Everybody has a story behind how they got where they are. Anunay Sood has a particularly strange one.
Having studied engineering, he struggled finding passion and motive in life, which is when he started travelling.
Every trip he took, every time he discovered how passionate he was about being on his feet, he thought about making his dream a reality (which he knew needed a lot of work).
He started off with taking a job, and traveling when he could on the budget he had. After a few trips, he left the job and started working on more flexible projects.
He then started working with Seclude chain of hotels, in Palampur, where he stayed for 3 months with interns building and creating a fun resort.
After that ended, he tried self-employing himself by photo tours and opening a starter trek organising community where he took groups of adventure seekers like himself, on popular and otherwise treks.
Here’s where the story gets good.
Months into the practice, feeling confident, social and self sufficient, he organised a trek to Indrahar Pass in the month of March. Now he realised that at that time of the year, they would need more than just trekking shoes to get everyone to the summit. He arranged ropes, spikes and everything necessary for this once in a lifetime experience for the people he was taking.
For those of you who are unaware of the trek, it is one of the challenging treks in our country, apart from being high altitude, the month of March meant glaciers and hard ice over the paths they had to cross. Anunay, in the community, played the part of a guide, and a team leader.
Acclimatisation, pitching camps on the base camp and training for the ice, all went to plan. They left for the pass early morning, to return safely by afternoon.
While walking up, they reached a point where they had to wear their harnesses and use the ropes they’d practiced on for 2 days prior to d-day, and up they went.
This was Anunay’s fourth time on the route to the pass, with and without snow, so it’s fair to say he knew it like that back of his hand. While climbing up, one of the trekkers, in the middle of the chain of people attached to the same rope, lost her speed due to the altitude and began losing her consciousness.
A small brief about the situation here now: anunay is at the front of the chain leading, behind the main guide they got along with the group, the trekkers on the trip, and then the helper at the back of the 8 people on the rope. If one person falls, all of them go with her/him.
Back to the situation, she stops, falls dizzy. Anunay, with his ice axe, detaches himself from the rope and goes sliding down to do the same for her, and arrests himself close enough to where she was.
He climbs up to her, while he’s asked everyone to stop and dig their feet strong enough in the snow, removes her carabiner from the rope and rests her on the side so she can fall unconscious safely.
Intense yes? I bet it was a hundred times worse in real life.
He then shouted to the guide in the front to come down and take the rest 7 to the pass, while he rests with her to catch her breath and come to complete consciousness.
That was the last time he took a tour to the mountains, and the first and last time he decided to be a situation where he would have to be willingly responsible for a life.
If it wasn’t for being calm, and alert enough to execute what he did, the story would’ve taken an unwanted turn.
Not all heroes, wear capes; but they do carry a camera bag.