Enthralled by magnificence of the Himalayas a mid-aged plump lady determined to cross Sar Pass(Himachal Pradesh,India) at any cost. She looked for someone who shall always hold her hand and make her ascend and descend the narrow muddy trails winding through the forest and / or fresh white slopes from the day one of the 10-day trek. After 3-day acclimatization at Kasol, she hired a male porter (barely a teenager) who obliged and obeyed her to earn a few bucks. On the fifth day, the young porter’s father requested the lady to settle his son’s bill as he had fallen sick and needed to go back. She burst out and refused to pay unless the porter accompanied her for the entire period as promised at the time of hiring. The father insisted but she was not ready to budge from her stand. He even promised her to arrange for a substitute female porter for rest of the trip. Without giving a thought to her condition and gender, she shouted that she did not want the fussy nags (referring to female porters). She may not even have introspected later on that considering same rules, the trek organizer might have debarred her from the trip.
Her desperation to reach the pass and some arm-twisting by the father compelled her to accept female porters. Chirpy surefooted school-going girls from nearby villages carried her rucksack and worked as her crutches even for long nature’s call for which she ignored all mountain manners. The girls obeyed her to earn money and even later on disclosed disliking of earlier male porter, who now carried another girl’s rucksack, for the lady.
I have been trekking since my school days but have never come across this breed of “neo” trekkers who believe that money can always buy them joys of traveling in wilderness at high altitude and ignore mental and physical fitness.