Q & A with ace mountaineer Ishani Sawant who made India proud at UIAA Global Youth Summit!
Happy Independence Day to all my favs! 🙂
So, for this year’s Independence Day special article, I have an inspirational story for you which will definitely make you proud! I got the opportunity to have a Q and A with young and talented Mountaineer Ishani Sawant who has multiple accolades to her name. The Pune girl recently represented India at the UIAA Global Youth Summit in Toulouse, France last month! UIAA is Apex International Rock Climbing and Mountaineering Federation where only 15 youth climbers from all over the world were selected by French Alpine Club for a week of “multi-pitch climbing” in Pyrenees Mountain Range of France.
Currently, apart from being a lawyer by education, Ishani Sawant is conducting adventure events for blind and people with disabilities with Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation. Nobel indeed! So, let’s dive into the Q and A right here:
So how did you get into rock climbing?
I was 13 when I first went to the Himalayas. The beauty and grandeur impacted me so much that I kept coming back every year for treks. Then got into rock climbing and then in Himalayan expeditions.
What training did you go through to be a professional rock climber?
I acquired the much-needed national certifications through courses in India but to get to know latest techniques and standards, I went to the UK to do the rock climbing instructor training. I also did courses through NOLS, Hanifl Centre which are internationally recognized.
Please share your experience at the UIAA Global Youth Summit – International Rock Climbing Camp.
I got to climb at one of the best climbing crags in South France and on a variety of high-quality rock types, every day at a new location. I climbed lots of multi-pitch routes ranging from steep gneiss in Genat to the airy limestone cliff at Le Quiè de Sinsat Mountain (853 ft). Most noteworthy was 7 pitch beautiful route at Pic Du Madeleine (875 ft) and soaring granite 12 pitch route of 1400 ft. sheer rock climbing at Dent d’Orlu Mountain which is 7777 ft high.
So, is the whole thing not scary? How do you keep calm and stay strong in tough moments?
Yes, it is scary, however overcoming fear is the best opportunity for self-growth and it is the best feeling to have pushed yourself to your maximum strength and capacity. That’s when you realize what you can do and it is an enlightening process. I share these experiences through motivational talks in corporate, schools and clubs. Mountaineering teaches a lot about patience and temperament. We realize that keeping calm is all we can do in most cases and panic isn’t going to be helpful. We develop these through meditation and loads of experience.
What is your personal fitness mantra?
I am not a born climber. I was quite overweight earlier in school but then I trained like crazy, got into rock climbing for which I had to do lots of pull ups, push-ups, abs, and train for 3 hours in morning and climb for 3 hours in evening. I do cycling, running apart for this. All these things together have made me fit and strong.
How did it feel to represent India at a global platform!
It was a great experience to meet climbers from various parts of the world, a good cultural exchange got to know a lot and the exposure will go a long way to shape me.
Any tips for newbies in the field?
Ans. Yes. If you want anything then you must be ready to put in all efforts that are needed to get to that level. If one does it half hearted then it is difficult to achieve anything worthwhile.
If someone who is passionate about rock climbing and wants to move ahead in the direction what is the beginning steps they need to take?
Ans. You can know details at www.ishani.com/bmc.
Your message for young girls who want to achieve great heights?
Each one has their own mountains to climb. There will be so many challenges, obstacles in your way. You can give so many excuses that this not happening, that is not available, something is not working but I never let any of these excuses or challenges stop me from proceeding towards my goal. You have to Make It Happen!
Wohoo! That indeed was an inspirational chat. I am amazed and am extremely proud of Inshani who is breaking barriers like a boss! Girl, you truly made India proud. 🙂 I hope you guys loved reading and knowing about the rock-climber Ishani Sawant. Do let me know in the comments below, we would love to know!
If you want to learn more about the mountain girl Ishani Sawant you can get on to her website!
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