A Hiker's Chronicle: Dr. Om Manchanda, MD, Dr. Lal PathLabs Has a Penchant for Summits Dr Manchanda knows the importance of staying fit. He believes that no matter how busy one gets, it is essential to take a break and bask in nature.
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Dr. Om Manchanda, Managing Director at Dr. Lal PathLabs, is a summit seeker who has explored trails in Uttarakhand, Slovenia, Scotland, Italy, and Tanzania. Leading a healthcare giant in the country, Dr Manchanda knows the importance of staying fit. He believes that no matter how busy one gets, it is essential to take a break and bask in nature.
What initially drew you to the idea of hiking?
I developed a passion for hiking at the age of 17 and went for my first trek to Milam Glacier, Uttarakhand, in the year 1982. Later, I joined a mountaineering club at my university in Hisar and actively pursued my passion for this exciting extracurricular activity.
How often do you go for hiking?
I went for a couple of short hikes during my college days but then professional responsibilities held me back and there was a long gap. It was in 2010 that I restarted my pursuit of this passion. Since then, I've made an effort to go on a hike every year. Sadly, there was a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What has been your fondest memory so far of hiking?
I have done treks in Himalayas as well as European Alps. As recently as November 2022, I climbed Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. I cherish many memories but the fondest one would be last day of the Mount Kilimanjaro climb when we reached the summit. It was truly an incredible feeling and experience.
A favourite course or place of yours for hiking is…
I love the European Alps! I usually sign up with an outdoor adventure company, Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures based in the US. My favorite place for hiking would be Slovenia, one of the most scenic places I have ever been to other than Alaska and New Zealand.
A track or route you have on your bucket list yet to be ticked…
Well the most aspiring trek for any mountaineer, Everest Base Camp, is in my bucket list since a long time. The hike involves several days of walking at an altitude, which is about 18,000 feet above sea level. I wish to see the towering snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, and glistening glaciers surrounding the world's highest peak. I'm eager to witness this grandeur first-hand.
What have you learnt about yourself through this practice?
I have learnt that perseverance and resilience are the two crucial pillars that have helped me in my journey of learning and self-discovery. Hiking tests both. Perseverance and resilience are not easy qualities to develop but are strong attributes to help us through life's journeys.
What does your fitness regime look like?
I am very disciplined about my sleep and wake-up routine and faithfully wake up at 5:30 am every day. I dedicate nearly an hour to either morning walks or light exercises at the gym. I am committed to this routine and have been unwavering in my dedication to it.
What type of hiking equipment do you use?
The usual equipment required for hiking like waterproof hiking shoes, rucksacks, trekking poles, gloves, hiking head torch, a camelback hydration pack, etc.
Are there any similarities between being a hiking enthusiast and being an entrepreneur?
In my opinion, both roles demand a high level of discipline, an unwavering routine, a target or goal. Perseverance, dedication, and commitment are needed throughout the journey.