Major H.P.S. Ahluwalia, the narrator of The Summit Within, describes his experiences and feelings while climbing Mount Everest and standing at its summit. In the year 1965, he was a part of the first successful Indian expedition to Mount Everest. Even though he was tired when he reached the top of Everest, he showed his joy and gratitude at having successfully climbed the world’s tallest peak. He experienced a range of emotions including delight, joy, and despair. He also gave thanks to God for his success. Meanwhile, he realized that ascending a mountain was not as significant as scaling one’s inner summit.
Major Ahluwalia felt that to climb the world’s highest peak, it was equally important to reach the summit of one’s mind. To climb a mountain, he believes that individuals must have three qualities: endurance, persistence, and willpower. These qualities help a person in overcoming difficulties in life. A person needs to have these qualities so that he can enjoy his life and courageously overcome any obstacles that may occur.
When asked why he chose to climb Mount Everest, Major Ahluwalia replied that he loves mountains. As it is the world’s highest and mightiest peak, climbing it without break is a difficult task for any climber. He went on to explain that he had a strong desire to face challenges and conquer difficulties. Moreover, the excitement of successfully climbing Mount Everest is overpowering because only a few people are capable of completing the journey. Most importantly, he noted that conquering Mount Everest was not only a physical success for him but also an emotional and spiritual one. He gained fame and a sense of achievement as a result of his successful attempt to conquer the peak.
Major Ahluwalia further added that climbing the peak taught him the value of companionship. Two or more people form bonds while climbing the mountain since they share the same rope and other supplies. While one climber ascends the mountain, other hangs onto the rope and hacks through the hard ice to clear the way ahead. The main purpose of Major Ahluwalia’s mission was to convey the message that scaling the mountain by oneself is a difficult task. Climbers need emotional support from their partners in addition to physical help.
Major Ahluwalia further said that when he reached the top of Mount Everest, all of the climbers were humbled and thanked and bowed down to God for helping them in achieving their goal. At Mount Everest, Major Ahluwalia left a picture of Guru Nanak, Rawat left a picture of Goddess Durga, Phu Dorji left a memento of Lord Buddha, and Edmund Hillary buried a Cross under the heap of snow and stones.
Major Ahluwalia finished by highlighting the significance of every person climbing the inner peak within himself to transform. He further said that possibly climbing the inner summit of one’s head is harder than climbing Mount Everest. It is very well worth the effort and effective.