Mountaineer Bianca Dias presented an audio visual presentation on the topic ‘A Trekking Adventure’ at Friday Forum on March 10, at Club Harmonia, Margao.
Bianca Dias is the founder of ‘Off Trail Adventures’, one of Goa’s first adventure companies, who has been trekking since the age of 12. She is one of Goa’s few women mountaineers to represent Goa in professional mountaineering event in the country and in 2015 was selected by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) to lead the Indian all-women team to the Mt Bhagirathi III on a month long expedition from May 28 to June 30.
Bianca said, “I always wanted to join the armed forces. So, treks and camps always fascinated me. Even when I was a teenager, I was enthusiastic to join the camps and that has what has made me what I am today.”
Bianca completed diploma in civil engineering. She then did her basic and advance course in Nehru Institute of Mountaineering.
Speaking about her trekking group Off Trail Adventures she revealed that they do activities like mountain climbing, trekking and hiking, camping, sailing and kayaking, cycling amongst some others.
She explained that there are certain rules and regulations that one must follow while trekking. Most important amongst them is maintaining the beauty of nature. She said, “All those who go for trekking or camping or any other kind of adventure, they love nature. So, we always follow a rule of getting back each and everything that you have taken along during your adventure. This maintains cleanliness in nature as well as its beauty.” Off Trail Adventures organises trails in Goa as well as outside Goa.
Bianca further spoke about her experiences of climbing Mt Bhagirathi III. She said, “Climbing Mt Bhagirathi III is quite a technical thing because it has a lot of portion of granite wall. When I say a wall, it is literally a wall! So, I knew that it wasn’t possible to climb the mountain from that portion. Thanks to the latest technology- Google. I went on Google and checked the contour map that helped me discover a new route to Mt Bhagirathi III.”
Bianca explained that while they were on their journey to climb Mt Bhagirathi III, they met another team that had chosen to climb the mountain from the original route. “They were on their journey back home. They told us that it wasn’t possible to climb from the original route. When I told them about my route they told me that it should be possible. When they said that it should be possible, I was confident because although they weren’t really successful, they had at least experienced climbing the mountain and also the weather. They also told us that they had to face very bad weather during their journey.”
Talking about the team, Bianca said, “There are both sides to the trek, positive and negative. Team mates play a significant role during your adventurous journey. If there you have good members who get along with you quite well, you will enjoy the adventure to the fullest. But even if one member of the team isn’t supportive or doesn’t get along with you, the experience of adventure will be the worst. So, a lot of your adventure depends on the kind of team you get because finally they are your family members throughout your adventure.”
Elaborating on the overall journey she said, “Journey wasn’t easy because as we were climbing on top, we faced bad weather. We overcame the bad weather. Further we also came across ridge and blue ice rock. We crossed the ridge but it is more than a risk to climb blue ice rock. I didn’t want to risk the lives of my team members. So, I decided not climb the last few metres. However, it was a huge achievement for us because we opened a new route to climb Mt Bhagirathi III,”