This Mountaineer With A Full-Time Job Is Completing The 7 Summits!
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24th Jul | 3 min read

Akash is an avid mountaineer on a quest to complete the seven summit challenge, which means scaling the highest peak in each of the seven continents. Depending on which list you are following, these peaks include Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Vinson, Elbrus, and Puncak Jaya.

As of today only a handful of people have completed the seven summit challenge, this list, which was last updated in 2016, has the count at 416. 

So far Akash has completed Denali, Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro, and he has his sights on conquering Everest next year. 

If you want to go on an adventure with Akash you can connect with him on GAFFL. You can also follow his adventures closely on Instagram @akash.7summits

Why I Travel

Having a 9-5 desk job is a reality for most of the people, including myself, and going out on extended trips is a way to appreciate the outdoors. 

I go on at least 2 trips longer than 2 weeks per year and completely immerse myself in the experience. Having no contact with the normal world brings me a peace of mind and a new refreshing perspective to life when I come back home. 

I’ve also met new people and created long lasting friendships during my travels. In fact, Akib, the founder of GAFFL, and I met each other on a trip to Mt. Rainier a few years ago. I have kept in contact with almost all of the participants of that trip. Meeting new people benefits me because they are often able to pass credible advice for tackling big peaks. Trip mates from Alaska's Mt. Denali helped me a lot in planning for Mt. Aconcagua. We share 'intelligence' on big mountains around the world on our WhatsApp group.

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How I Choose Where To Travel Next

For me this is very easy! I have a plan to scale the seven peaks and there is a short climbing season for each one. I know which peak I will complete when, down to the exact dates. Most guiding companies require a deposit months in advance and publish trip dates over 12 months in advance.

I take around 2-3 long trips every year. Most trips are around 2-3 weeks. I would like to explore longer trips but I am careful with my vacation days so I can finish my seven summit plan on time.

Some Challenges I Face

Limited vacation days is a big challenge for me! I wish there were an unlimited number of vacation days that I could get. I would go on a trip every 2 months.

In terms of things like boredom or loneliness, mountaineering trips attract individuals who are passionate about it, as such, during free time, there is rarely any boredom. We spend our down-time listening to music, reading, and learning from the guides. 

However, when storms hit and I am bound inside a tent for straight 2+ days, things get very different. Most people feel emotionally tired but I always try to remind myself that no one can control the weather; all we can do is to try to have a safe passage to the summit and back. Weather comes and goes but the mountain is always going to be there. It is never worth your life to take uncalculated risks and venture out in bad weather.

Advice For New Adventurers

I saw this piece of advice given by Alan Arnette who is an accomplished mountaineer. On an outdoor trip where you will be camping, always carry a couple of comfort items. For me, my down booties and my trapper hat are a must. For other people it could be a tiny inflatable pillow, a favorite snack. But always carry a couple of things which you look forward to everyday. For me, after a long tiring day exploring the mountain or moving camps, it is rewarding to get in the tent and change to down booties from the 5lb heavy triple boots. That helps in creating a positive mindset and I have noticed that in trips like these it is mostly one's mental state that dictates whether a person successfully summits or not.

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