I often joke that my parents first child was not me but Snow Leopard Adventures – our family owned Adventure Tourism company which was conceived before I was born. My father is one of India’s stalwarts in the outdoors (he was the first Indian to kayak and raft down rivers in six continents, as well as the first Indian to complete the polar trilogy- skiing to the North Pole, South Pole and skiing across the Greenland icecap).
Growing up in a family like this, adventure was our normal. I went on my first hike strapped to my fathers back, before I even started walking. Our family holidays would consist of doing something outdoors whether it be hiking, diving or skiing, and I absolutely loved it.
My passion for mountaineering started in the summer before grade 8 at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering’s (NIM) adventure course. Growing up in India’s National Capital Region, the life I lead in NIM was very different from anything I had experienced before. It was simpler, the days were long and the learnings were life changing. I realised that I was happiest in the company of mountains, walking for hours with everything I needed my backpack.
From then on I jumped at every opportunity I got to be outdoors. My parents understood that the outdoors was a big part of my life, and they encouraged me to follow my passion. While supporting your children’s passions might seem like an obvious thing to do, in India girls aren’t often given the same opportunities as boys. I recognised, at a very young age, that what I had in terms of parental support was unique.
I am grateful for the fact that my parents have always supported me and left no stone unturned in helping me pursue my dreams. To my mother for constantly showing me what a privilege it is to be a woman, and to never let me gender define me and to my father for introducing me to the “great outdoors” and being my favourite “adventure buddy”.
Hi! My name is Deeya Bajaj and I am a mountaineer, adventurer and explorer from India. I have been extremly fortunate to have had the opportunity to explore some of the most remote parts of our planet (including to journey to the summit of Mt. Everest with my father, as India’s first father-daughter team). This blog is an attempt to document some of my learnings and experiences on my expeditions. Thank you for being a part of my journey! Keep checking this site (or subscribe to get an instant update) for more posts on my adventures all over the world!