Trekking Triund Through a Panic Attack

Lines from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence run in circles in my head as I stand on the edge of the Triund summit. I’m gasping for air; stars of exhaustion dancing before my eyes. The 6km trek, which everybody said would be the easiest of ‘em all, has left my lungs on fire and my limbs in agony. My body tells me to fall flat on the grass and wheeze for my goddamn life. But, at the same time, I don’t quite want to move from where I’m standing right now. 

Stretched out in front of me, in complete recluse, is the snow-patched Dhauladhar mountain range. Lying underneath a blanket of haze and pale blue skies. Between us, the earth dips into a killer ravine; fall from here, and my bones will crack like a china cup. Almost all of it filled with lush green canopies swaying in the late afternoon breeze.

Stretched out in front of me is a live painting, drawn by the hands of a god I’ve never met. And looking at it, I ask myself, was this experience worth the climb up a mountain through a hailstorm...and a teetering anxiety attack?

 

Let’s rewind and find out.

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