Monday, February 28, 2011

400th meetup of GHAC


It all began way back in May 2008, when Diyanat Ali decided that adventure was what Hyderabadis needed the most. 33 months later, the Great Hyderabad Adventure Club has grown into one of India's most active adventure clubs with a steadily growing membership (as of today, 3717 to be precise).

Now, history will be made on 3rd March 2011 as Ali Razvi gets set to lead a GHAC team to the Aqua Ocean Goa - Marine Wealth Awareness Programme. That, ladies and gentlemen, will be the 400th meet up of GHAC, a landmark that we all should be really proud of. It will not be long before we hit the 4000 member mark and with it moving into the next trajectory of growth.

To keep up with this rapid growth in membership, the GHAC Organizing Team is being expanded and that will mean more treks and shorter waiting lists. We are also ramping up training for the new organizers and introducing a new mentoring program. All these moves will drive in a culture of total professionalism among the GHAC Leadership, which should then percolate down to all our members.

At the end of the day, it’s the effort and dedication of each one of you at GHAC that makes us what we are today. We thank you for reposing your confidence in us and will strive to keep up with the increasing expectations.

Do send in your feedback and suggestions to:


GHAC Organizing Team

Sunday, February 20, 2011

GHAC Leadership Summit

What does it take to build a new generation of leaders? Lot of enthusiasm, a dash of optimism, tons of knowledge, sprinkling of confidence, dressed up with devil may care attitude. Actually it takes more than that. This was obvious, when over 50 organizers and wannabe organizers gathered at Dhruva College of Management at Medchal on the outskirts of Hyderabad.  The occasion: the two day Annual Summit of Great Hyderabad Adventure Club (GHAC).

The chock-o-block agenda began with the wonderful, haunting Silent National Anthem. Our host and Chairman of Dhruva College of Management, Dr Pratap Reddy made the introductory remarks. This was followed by a formal inauguration by Vishweshwar Konda, an adventurer in his own right. Sangita Reddy, Executive Director Operations, Apollo Hospitals followed with a peppy speech. Post the inauguration, Diyanat Ali, Chief Organizer and founder of GHAC outlined his vision for the next financial year and a road map for GHAC. A session on Conflict Management by Chandra and Suresh brought out the issues that GHAC organizers faced during many of the treks.

Diya then took up the subject of the basic s of organising treks, Organiser Qualities, Ethics and etiquette. Suresh Kochattil and Chandra had a session on Introducing and using Mentoring and Feedback as a growth and success tool. This interactive session saw a number of suggestions flowing back and forth.  Padmaja made her talk on Effective Team Bonding on Treks and Diya followed with on Using Social Media to spread the word. Suresh moved in with a session on Effective Public and Media relations. A small digression from the topic saw an animated debate by delegates on the road ahead for GHAC. That more or less closed out the day sessions of the first day.

Post dinner, it was time for the Night Navigation Workshop by Mel Irwin and Keku. The participants were trained in finding their way out of a forest or mountain top by navigating with aid of stars. The one hour session was obviously not enough and we need another meet up to complete this training. A cake was cut by Diya to mark the first Leadership Summit of GHAC. The campfire that followed went on into the wee hours of the morning and saw an enthralling display of the multifaceted talents of the participants.

An early morning walk in the reserve forest adjacent to the college saw Diya introducing map reading sessions for the uninitiated. This too requires more training and we are sure to see a meetup on this subject, soon. A quick breakfast was followed a talk on Bouldering & Rock Climbing as a sport by Sujay, and it was awesome. For the first time, many of us realized the sheer range of bouldering equipment that GHAC has in its arsenal.  Chief trainer of GHAC, Lt Col. Rajeev Sharma spoke on planning and conduct of Treks. The subject of following and implementing Club Rules, Reporting violations and Disciplinary Action was taken up GHAC General Counsel, Javed Razack. Following that, Ali Razvi, our master negotiator spoke on Vendor Persuasion and Negotiation Skills.

Post lunch, Col Rajeev took us on Wilderness Survival Skills Workshop in the reserve forest. It was enlightening session that complimented the theory class that was held in the morning. We learnt how to make tea without any vessel, make different kinds of fires, make a basic but effective water filter in the wild, and make shelters in the wilderness.  Col Rajeev also taught us how to make different types of Knots and their usage including a Rope Lashing Workshop Session.

Back to the classroom, it was time for First Aid and Emergency Procedures by Dr Vibha. CPR and other emergency procedures were followed by a demo on evacuation by Prashant Pai and team. A session on Pain Relief and Relaxation with Physiotherapy by Praveen was followed by presentation of accounts by Ranga.

All in all, it was two wonderful days of theory and practical classes that enhanced the learning skills of the participants. The benchmark gets higher for the subsequent Summits. The post-summit deliberations will continue in the weeks to come.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Backpacking- How not to pack for Treks.

By- Ankitha Sista
My first 3 day trek with GHAC was particularly memorable for me and possibly my co-adventurers. The reason primarily being my abnormally huge backpack, which probably had in it all one needed to start pulling off a Walden at Kondaveedu Fort (That's where we went. It was a 2-day trek, though). I didn't think twice about the stuff I packed in it, and thought it'd be perfectly normal to carry such a huge back-pack (We see them in them movies, right?). I made lots of lists and was pleased with myself when every item on the list given in the meet write-up was crossed off. That huge stupid grin of mine was wiped off my face when I reached the Secunderabad Railway Station. "Are you carrying that for this trek" was on everybody's minds and a few faces. "Just how much does your Backpack weigh?" was a question frequently asked. Just after the "What's your name?"

I loved it, because I made friends faster than anyone else did. ;) Now how that happened was because the question that followed the ones mentioned above was "What are you carrying in it?". Smugly, I'd reply "Food", which was, the truth. I carried food sufficient for the gang for about 3 days, and other camping luxuries that weren't on the list, but in my back-pack because I set my eyes upon something and thought "Oh, that would be essential if something happens". I considered all possible case scenarios of what could possibly go wrong on the trek and Ta Da! There lay my elephantine backpack.

Coming to the approximately precise 'configuration' of my backpack, 50% of it was food. I packed food, retaining all my Indian-ness. Khakras, Theplas, Dhoklas and all the usual Gujju snacks and bread, jam, biscuits, butter, glucose, wafers, chocolates and the likes. So basically, I walked in to the Supermarket, went stashing everything I found on the rack in my trolley. Much later, in Phiraangipuram, I came to know what a squander that was when I saw the number of parcels our dear organisers had packed for lunch. Damn! I should have known. Nevertheless, the food stuff I brought did come handy because a
couple of them were foodies like me. :D

Another slip up was the carrying extra clothes. Remember, you won't need them on the GHAC treks. The schedules are really well planned and perfectly executed, so, the question of a What-if… happens doesn't arise. And the extra clothes I carried were Jeans- a total no-no on treks. Ideally, you could come
wearing clothes you'd want to trek in and another pair of clothes. But I didn't. And that made a lot of difference.

The other misjudgments included carrying my usual supply of toiletries I do, when I'm on an out-station trip. This was, clearly, not one. Diyanat later told me a few tips for carrying as minimal as possible. The smallest/ minimum quantity package the product has on offer should go in. Simple, isn't it?

It was when I began reading some climbing literature that I got to know how crucial even a milligram of weight is. People cutting off unnecessary buttons, toothbrush handles are the starters. I'm improvising on my packing with every trip I take.  As for the packing bible, what packing bible? Just stick to the list given!


A picture dedicated to my back pack should give you an idea of why it became a standing joke on the trek.

This is for a comparison to scale since the other picture doesn't provide any.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Outdoor exercise healthier than gym workouts: Study

 More reasons to get out and join GHAC in the outdoors. Read on...

A new study has found that going for a run outdoors is better than exercising in the gym because it has a positive impact on mental, as well as physical health. The study found that exercise in natural environments was linked to greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, reports the Telegraph.  Also levels of tension, confusion, anger and depression were lowered by exercising outside.

A team at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry looked at data from sources including 11 trials involving 833 adults. All compared the relative merits of outdoor exercise compared to indoors. Apart from improved mental health benefits, the study also reported greater enjoyment from exercising outside, and a higher likelihood of continuing with the exercise regime.

The study has been published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. (ANI)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gemini TV News Coverage Clips

For those who could not watch the Gemini TV Coverage of GHAC Bouldering and Rappelling Event. We have uploaded the video to youtube at the folllwing url.

Part 1

Part 2

GHAC Mascot Competition

Whats your idea of a GHAC mascot?. How should GHAC Mascot look like.  What it should be called?. Come take part in the mascot competition and share your best images and win prizes.

Please upload all entries to the "GHAC Mascot Competition" Album at . You need to sign in to to upload photos.

Deadline 11:59pm IST -  28th Feb 2011


1st prize: Backpack 50 Litre
2nd prize: Sleeping Bag
3rd prize: GHAC Tshirt and Cap


   * Only one entry per member is allowed.
   * All submissions must be uploaded to the "GHAC Mascot Competition" Album at
   * All mascots should have a name as the caption for the image uploaded.
   * Original Idea should be yours.  you can have someone design it for you.
   * GHAC  Committee will select the winners and declare the official mascot.
   * GHAC Club becomes owner of selected official mascot with all due credits given to the maker.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Great Hyderabad Adventure Club signs an MOU with Child Reach India

 Great Hyderabad Adventure Club signs an MOU with Child Reach India

Evening of 1st February 2011 was a red letter day for Great Hyderabad Adventure Club, as an MOU was signed between GHAC and Child Reach India to raise funds for welfare of lesser privileged children in India. CRI is a subsidiary of Child Reach International, a UK based charity organization that works for the welfare of children in India and across of the world. The MOU was signed by Diyanat Ali, Chief Organizer GHAC and Naresh Chaudhary, Country Director, Child Reach India.

GHAC will do what its best at, by conducting adventure activities and CRI will do the fund raising by offering the activities to the corporates and other groups. This agreement is possibly the first of its kind in India, where adventure comes to the aid of charity.

GHAC will raise funds  by conducting adventure activities in state of Andhra Pradesh for Child Rights India under the programme called Challenge Events. GHAC will also observe a charity weekend every month during which it would be carrying out itineraries only for the charity. Charity weekend is a weekend in which both GHAC and Child Rights India will be conducting events for charity.

Great Hyderabad Adventure club GHAC is a not for profit  club located in Hyderabad City and caters to weekend getaways, weekend travel,  trekking, hiking, camping, outdoors and adventure sports like rock climbing, rappelling, paragliding, skiing, white water rafting, scuba diving. The club provides everyone opportunities to get outdoors, try new adventure activities, and generally have a fantastic outdoor time. The Club also raises funds for equipment and various social causes by conducting Adventure Events and Team Building Activities for Corporates.

In the pic: Diyanat Ali  signs the MOU on behalf of GHAC while Naresh Chaudhary, Country Director signed the MOU for Child Reach India. Organisers Ali Razvi, Suresch Kochattil and Peddi Reddy were present and participated in the discussions.