Informative

What is the Life of a Trek Leader like at Bikat Adventures?

Ashwin Muralidharan

Last updated: 22-03-2021

Hear it directly from our Trek Leaders themselves.

Wakeel Ahmed: Head of Expeditions and Training, Bikat Adventures

I am proud to say I am the first employee of Bikat.  My entry into the world of adventure was magical, much like the story of Alice in Wonderland. When I was in the 6th grade, I read an interesting quote about the mountains in one of Munshi Premchand’s books.

It read,

"The mountains are beautiful, but they are equally dangerous."

"The mountains are always close to you, but they are not easy to reach.”

These two lines stayed with me for many years. As I grew, I participated in many sports like cricket, kabaddi, and running. Though I excelled in all of them, something seemed missing. I found that missing piece in college. There was a pamphlet stuck on the notice board inviting students to join the Hiking Club. So, I joined, and there was no looking back after that.

The course of my progress in this field happened by itself. I believe I was destined to be here. At the beginning of my professional journey, I started with wall climbing competitions. I not only surpassed global champions and national climbers but even broke a record in wall climbing. That was the first time my name got published in articles, and I got rewarded with good remuneration.

This boost motivated me to venture further into the adventure field. I led many treks throughout Uttarakhand and eventually began leading expeditions. I even gave professional skiing a try over the years. In 2013, I won all the awards for langlauf and slalom cross country skiing.

A year later, I met Bikat Adventures. I was their first employee.

From the start, Bikat Adventures ensured I had my own space to nurture myself. Together, we came up with many programs like cycling, skiing, and fixed departure expeditions. More recently, we ventured into mountaineering as well, like Mt. Gangotri III, Mt. DeoTibba and Mt. Black Peak. The highest altitude we have hit so far is Mt. Nun.

The company and I have grown and learned a lot during this period. After exploring many avenues with complete freedom, I now take a step back sometimes to find potential in upcoming talents and nurture them. Life, as they say, has come a full circle.

What is the Life of a Trek Leader like at Bikat Adventures?


 

Gulam Jeelani – Head of Adventure programs & B2B, Bikat Adventures

I am the second employee of Bikat Adventures. I started off as a Trek Leader, became the Operations Manager later, and even handled corporate sales over the years. Now, I handle corporate-adventure programs, lead expeditions and dabble with customer care sometimes.

My journey into the world of hiking started in 2008 at Aligarh Muslim University. I had to run in a competition to get into the Hiking club. I ran 32kms that day. I went on to complete my basic and advanced courses and led several treks following that. Getting paid to roam in the mountains was exciting. From face reading to technical climbing, I gradually started working on all the skills needed for a trek leader.

I was searching for a platform that would allow me to build upon this versatility when I came across Bikat Adventures. With hard work and patience, I practically learned everything on the field. So, to fit my style of working, Bikat gave me the freedom to ideate and took risks with my ideas. They never stopped me, even when I wanted to experiment with new things. This brought great results for both of us.

Together we created a base that offered shelter to several professionals in the field. Overall, I have done close to 100 treks and implemented many programs like rock & wall climbing, safety workshops, and mountaineering workshops across industries (from corporates to schools). I am looking forward to coming up with more innovative programs and implementing them with perfection in the coming years.

What is the Life of a Trek Leader like at Bikat Adventures?


 

Sandeep Kumar aka CAPTAIN– Operations manager, Bikat Adventures

People call me captain because of my leadership skills and friendly nature. As the name says, in school, engineering life, the travel industry, and even among friends, I became that person everyone looked up to. I have always made it a point to maintain some balance between my job and the people in my life.

After slogging for many years in the corporate sector, I wanted to change my field. I wanted an offline life where my buddy (Bullet bike) and I could explore freely. I researched several options like food blogging, wine tasting, etc. But, everything required me to be hinged to a computer. Finally, after a long search, I landed in the mountains!

After finishing all the necessary courses in mountaineering, I started working as a Trek Leader. I have led multiple treks for several operators, but there was something missing. I was looking for a more organized firm where I could make my mark and earn some experience. Thankfully, I found Bikat.

Bikat Adventures identified the potential I had and helped me branch out into a Managerial Position with time. And my most favourite part about working here is the encouragement that is given to pursue activities outside of the job. When I expressed my interest to master Scuba Diving, Bikat Adventures was not only encouraging but also supported me in my endeavour to make my dream come true.”

What is the Life of a Trek Leader like at Bikat Adventures?


 

Somenath Mondal, Expedition leader, Bikat Adventures

Good things begin at home. My interest in the mountains started in my home. When other kids played hide and seek, I started preparing for treks. When I was 8-years-old, I did my first trek, Sandakphu. From the peak of Sandakphu, I saw the marvellous Mt. Everest. At that moment, I knew I belonged to the mountaineering field. This childhood dream remains rooted deep in my heart to this day.

In school, when other kids went for sports, I used to take time out to practice rock climbing. By the time I finished my 10thgrade, I had already completed expeditions like Mt. Rudugaira and won state-level rock climbing competitions. This passion for high altitude drove me to higher peaks like Mt. Kamet (Highest peak of Uttarakhand) and Mt. Satopanth.

There was this raw energy pushing me to explore more and climb higher. After joining Bikat Adventures, my skills have gotten more polished. Learning to handle crises, personality development, and advanced techniques in climbing are some attributes I picked up here. The thrill of leading a group to the summit also gave me a new kind of high.

I have currently covered expeditions like Kang Yatse, Auden's Col, and KalindiKhal. My ultimate goal is to make my childhood dream a reality. I want to climb the mighty Mt. Everest and other magnificent peaks like Shivling.

What is the Life of a Trek Leader like at Bikat Adventures?


 

Sachin Singh Lama – Senior trek leader, Bikat Adventures

My style defines me as a person. Wherever I go, whatever I do, I like to learn, surpass and create my style of working. Stepping into the mountaineering field was a decision made in the mountains. At the beginning of my career, I worked the usual 9-5 job. It was suffocating. So, I ran to the mountains for a bit and ended up finding my passion here.

After that, I underwent rigorous training. I practised hard and went on several solo treks. I finished my basic and advanced mountaineering course and created a network in the field. During my exploration of the Goechala trek, I got to know about Bikat Adventures. After some strict filtering and intense training, I successfully landed my first job here. 

Bikat Adventures taught me the minute details of maintaining the right attitude and mindset for any kind of situation that might crop up in the mountains. I could see myself transform into a professional leader from being an amateur.

I have also gotten the space to define my style here and have been recognized for my performance. The growth scale has been rapid, and every experience thrilling. I have covered close to 75 treks till now and look forward to going on longer and tougher expeditions next.

What is the Life of a Trek Leader like at Bikat Adventures?


 

Rakesh Bhol, Trek leader, Bikat Adventures

I have been told saying yes can take you places. Being a people person, I could never say no to others. Most of the time, I ended up working in places that others decided for me. I never even noticed this until one day, when I decided to take a step back.

I wanted to do something that interested me. I began exploring sales, sports, cooking and even running.

When you start saying No, your own needs and wants to come to the forefront, this quest of finding my passion took me to the Valley of flowers. I found a spark for the mountains there and decided to shift my field completely.

I like to take care of people. Whether it is trekking, a party, or even a small meet-up, I like to take care of everyone. This gives me my ultimate satisfaction. This nature, combined with my athletic skills, seemed perfect for a trek leader's life. A life of adventure soon began.

When I was working as a guide and cook in Ladakh in 2019, I heard about Bikat's accomplishment in completing Mt. Nun. I was impressed and immediately applied for the post of trek leader.

After a systematic recruiting process, they hired me. For a person like me with a unique taste for adventure, Bikat has many options like cycling, skiing, and expeditions. They are even planning on expanding further with organized resources. It is the perfect base for me to grow and create a name for myself as an Outdoor Leader.

What is the Life of a Trek Leader like at Bikat Adventures?


 

Abhishek Rana – Trek leader, Bikat Adventures

Photography introduced me to mountaineering.

My childhood vacations had a big impact on my life. Once a year, my family and I would travel to the villages of Himachal Pradesh to spend a month by the riverside and mountains. During this period, I would sit for hours together to observe the flowing water and sky. This cultivated an eye for colours, detail, and visual poetry.

I used my camera to spot the distinct designs of nature. It was on this journey that my obsession for the peaks began. The view from the top is always perfect. Every peak has a masterpiece.

In 2017, I went on solo treks in Nepal. Without any training, I covered the highest pass in the world (Thorong LA). From that moment, I acquired a taste for mountaineering.

After finishing my mountaineering courses, Bikat opened the doorway for me into the world of trekking. I learned the difference between practical and technical applications here.

How can a knot be useful in different ways? How do we manage extreme weather? How to make quick decisions in tough situations?

Though I knew the theoretical answers to all these questions, I applied them practically on-field for the first time here.

With Bikat's diverse portfolio, I now get to reach unique peaks as a trek leader while also using my camera to capture more masterpieces of nature. My aim here is to learn more, explore more, and capture more.

What is the Life of a Trek Leader like at Bikat Adventures?


 

Sanjay Singh Rawal – Trek Leader, Bikat Adventures

I call myself the mountain slayer. My goal is to cover all the treks in India.

My journey into trekking began in 2016 when I visited Manali. I felt a familiar connection with the snowcapped mountains. The mountains gave me a feeling of warmth, even in cold temperatures. So for two years straight, I did many solo treks like Kali Cho Pass and Manirang Pass, alpine style.

After that, I became a certified mountaineer in 2019. I also finished my Skiing course during this time and entered the field as a professional. From my training days, I have heard about Bikat Adventures.

After a day-long interview process, I was selected for my knowledge and interest to learn more.

Right from the start, Bikat Adventures has honed my skills and given me the freedom to make my own decisions. I learned the practical definition of people management here. I am looking forward to growing as a professional outdoor leader here and continue slaying the mountains.

What is the Life of a Trek Leader like at Bikat Adventures?


 

Shailendra Dhami - Trek Leader, Bikat Adventures

I was born and raised in the remote mountains of Bageshwar village, Uttarakhand. After my parents, it is the mountains that have guided me through life. They have always been there for me.

They were my first teacher and friend. They have taught me how to be humble in life. This nature of mine has earned me more people than money. For graduation, I took up actuarial science. During that time, there was a lion-shaped mountain I could see from my hostel window. Out of curiosity, I climbed the mountain and stayed in a small wooden house for a few days.

It was here that I could disconnect from the material world outside. It was just the mountains and me. The feeling was surreal. I wanted to do something about this. So, I started researching about the industry, trained myself, and did my basic and advanced courses.

Initially, I worked with a few locals and did a couple of treks. Eventually, I ended up at Bikat. After the mountains, my second love is cycling. The company not only identified this passion but has also encouraged me to pursue it by giving me opportunities to lead cycling expeditions from Leh to Manali thrice. Thanks to them, one of my dreams has become a reality. Currently, I am in the process of evolving into a versatile outdoor leader where I can learn and lead more adventure activities.

What is the Life of a Trek Leader like at Bikat Adventures?


 

Prasad Vijay Shetty (Pachu Shetty), Trek Leader, Bikat Adventures

Much like the flow of water, my life has seen many twists and turns. I was a 3-d animator in media. After that, I worked in a call centre for a few years. When I was about to get into a management position, I dawned upon a bitter realization. I had lost out on my true self while climbing up the corporate ladder.

It was then that I took a long break and started exploring the Sahyadri ranges for inner peace. What started as a vacation became a hobby; the hobby soon became an obsession. By the end of it, I had explored almost all the famous forts of Maharashtra.

The mountains unlocked new perspectives and introduced me to the world of rock climbing. After finishing my rock-climbing course, I went on to complete my basic and advanced courses in mountaineering.

Somehow, this wasn’t enough for me. So I decided to challenge myself some more. After landing my first job as a trek leader in Uttarakhand, I attempted my first cycling trip from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in 60 days. This earned a name for me in the industry.

In an attempt to challenge me some more, I tried and finished a second trip from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in 19 days. My name was registered in the India book of records and turned several big heads in surprise.

It was during this time that I found a family who cherished my passion and encouraged me to pursue it with unconditional support. That was Bikat Adventures. When I joined here, the first thing I noticed was there was no hierarchy. Everyone was treated the same and given the freedom to grow. I found my second home away from home with Bikat Adventures.

Now, I am a storyteller. I have my own YouTube channel called Traveller Pachu Shetty, where I share my adventures with the world.

What is the Life of a Trek Leader like at Bikat Adventures?


 

Pijush Nath – Trek Leader, Bikat Adventures

I cannot control my smile. Every burst of laughter comes from my heart. Because of this, my friends call me Ravan. Being a science student, botany was my favourite subject. In the pursuit of exploring plants and trees, the mountains became a natural part of my world.

Soon, I started going on treks. My first trek was the Goechala trek in Sikkim. It was there that I recognized my passion for the mountains.

So I went on to do my rock-climbing course, after which I completed my second trek in Uttarakhand (Har Ki Dun). On the Har Ki Dun, I got a chance to witness the life of a trek leader. It was fascinating.

So I gradually went on to finish my basic and advanced mountaineering course, first aid, rescue operations and the instructor course. I was ready to take up trekking as a profession.

But it was tough to convince the people around me. They were against my decision of building a career in this field. After a lot of effort, I convinced them and joined Bikat Adventures in 2019.

Bikat provides the perfect platform to establish my skill. They not only grow my skills as a leader but also encourage me to do more. This is what I have always wanted.

I have never had a voice of my own. Here, I found my voice and gradually took command of my work. There are many small-town guys like me out there who are still struggling to open up. With my hard work and accomplishments, I wish to inspire them to step out of their bubble”.

What is the Life of a Trek Leader like at Bikat Adventures?

Ashwin Muralidharan

Dreamer, listener, and a curious soul. I indulge influence and leave my impressions behind. If y Read more

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