The first ray of sun that touches the mountains finds itself to be the most privileged. Every day this ray of sun gets to eye the beauty of the snow and unravel the mystery that mountains encode. Ram Sharan Upreti is just like the ray of the sun for he dives deep into the beauty of mountains. For years, he has been trekking to hills that let him see the magnificence of mountains. Unlike people who get monotoned to trek and see the sight of the same mountains, for Ram, the sight of these mountains is always ‘the first time.’
Ram’s tale and journey to mountains is a picture of what life would look if you dive deep into your passion and make dreams come true. Presenting the picture of one such dreamer, Ram Sharan Upreti- the man who loves mountains.
In search of finding an identity in the capital, he served onto many jobs which were the mirror to his hardships in Kathmandu. Ram was employed as a dance teacher in a dance center in Kathmandu. He loved dancing but his love couldn’t earn him enough to meet his basic needs. He has slept hungry for many days and delved into the thought of doing something more for himself. For him, the hardships he faceted don’t balance to any definition.
The idea of trekking struck his mind when one of his friends suggested him that life would be much easier if he would go trekking. Having no idea of what trekking was, when Ram inquired what trekking was he was told that trekking was ‘going to the mountains with foreigners’. He set off- to trek in the Dhaulagiri.
Unraveling his journey, Ram shares “I was approximately less than 50 kg back then. But, I had been loaded with more than 50 kgs of luggage and other kinds of stuff. Each moment of those 17 days in the trekking, I have shed tears but I held on. But, at the end of the day when I was tipped for my work, I realized that the earning came to be better than my previous job of a dance teacher. Trekking then became an option- to hold on and a means of life.” With the advancement of time, Ram started to accelerate himself to many treks.
An adept in Nepali and a scholarship student of his college, Ram got betrayed by English in his intermediate level (now high school). Even constant efforts and arduous learning couldn’t help him pass English. So, he just let it go.
But, during the treks, he started to realize the importance of English in his life. Consequently, he enrolled himself in Ratna Rajya Campus, Kathmandu to complete his intermediate studies. “The college had done an agreement with me and the agreement read: I will pass, no matter what. I never really understood the BBC tape recorders I played, English soap operas, news and movies I watched. But I kept on playing them and read English books at the airport too. The effort I invested and the time I let myself to study English paved a way to my success. I passed English.”
He commenced his undergraduate studies with majors in English to become a tour guide. In 2005, he completed his training of tour guide from Nepal Academy of Tourism and Health Management (NATHM) and the journey to real trekking began. “I learned to unfold places that were not common in trekking. I got acquainted with Lapche pass, a very rural part of the world that lies on the border of Tibet and Nepal. It took us additional 4 days to get to the village of Lapche.”
After his undergraduate studies, in 2009 the company he was working in offered with the position of dealing manager. He had to deal with foreigners and converse about the trekking options.
Consequently, in June 2013 Ram commenced the beginning of a new voyage- he started his own company, Mountain Ram Adventures. Through Mountain Ram Adventures, Ram has facilitated tourists with treks to places that are not common. Trek enthusiasts from the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe have been savoring the touch of Nepal’s unexplored and awe-inspiring mountains and routes of Nepal through Ram’s trek expertise.
Till date, Ram has trekked to Barun valley, Dhaulagiri, Khopra, Annapurna Base Camp, Everest Base Camp, Langtang valley, Lapche, Makalu, Ghorepani Poonhil, Manaslu, Mardi Himal, and Upper Mustang. He has been to Everest Base camp over 50 times, Langtang Valley for over 40 times, Annapurna Base Camp for over 67 times, Dhaulagiri for 3 times and Makalu for 2 times. He mentions that the sufferings he faced during treks to dangerous and agrarian places of Nepal have become an asset for his life. He never lets his porters carry load more than 20 kgs.
The trek enthusiast says, “I work for my company. Where the bosses of many enterprises feel as if their employees need to carry out all the task, I despise that thought. Even if I own Mountain Ram Adventures, I believe every one of us employed here should contribute equal time and effort.”
Ram believes that his exploration of the unraveled trek sites and his YouTube videos have contributed to spread words for the tourism sector of Nepal. He adds, “We could see that Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, and Langtang valley are the major places that people trek to. Apart from these places, Nepal has many other unexplored places that I have been and want to visit.”
For him, mountains evoke a sense of peace of mind and he knows that the materialistic world seems blunt in front of spirituality. Therefore, he thinks the people of the Himalayas who are aloof from the earthy world are honest and dedicated to the beauty of mountains.
Reminiscing moments of indelibility, Ram shares he vividly remembers every trek he has advanced to. The trek enthusiast says, “Every trek and every trip of mine is memorable. I love everyone and everything. Everyone has their special quality and everything in the world is special in its own way. For me, every experience either good or bad is amazing”
Besides trekking and exploring, he has an inclination towards learning. “Passiveness has never been a part of my life, even a minute counts precious for me. Unlike many people who just study for the sake of passing, I have passionately loved every book and learned them. After I was finished with my graduate studies, I stepped into the world of video editing, learning Japanese language and web developing.”
“When I look back I find no difference in the person I have become today. I still have the avid passion to continue and learn. It’s unexplainable how I lose myself in the beauty of the snow and mountains. Even in between the troubles and tears I had to face as a porter, steadily I started becoming happy after my eyes touched mountains. I am in love with mountains.”
The team of 15 members of Ram Adventures has been coordinating like a family. In the coming days, he wills to expand the family of 15 to 20 members, so that when ample guides are required he should not knock the doors of hired guides to work for his enterprise.
He feels that the looming problem of the trek scenario in Nepal is the lack of security. Underscoring the lack of proper route guides in the unexplored trek areas of the country, Ram mentions, “So many ways to the mountains don’t have proper direction guidelines. So, when people face some accident it might be helpful to have a friend in the trek. I never encourage anyone to expedite alone.”
For the future, Ram has precise plans, i.e. breathing the serene air from the hills of Nepal and diving into the magnificence of mountains. He intends to step up from the mundane chair of his current position, race to the mountains, eye the snow of mountains and unfolding unexplored Nepal.
Conveying his note of experiences and insight to every aspirant like him, Ram shares, “I have witnessed many frustrated people complain about the failures that ring onto their life. They are annoyed that their efforts could not prosper them even if they had given their hundred percent of their soul to the work. If any individual would put in his/her hundred percent, the way to success would not be far. So, giving hundred percent should not be an option.”
May the mountains always have an admirer like Ram Sharan Upreti! Kudos to his journey of hard work! Kudos to him who loves staying on the lap of mountains!
Presented by: Kabita Sen