climbed with the leading activists of the day -
Brian Hall, Roger Baxter Jones, Al Rouse, Alex MacIntyre,
Peter Boardman, Joe Tasker, John Syrett and many more
from America and Europe. From the mid 70’s, with as
Boardman, Voytek Kurtyka (Poland), Rene Ghilini (France)
and MacIntyre, he made pioneering light weight ascents
including winter traverse of the Tatra (1976), NE Face of Bandaka (1977), the S. Buttress of
Changabang (1978), S. Face Ranrapulka (1979), S.E Ridge Tarke Kang (1982) and Diamond
Couloir Direct on Mt. Kenya (1984). He joined Rouse and friends to attempt the West Ridge
of Everest in winter (1980/81) and the NW Ridge of K2 during the tragic year of 1986. In more
recent years, there were further new routes and climbs during trips to Garhwal (Kedar Dome),
Karakorum (Chong Kundam 1 and 5), Tibet (Sepu Kangri) and Greenland. He lives with his
wife and two daughters in Caldbeck and works as a consultant in energy supply chains. In his
spare time, he has been involved in many mountain culture projects, creating the Kendal
Mountain Festival in 1980, the Mountain Heritage Trust in 1999 and SteepEdge.com. in 2009.
His biography of MacIntyre One Day as a Tiger published by VP in Sept. 2014 won the Grand
Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival that year. It is the first book by a mountaineer to
be shortlisted for the Times Cross Sports Book of the Year. It is now published in eight
languages. John is the current President of the Alpine Club and an Honorary Fellow at the
University of Cumbria.
The main lecture for the Mumbai Festival will be Pioneers of Alpinism which will start with
a brief history of the oldest mountaineering club in the world - the Alpine Club (est. 1857) -
and the role its members have had over the past 162 years at the cutting edge of alpine
climbing. The main focus of the talk will be my participation in light with alpinism between
1976 and 1986 when an extraordinary number of new and difficult first ascents were pioneered
by British climbers with partners from a number of other countries, all committed to the idea
of applying alpine style climbing tactics to the greater ranges. These included ascents of
8000m peaks by unclimbed faces and ridges (Dhaulagiri East Face, Shishapangma S Face,
Kanchenjunga NW Face as well as many technically much more difficult routes on peaks like
Changabang, the Ogre, Bandaka, Kantega and many more. There was a race to do the purist
lines before they were climbed by fixed ropes expeditions. Among the main exponents were
Joe Tasker, Pete Boardman, Alex MacIntyre, Doug Scott, Roger Baxter Jones, Al Rouse, Voytek
Kurtyka, the Burgess Twins Al and Adrian and partners for Europe including Voytek Kurtyka,
Georges Battenberg, Jurek Kukuczka and Reni Ghilini. No one knew what the limits were and
there was a heavy price to pay. The exponents have been called; “the generation that nearly
climbed itself into extinction. In this lecture John Porter describes his involvement in the
movement and climbs on Bandaka, Changabang, Everest in winter, Annapurna and culminating
with the death of Alan Rouse on K2 in 1986. The lecture will finish with the 1991 Indian/Anglo
Chong Kundam expedition.
For my talk at Corporate House, I propose to present: The Beauty of Risk, an exploration
of the nature of adventure in life, challenging man’s perception of what is real and what is
illusion, the nature of beauty and truth and how success and failure are equally important if
people make the most of their experiences. The talk is illustrated with stunning and at times
surprising images drawn from sixty years of climbing around the world with some thought
provoking insights from philosophers which take us into and beyond George Mallory’s
justification for climbing Everest; ‘Because it’s there.’ This lecture has been very popular both
with climbers and business leaders because it expands on the concept and value of taking risks.
Harish Kapadia has made a unique contribution to our
knowledge of the Himalaya: as editor of the Himalayan Journal,
one of the most authoritative and comprehensive record of
exploratory activity in the Himalaya; through his numerous
books (17) and as a leader and organiser of countless
expeditions over the last 50 years. He has personally climbed
more than 30 Himalayan peaks, many of them first ascents.
Moreover, he has crossed more than 150 Himalayan passes to
explore different valleys.
His explorations include most areas of the Himalaya and
specially, Arunachal Pradesh. He has continued his passion
despite two serious injuries and a major tragedy when he lost his young son, Lt Nawang
Kapadia, a soldier and a mountaineer, to terrorism in Kashmir.
He has received many awards including the Royal “Patron’s Medal”, by the Royal
Geographical Society, the first Indian to receive this highest adventure award after 125 years.
The President of India honoured him with the prestigious ‘Tensing Norgay National Adventure
Award” (2003) for Life Time achievements, and he received the prestigious ‘King Albert I
Mountain Award’ in Switzerland and Piolets D'or Asia 2017, UIAAA, considered as the Oscar
award of mountaineering.
Harish was invited to many countries to lecture on his Himalayan exploits, and Harish is
Honorary member of many international organisations and Editor Emeritus of the Himalayan
Club. He is married, and lives in Mumbai.
PADMA VIBHUSHAN DR. ANIL KAKODKAR
Padma Vibhushan Dr. Anil Kakodkar: Former Chairman,
Atomic Energy Commission & Secretary to the Government of
India, Department of Atomic Energy.
Presently, Member, Atomic Energy Commission.
Dr. Anil Kakodkar, after graduating from VJTI in Mechanical
Engineering joined the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)
in 1964, following the one year post graduate Training with top
rank in Nuclear Science and Technology in the then Atomic
He is recipient of Padma shree, Padma bhushan & Padma
He became the Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
(BARC) in the year 1996 and was the Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary to
the Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy for the period from 2000 to 2009.
Dr. Kakodkar has worked for the development of the atomic energy programme in
throughout his professional life.
He has innovative contributions to human resource development activities like establishment
of NISER (National Institute of Science Education and Research), DAE-Mumbai University CBS
(Centre for Basic Sciences) and HBNI (Homi Bhabha National Institute).
He is a part of many high level, advisory committees in the fields of energy, education and
He is a recipient of honours from many academic institutions including IIT Mumbai, IIT
Kharagpur and IIT Delhi.
He is a fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, Indian Academy of Sciences, The
National Academy of Sciences and Maharashtra Academy of Sciences.
He is also recipient of many prestigious international and national awards & honours.
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An Outdoor People with Nature & Adventure activities
Shri Prashant Awale
Chairman, Nature & Adventure Circle, BARC Staff Club,
Convener, Girisanchar and
Joint Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy Sports & Cultural council
Maharashtra is blessed with the rugged mountain range of Western Ghats, the mighty
Sahyadri, its towering pinnacles, challenging ridges, deep gorges, the stunning biodiversity and
the rich history of its hill forts has enticed
generations of mountain lovers. The
proximity of Mumbai, the headquarters
of the Department of Atomic Energy, was
the obvious reason for its employees,
particularly the adventure oriented ones,
to be drawn towards the unique sport of
trekking and mountaineering. Weekend
hikes and treks in the surrounding hills
was a regular activity for those from
Mumbai and nearby Departments. The
more enterprising amongst them also ventured into the Himalayas for treks and climbs. The
trekking expeditions organized by the Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI) were also
patronized by many of these trekkers.
With the objective of bringing together this band of trekking enthusiasts into a common
annual trekking activity, the first expedition, christened “Girisanchar” was launched in January,
1990 with the inaugural expedition in the Bhor – Raireshwar region. The expedition under the
convenership of Dr. Bhalchandra Bhawe met with enormous success and it became a regular
annual feature, largely due to his persistence and never say die attitude. Shri Ravindra Apte,
with his experience in organizing treks and mountaineering expeditions was an able comrade-
in-arms. Dr. Prakash Joshi, with his extensive trekking and travel experience, gave invaluable
information on routes and logistics. Dr. Joshi has trekked the entire coast of Indian Continent
right from Kutch of Gujarat to
Kanyakumari on the west coast and from
Kanyakumari to Sunderbans on the east
cost. He was also a part of Antartica
Expedition from India to set up a
The Team Girisanchar started
functioning under the banner of
Department of Atomic Energy Sports &
Girisanchar has now completed 30
years of continuous operation, not only in
Maharashtra, but also in other States and
about 6000 employees of the Department
of Atomic Energy and its various Units
have participated over the years and
trekked about 2500 kms distance. It is a
uniqueness of Team Girisanchar that not
a single route has been repeated so far
during the 30 expeditions. These three decades of trekking was covered in the Sahyadri ranges,
Dang Forest of Gujarat, Western Ghats, Kalinadi Basin, Kaiga Yana region, Anshi National Park
& Baba Budangiri – Muthodi forest region in the Karnataka State. The activity was being
sustained purely by teams of dedicated volunteers, temporarily accommodating the event into
their professional and personal commitments. In addition to annual trekking expeditions,
many other activities, such as Nature & Adventure Camps for school children, mountaineering
expeditions, high altitude treks in Himalayas, monsoon, winter & night treks in summer and
even earthquake relief operations in Latur & Bhuj have been carried out by Team Girisanchar.
Of late, under the leadership of Shri Prashant Awale, more activities, such as Walkathon
competitions, Know Your Trees for school children, Cyclothon, long cycling rides, etc have
become a regular feature of the calendar of our activities.
Most of the volunteers of Team Girisanchar, have completed their Basic and Advance
Mountaineering Courses and also scaled several peaks, virgin technical peaks in the Himalayas.
Two of our members, namely Shri Mukesh Maiseri and Shri Abhijeet Burman were also part of
the climbing team in the Mount Everest Expedition 1998 organized by the Akhil Maharashtra
Giryarohan Mahasangh to celebrate the golden jubilee of Indian independence. Some of our
members, under the leadership of Shri Umesh Solapurkar have completed the sea sailing
expedition from Mumbai to Kolkata in a wind yatch.
Over the years, many amongst the first band of leaders have retired, but activity has been
sustained with no difficulty, being replenished by a newer set of equally dedicated trained
volunteers. There are still few members continuing who are associated with Team Girisanchar
right from its foundation. In addition to trekking, our volunteers are also doing public outreach
through spreading the knowledge of science, nature, floara & founa for the school children in
the villages of nearby camps and even for the villagers. It can be mentioned here that among
the various Government Establishments all over India, probably, the Department of Atomic
Energy is the only Department which is promoting the adventure activities through its Sports
& Cultural Council under the wing of Team Girisanchar for the benefit of its employees spread
across the country.
Even as we move on and have completed the 30th year of Girisanchar, we rededicate
ourselves to our motto and mission to inculcate a love for nature, preservation of environment,
a spirit of adventure, team spirit and bonding amongst the participants.
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EAT SMART FOR CLIMBING HEALTHY
Dr. Vidya Kshirsagar
Founder, SAKAS FOODS
Awareness is the first step in healing. When we become more aware of how
powerfully our choices in diet and lifestyle affect us for better and for worse, then
we can make different ones.
- Dean Ornish.
Climbing is relatively tough sport which endorses your strength and stamina. By and large
mountaineering includes different set of activities eg. hiking, skiing etc., On an average total
calories requirement will defer from person to person and may range from 4000-6000 keal
depending upon the toughness of climb. The diet composition should be such that almost 70
calories should be drawn from Carbohydrates, 10% from Proteins & 15 to 20% from Fats.
Climbers should stop focusing on fats & focus on Carbohydrates & protein intake.
Let us elaborate on each major ingredient one by one. It is clear that climbing needs energy
& glucose is the best energy source. Simple glucose consumption like glucose powder shall
increase blood glucose level transiently. Hence if climbing for 2 hrs straight then only go for
energy drink. In general you need a steady flow of glucose to prepare muscle glycogen & to
recharge ADP to ATP. Hence complex carbohydrate intake is preferred in diet which ensures
slow absorption of glucose. By eating high carb diet your muscles better learn to use carbs as
Multigrain flour or whole wheat flour will ensure satiety without bloating in contrast to food
items made up of maida / wheat floor [whole wheat floor is ‘gehu ka aata’ where as wheat
flour is maida).
Majority of snack items shall contain sucrose [white crystal sugar] & it has similar
disadvantage of inability to provide sustain glucose entry in the blood.
Fructose is another form of carbohydrate & if taken simultaneously fructose will be preferred
over glucose by liver to prepare liver glycogen [80 to 100gm]. Many of packaged snacks &
drinks contain fructose syrup & loading up food with fructose hamper the metabolism of
carbohydrates in liver leading to high levels of triglycerides & insulin resistance.
So, while choosing the snacks/bakery items one need to scrutinize whether it contains
whole grains [and not maida] and healthy sweeteners like jiggery (and not sucrose/fructose
Let us consider proteins now. Since climbing requires usage of muscles across the body,
protein requirement is as high as an athlet. Proteins are not stored in body. They are basically
required for muscle adaptation i.e. to increase size of muscles, to increase tensile strength, all
that is required for climbing. So do not restrict intake of protein out of fear of getting bulky.
For a climber approximately total 100-120 gm of protein is needed spread across every 3 hrs.
i.e. 20 gms proteins 6 times a day [eg. 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm & 10 pm). Proteins are
digested into amino acids. Some of Amino acids synthesise creatine. Creatine is required for
synthesis of creatine phosphate which is major source of energy supply while climbing.
Proteins are also imp. for immunity.
Depending upon protein digestibility, biological value, leuctine content. and calories
contribution, the proteins are classified into high, medium & low quality protein sources. High
quality protein sources are meat, seafood, eggs, dairy products, legumes, lentils, soybeans,
beans, chickpeas, protein powder like whey caseins, soy etc.. Medium quality proteins are
grains, nuts & seeds. Low quality proteins are Quinoa, almonds, mushrooms most vegetables.
Whey protein is fastest in terms of utilization of body for adequate muscle synthesis. Creatine
supplement if taken are should ensure at least 4 Ltrs. of water intake in a day.
While choosing packaged proteins snack one needs to keep watch on protein content (20
gm per Snack) & quality of proteins (at least one snack with high quality protein.
Let us consider fats now. There is nothening like good fat or bad fat. Saturated fats,
monounsaturated fats [MUFA] like omega 3 & omega 6 are equally important for cell wall
synthesis. Polyunsaturated fats [PUFA] are nowadays blamed for its instability giving rise to free
radicals which can damage pancreas, skin, thyroid, immune system & liver. PUFAS are present
in liquid cooking oils, nuts & seeds. Only coconut oil, butter, ghee, olive oil are heat stable fats,
hence safe to consume. Majority of packaged food contains palmitic acid / linoaleic acid/
partially hydrogerated oil [vanaspati] which promote cardiovascular disease. Majority of granola
or energy bars use vegetable oils nuts & seeds which can expose us to PUFA. Unprocessed oil
seeds in shall preparation is not much harm.
So while choosing granola/energy bar one needs to check whether it contains healthy fats
(ghee/butter/coconut oil/Olive Oil) in less than 20% proportions & is not loaded with PUFA.
Since you are a climber adequate hydration and adequate salt intake goes without say.
Since you pursue healthy lifestyle what matters most is to give good quality of fuel to your body
to get adequate strength and stamina for pursuing your dream to conquer the mountain. You
cannot fly aeroplane with 4 wheeler engine.
So be smart while choosing the food, let not food fool you.
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