To folks who don’t know what the Himalayan Outbound Program (HOP) is - it is a legitimate course with credits which is offered to the final year students belonging to certain IIMs (Like IIM Indore). The participants are required to trek up to altitudes of around 10,000 to 12,000 ft, for a period of three to four days at selected locations in the Himalayas, and take part in adventure activities and group tasks. Gift vouchers and other prizes are awarded to groups which perform well during these treks and activates. The programs are usually organised and conducted by vendors such as Indiahikes and TSAF.
HOP, for the students in the final year, is a good break from the B-School frenzy amidst the pressures of placements, competitions and events. Some expenditure and pain have to be incurred in procuring basic trekking stuff, and for travel arrangements, apart from which HOP is a lot of fun. Here are a few things one can look forward to in such a program -
The stories that you can share: A lot of bizarre things happen when B-School students, who are meticulously taught how to squeeze profits out of everything around, are made to climb Himalayan peaks. Things like being not allowed to reach the summit for breaking smoking rules while trekking, accidently peeing on bonfires whose soot is apparently used to roughen hands for better grip, to getting chased by dogs after annoying them with-a-Himalayan-animal picture, abound. But, there are the good ones as well, and the pictures shared on social media.
Weight loss: Binge on food and stuff yourselves as much as you can before the trek because you are bound to lose some weight during this program. And, there is the tan as well. Students look like they were forced to spend four days in Kala Pani, after attending such a program. So there you go, here is another B-School course which is going to make you lose weight, but not through assignments and hectic sessions.
The entertainment that unfit people offer: Trekking as an activity is physically challenging and, the Himalayan peaks, where vendors like TSAF and Indiahikes operate, are tough to conquer. The paths go steep often. So, HOP is a great occasion to derive pleasure by looking at all those guys, who either are lazy enough to keep themselves fit, or thought physical activity was a waste of time in B-Schools for you have many precious things to study and assignments to do. But, of course, the unfit folks are the ones who make the most out of the Himalayan air because of all the panting.
Need.....Water....Can't get up....
Sense of achievement: Finally, trekking majestic peaks surrounded by magnificent Himalayan landscape is a memorable experience to have. Reaching the summit after all the hard work and crawling gives you a beautiful view and a sense of accomplishment. HOP can be physically demanding and can put you through uncomfortable situations, but it stays as a memorable event nevertheless.
Take my picture guys!
About the Author:
Nikhil Murthy is a second-year student at IIM Indore and a part of the InsideIIM’s student team 2016-17. He is also a part of IIM Indore’s campus radio and captain of the basketball team. His interests include writing, travelling and DJing.