#13 – Kuntal Joisher (First vegan to climb Mt. Everest from both the sides) – Living a life of compassion and Summiting the highest mountains!

Kuntal Joisher
[Image Courtesy – Kuntal Joisher (Instagram) ]

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In this episode I’m talking to Kuntal Joisher who became the World’s first Vegan to scale Everest in 2016 and now in 2019 he has summited Everest again from the North Side becoming the only vegan on earth climb Mt. Everest from both the sides. Kuntal’s expeditions are driven by compassion as a Vegan and he also spreads awareness on Dementia. He has also been on the cover of multiple international Vegan magazines. Apart from his mountain expeditions he works as a technology professional and also speaks at various events through out the globe as a public speaker.

In this conversation we talk about his story, how the early exposure to the idea that it’s ok do crazy things seeded his life with the sense of adventure. How his journey as a mountaineer started and the moments when he was first awestruck with the magnificence of Mt. Everest. His training regime and advise for people who are aspiring to summit Mt. Everest. It’s all in this episode.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Kuntal Joisher.

Links and references from the episode –

Person’s mentioned in this episode –

Product mentioned –

Book(s) mentioned –

Movie(s) Mentioned –

  • Cowspiracy – Movie about global warming and climate change

Interesting references –

  • SaveTheDuck – company which made Kuntal’s Everest wear which is made of 100% vegan materials. It withstood -30 to -40 degree Celsius on Kuntal’s expeditions.
  • Lhotse – The fourth highest mountain in the world at 8,516 metres (27,940 ft), after Mount Everest, K2, and Kanchenjunga. This was Kuntal’s first major climb with the 100% vegan suit.
  • Kamath’s restaurants, Lonavala
  • Kullu and Manali (villages around)
  • Darjeeling
  • Nepal
  • Shimla
  • Narkanda
  • Hindustan Tibet Highway
  • Hatu Peak (Narkanda) – Standing on the top of this peak was the point where Kuntal fell in love with the mountains.
  • The Everest Base Camp Trek
  • Pumori Base Camp – The place from where you can see The Everest Peaks – This is the moment which inspired him to climb The Everest. (Oct 2010)
  • Superior Cardio Vascular Endurance – Lungs and Heart
  • Training bullet points –
    1. Physical Fitness
      1. Cardiovascular Training – 2 Cardio workouts in a week (Did Stair Climbs in early days – 80 floors / 100 Floors | Hiking 4 times a week now)
      2. Strength Training – 2 strength workouts in a week (Body Weight Training)
      3. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – 3-4 HIIT workouts in a week (Resting heart rate of 40 was one of the key success patterns between successful Everest climbers)
    2. Mental Fitness – 2-3 months in the mountains every year. 6 – 8 small and big expedition
    3. Mountaineering course – Pre-cursor to his expeditions
  • Practiced on Eastern Express Highway (Flat Road) initially
  • Everest Attempts –
    1. April 2014 – Almost 4 years of training Since 2010 (Resting heart of Kuntal at that time was 44) – Tragedy happened – 20 Sherpa’s were killed in an ice avalanche.
    2. 2015 – Second attempt – Nepal Earthquake 7.9 Magnitude (10000 people died), Big avalanche – Kuntal’s viral video – almost verge of death.
    3. May 2016 – Third attempt – 9.20AM first summit – dietary vegan
    4. May 2019 – Fourth attempt – second summit – fully vegan
    • Some learnings from the above expeditions –
      • Cost per attempt to climb – around 30 Lacs of Indian Rupees (around 42K USD).
      • Mantra for climbing high altitude – Climb high sleep low (acclimatise). 30-35 days.
      • South Cole (Camp 4) – it is in Death Zone – borrowed time – humans cannot acclimatise in death zone
  • Related to His Father –
  • Vegan Flag – Which he took to the Everest top the second time (May 2019).
  • % of diet type of Indians – 29% Vegetarian and 71% Non-Vegetarian (~900 Million people which 3 times the size of United States)
  • Ahimsa Festival / One Earth Festival – Kuntal is the Brand Ambassador of this event
  • His Diet –
    • Nutrimake – Kuntal’s breakfast from past many months
    • Veggies and Beans based meals for breakfast
    • Frankie or Chapathi or Chapati wrap of Vada Pav masala based meal for Dinner (Done by 8.30PM)
  • Hulk Joke by Himanshu
  • Kuntal’s Mentor – The Himalayas – Teached him Patience
  • Khumbu Icefall – One of the deadly part in the Everest climb
  • Garmin Phoenix 3 HR – Fitness watch Kuntal used for a month, now he doesn’t wear a watch or any other wearables.
  • Kuntal Next Challange – Summiting Seven highest mountains in Seven different Continents on a 100% vegan diet –
    1. Asia: Mount Everest 29,035 feet (8850 meters)
    2. South America: Aconcagua 22,829 feet (6962 meters)
    3. North America: Denali AKA Mount McKinley 20,320 feet (6194 meters)
    4. Africa: Kilimanjaro 19,340 feet (5895 meters)
    5. Europe: Mount Elbrus 18,510 feet (5642 meters)
    6. Antarctica: Mount Vinson 16,067 feet (4897 meters)
    7. Australasia/Oceania: Carstensz Pyramid 16,023 feet (4884 meters)

    ** Australia: Mount Kosciusko 7,310 feet (2228 meters)OR

  • Advice for Aspiring climbers to summit Mount Everest –
    • Creating a top of the world mind and body is the way to go.
    • Do a mountaineering course to learn the basics.
    • Do as many expeditions as you can
    • Climb in various environment –
      • In the night conditions
      • Climb in snow storms
      • Climb with one hand or without hands (not in crazy high peaks but a little safer environments)

Quotes mentioned –

  • My father taught me – Doing crazy things is ok!
  • Either be on the side of apathy, or if you know the real issue and it’s pain, then go on the other side of apathy and do something about it.
  • You have to value your life, your fingers, your toes, your general well being over getting to the top (of the Mountains). Getting to the top is simply a bonus, Getting down is the main part.
  • Over-prepare all the time.

The ways you can connect with Kuntal –

Listen on Castbox

My Twitter handle: twitter.com/h1m4n5hu

Credits and License:

My awesome intro background – The Real Broadway Musical by Narch and Dan Mace (Thanks guys)
Outro background – Tight Shorts – Andrew Applepie
Listen to the show in iTunes – click here.

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Saturday-Pentacle – Week 29 – 2017

Saturday-Pentacle, Week 29 Issue


Saturday-Pentacle - Week 21 - 2017

App of the week –


This week it’s not a mobile app but a chrome extension with which I’m in love from past 2+ years. It’s the best focus and productivity extension in the browser.

It has features like a big beautifully curated wallpaper which changes every day, a big sleek clock, weather, ToDo list apps integration inbuilt (this one is my favorite), so your favorite Todo list apps can be integrated with this dashboard and it can display the ToDos as well in this dashboard itself. You have to experience it to believe.

If I got you curious, you can download it for Chrome from here – Momentum

Unfortunately, it’s not available for Firefox browser, but I found a very good alternative to Momentum and it’s simpler than Momentum, it’s called Moment. It features a Big beautiful clock and a plain focused background and is highly customizable. You can download it from the Firefox Add-On Store.

My most popular Instagram post recently

Don’t give up.

When you feel like giving up your dream, force yourself to work another day, another week, a year.

You will be amazed what happens when you don’t give up.

Doesn’t matter if you don’t have arms, doesn’t matter if you don’t have any other limb, if you have your will and your heart you will reach there…

P.S. This video contains real imagery of an artist painting live from “Indian mouth and foot painting artists” club.

Shot and narrated today by yours truly.

Article(s) I’m enjoying (and pondering)

5 ways social media can help you travel – This is an interesting article pointing out a few very good tips and tools to help you with your travel via social media.

Summary of the article Before going to a place, get a visual vibe of the place from Instagram with its geolocation tagging, it hits the bullseye for getting a visual of the place you are thinking to go. Don’t hesitate to ask your friends on Facebook about the place you are about to visit, you may get some good info. If you are brave enough to ask strangers, twitter is your place to go. Remember, Facebook is friends and Twitter is the world.

Lastly, If you’re willing to take some risks in the form of advice from strangers, talk to locals once you are there physically, you could end up with a memorable experience. Just make sure to be specific in your requests.

What I’m reading/watching/listening to

Infinity And BackThis documentary released on 8th July on YouTube and Facebook and I’m proud to say that the protagonist of this docu film is my friend Kuntal Joisher.

He is a vegan and a mountaineer (how awesome a combo) and he climbed the Mount Everest last year (2016) on May 19. I found him very down to earth but a determined guy. So in 2015 when I was first introduced to him he was working hard towards his goal (climbing the highest peak in the world) and as his journey unfolded and finally he stepped on to the top of Everest last year. It was nothing short of the proudest feeling towards a friend.

Put on your headphones and watch this short film, as Kuntal and the editors of this movie take you to Kuntal’s journey of climbing the Everest. I promise you it’s Epic and the 21:59 minutes of your life will be worth it.

Quote I’m pondering on lately – 

“If someone is slipping up, kindly correct them and point out what they missed. But if you can’t, blame yourself—or no one.”

— Marcus Aurelius

Until Next Saturday!

Thanks for reading.


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