The goal is to constantly evolve by finding new Everests to conquer
That’s what Kuntal Joisher seeks to do in the future. Kuntal is a mountaineer who has summited Everest not once, but twice! What’s more, he has done that on a hundred percent vegan diet, and without any animal-based products in his gear. Today, he is an avid hiker, a passionate vegan who keeps churning out incredibly exciting plant-based finds from his kitchen, and is now venturing into professional bodybuilding!
Born in a Kutchi family living in Bombay, Kuntal had a regular childhood and adolescence. It was on a trip with his wife to the lesser-known ski-resort of Narkanda that his life took a turn. Narkanda’s premier attraction, the gorgeous Hatu Peak, was on Kuntal’s list as well. The couple hired a car to drive to the top of the peak but in the middle of the uphill journey, the driver informed them that the road ahead was blocked by snow. Now, this was Kuntal’s maiden experience with snow, and in that moment, something changed.
How it all started?
He, along with his wife, decided to hike to the top and experience the snow at Hatu Peak. While it was extremely tiring since they weren’t physically active, what they experienced at the top was every bit worth it. Kuntal fell in love with the mountains and he was mesmerized by the snow. Most of us are unable to pinpoint the defining moments in our lives, but for Kuntal, that was one defining moment. That day, when he witnessed the snow at Hatu Peak, Kuntal allowed himself to dream of climbing mountains.
After that, it was nothing but consistent training, a nutritious plant-based diet and a lot of practice for Kuntal. During his training period, Kuntal completed over 400 local treks, a dozen 6000+ m treks and spent 5000+ hours in training, all of this on a vegan diet. Kuntal did all of this while also working part-time as a consultant. He successfully summited Everest in 2016. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, Kuntal continues to be a vegan activist, sharing incredible tips on leading a vegan lifestyle, that too on a budget, and mentors several individuals who wish to take up the journey towards a cruelty-free lifestyle.
While he still enjoys hiking, his horizons have now broadened. “Mountaineering is still my love, but I’m also venturing into professional bodybuilding. I have started weight-lifting and I am training rigorously to become a professional body-builder. It is quite rare for a mountaineer to try bodybuilding since both spheres require different kinds of training. A lot of people used to tell me that mountaineering on a vegan diet wasn’t possible and now they tell me that bodybuilding on a vegan diet is not possible. I have been vegan for 18 years and I have taken it as a challenge; I will work to achieve it!”
Climb with Kuntal
If you wish to experience the beauty of the mountains under the guidance of the man himself, you can sign up for ‘Climb with Kuntal’– an initiative wherein Kuntal takes groups of people for expeditions in the Himalayas, the Everest Base Camp expedition being the flagship offering. His expeditions offer gorgeous hikes, unique local experiences and an insider’s perspective into life in the Himalayas.
When asked what he sees for himself in the future, Kuntal wittily said that he wants to climb newer Everests! “I don’t want to see my life as a flat line; ups and downs are important in life! If you don’t go through failure, there’s no character development and without that, how do you get better? My goal is to keep facing newer challenges and to evolve continuously. Above all, I also want to be more grateful for everything that I have and to never take anything for granted.”
In an era of YOLO, FOMO and TL;DR, Kuntal Joisher’s journey is a testimony of the power of compassion, consistency and commitment. He truly personifies the phrase “Dreams don’t work, unless you do.” He inspires us to do it all, to be it all and his story is a solid reminder that only the sky is the limit!