Nivetha Thomas scales Mount Kilimanjaro, is game for more expeditions

In an unique interview, actor Nivetha Thomas opens up on her first-ever mountaineering expedition

“My eyes welled up when I reached the summit. It took me three hours to hike the last 50 metres,” says actor Nivetha Thomas, who scaled Mount Kilimanjaro a couple of days in the past. At 5895 metres above sea stage, Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa, is the best single free-standing mountain on this planet. Nivetha was accompanied by Telangana mountaineer Poorna Malavath, her coach Shekhar Babu Bachinepally and 15 crew members.

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Speaking from her father’s dwelling in Dubai, the place she landed after the summit, the 25-year-old actor says the seeds for the expedition had been sown in September 2019, when she offered a TED discuss. At the occasion, Nivetha listened in rapt consideration as Poorna spoke about mountaineering. In 2014, on the age of 13, Poorna turned the youngest Indian and the youngest feminine on this planet to scale Mt Everest.

“I felt an unknown interest in mountaineering surging within me. Poorna and I stayed in touch and I met her coach, Shekhar. I began reading up about mountaineering,” says Nivetha.

Over the final 12 months, Nivetha upped her health regime for Saakhini Daakhini, the Telugu remake of the Korean movie Midnight Runners. She educated in judo, jujutsu, operating, kickboxing and endurance coaching, all of which helped her address the various terrain and altitude-related points in the course of the expedition.

Call of the mountains

Attempting to scale Mt Everest, says Nivetha, would have concerned disciplined coaching for two years, which was powerful given her filming schedules. However, when Poorna knowledgeable her about an expedition to Kilimanjaro, Nivetha was eager to affix. “Shekhar felt I was fit enough to take up the expedition. I was on the sets of the Telugu film until five days prior to the trip. I barely told six people who are close to me about my plans. Minutes before I lost internet connectivity in Tanzania, I put out a story on Instagram that I will be off the radar for 10 days. Nothing more.”

Nivetha was conscious that, nonetheless a lot she studied in regards to the mountains, there can be surprises: “I had never gone on hikes, forget climbing mountains. But I was determined to do this. I followed instructions strictly. If they said pack two thermals, it had to be two thermals, nothing less.”

She reached Tanzania on October 10 and met the three trainers who would accompany the group; she was briefed in regards to the following day: “They took it one day at a time and never overloaded us with information. I focussed on one step at a time and concentrated on my breathing during the eight-day hike — six days of ascent and two days of descent.”

Mental preparation performed a key position in the course of the journey. There was no room for negativity or nervousness. “Shekhar told me that each mountain requires a different preparation and that the mountain has to choose you and allow you to scale it, which I realised is true.”

Slowly, slowly

Nivetha Thomas with the team during the expedition

Over the following eight days, Nivetha would be taught plenty of new phrases: ‘pole, pole,’ (slowly in Kiswahili, an East African language). Taking it sluggish makes it simpler for the physique to acclimatise to the altitude and diminishing oxygen ranges.

The different thumb rule was to remain hydrated to chase away altitude illness. “Severe headaches, nausea, diarrhoea and insomnia are common symptoms. Luckily, I did not experience those,” she says.

The terrain modified daily: rainforests on day one, moor land on day two, dry moor land giving method to rocks on day three, rocky terrain on day 4, a desert on day 5 and the glacial summit on day six. “The weather changed by the hour, from sunny to foggy, rains to chill,” provides Nivetha.

Adequate food and rest is crucial to climb, says Nivetha Thomas

Adequate meals and relaxation is essential to climb, says Nivetha Thomas
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

On the primary two days, the group hiked for seven hours. Later, it might enhance to 12 and the summit day concerned 18 hours of strolling. Wanting to see the dawn, sundown and the celebrities from the mountain was one of many causes for her expedition. “At the end of the day, you feel like running to a pile of snow and playing with it, but your body will want you to rest. You have to pay heed, eat well and rest if you want to wake up the next morning and walk for hours.”

Keep transferring

The journey to the summit started late night and turned out to be arduous: “The guideline was to keep moving, even if very slowly, but never stop. At minus 12 to 15 degrees, you risk cramps and frostbites. The guides were extremely patient. As my oxygen saturation was good, they allowed me to go ahead.”

Poorna Malavath and Nivetha Thomas

The descent was faster and he or she discovered herself in a cheerful temper, typically taking up the reins of guiding the group down the slopes: “You have to watch where you put your feet because you can come down pretty quickly.”

She has already determined her subsequent expedition, although she doesn’t spill the beans. She phrases the expedition a life-changing expertise, the place nothing else mattered other than being near Nature: “No amount of money or fame can match that experience of scaling a mountain.”

Before the expedition, she was of the view that anybody can do it. But her coach and guides requested her to order that assertion till she scaled the height. Reflecting, Nivetha concedes, “I don’t think it is for everyone. You have to be physically and mentally prepared. As you progress, it is more of a mind game. I could see people from other teams barely being able to walk and having to be pushed by their guides. The mountains have to welcome you.”

2021-10-26 17:21:48

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