Udupi Youth Rides 18,000+ km solo to hoist Tulunadu Flag on the world’s highest motorable road Umling La Pass in Ladakh and Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal.
Udupi: A software engineer who loves exploring inaccessible locations, recently undertook a solo bike ride on the Umling La Pass in Ladakh with an altitude of 19,024 ft. on 27th May 2023, currently the world’s highest motorable road and Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal with altitude 17,598 ft. on 22nd June 2023, completing 120 Kms trek in 6 days which otherwise takes 12 days and it’s also the world’s highest peak base camp. Meet Siddwin Shetty, 28 from Udupi who is the first from Udupi to hoist the Tulunadu Flag after completing his solo bike ride.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Siddwin Shetty shared his whole experience of Solo Ride. Siddwin is the son of Suresh Krishna Shetty and Sujaya S Shetty. He has a sister Shreya S Shetty. Siddwin completed his BE in Computer Science and Engineering, at NMAM Institute of Technology, Nitte. Worked as a Software Engineer in multiple companies.
Narrating his story Siddwin said that he was shortlisted for Indian Army. Unfortunately, 10 days before the physical fitness test, while heading back home, he met with an accident caused by another car (hit-and-run). Because of this, a metal plate was inserted into his wrist. This impacted his dream to get into the Indian Army. After almost 2 years of healing, he developed his passion for trekking. He has a self-record of doing 30 solo treks in 8.5 months. After finishing so many treks, he met with a trek injury. This resulted in falling from 30+ feet. Post these two (bike and trek) injuries, he was provoked to prove himself and excel in what he had failed to achieve. So, he challenged himself and planned to do all India borders and cover 12 Jyotirlinga. Additionally, having the main intention to hoist the Tulunadu flag at the highest possible altitude that’s Umling La – 19,024 Ft.
He was about to start his journey from the showroom. However, he was told to use the bike for 2,000 Km and then go for a long ride. He did have the touch of the bike earlier for about 8 months (using a neighbour’s bike) which was 2 years ago and 1 week before purchasing a bike. He neither had any Mentors for trekking/mountaineering nor anyone for biking. Just went by tuning his willpower and spirituality.
Siddwin started his journey around 4th week of purchasing his first new bike on 6th May 2023. He covered a distance of 18,000+ Km covering 21 states, 5 Union Territories and 3 Countries – India, Nepal and Bhutan in 73 days. He returned to Udupi on the 19th of July. The Umling La and Mount Everest Base camp was planned at the last moment. If Umling La needs mental fitness. Then, Mount Everest Base Camp will need both physical and mental fitness. He came to know that people work out for EBC (Everest Base Camp) for 3 months to one year.
He tested his ability in all possible ways. Moreover having injured his right knee patellar. He was doubtful if he could do it or not. There were many incidents of deaths, which he had researched even before going to EBC. But the only thing that came to his mind was the Tulunadu flag. Finally, he called his sister and took her and his brother-in-law’s suggestion. If they can back up and, since he got very good support, he never looked back. Both these high-altitude attempts were done flawlessly without any oxygen supplements, AMS- Altitude Mountain Sickness tablets or thermals.
During his ride, Siddwin crossed several bridges, landslides, flooded areas, streams, icey areas, sand, rocks, mountains and dense forests. Fortunately, it has got to cover nearly 100 temples (including Jyotirlinga a prominent and small temple). He also visited Monasteries, Temples, Gurudwara and churches and did watch the architecture of Mosques during his ride. Siddwin met people of almost all religions and had conversations with strangers of 15+ countries on the way to Mt. Everest base camp. Got to meet the armed forces of 4 countries – India, Nepal, Bhutan and America during his journey. He got to learn from hardworking helpers still VVIPs.-
Siddwin spent nearly Rs 2.5 Lakhs including petrol, maintenance, food, stay and accessories/backup gear. He had done many treks in the past and due to injury he took a break from trekking for almost 7 months – 1 year and it’s still in the healing phase. However, during his trip, he had done 5 treks/hikes. That is – Harihar Fort, Maharashtra; Shivneri. Kedarnath; Mt. Everest Base Camp and Tungnath (the world’s highest Shiva temple)
Finally, his message is that “Please don’t risk your life at high altitudes. Try to have local food. Have in-depth knowledge of where you are going and why you are going. Respect nature and I assure you that nature will support you back when you are in need.”
Team Mangalorean wishes Siddwin Shetty all the very best in future.