Ishani Jamwal has balanced her work and life like no other. She is a model, skier, mountaineering athlete, and working professional who follows her passion and earns her living. She has participated in several national and international championships. The Khelo India National Games 2021 silver-medallist won a silver in ski mountaineering in the sixth National Snowshoe championship 2022.
Ishani loved outdoor sports and adventure as a child. She was a single child who enjoyed her company by climbing trees, boundaries, water pipes. Her father was from the para military forces and would take her for morning runs, hiking, fishing trips, which became the most exciting part of her life.
Ishani’s journey in the field of adventure began in 2009 when she did her first skiing course in the Solang Valley. She was the youngest in the course- her parents had to take a special permission to enroll her.
“For the first time in my life, I had to live in extreme cold temperatures, learn a new extreme adventure and manage everything. I was hardly 10-years-old, but I don't recall any hardship. My best moment was when I experienced independence and love towards a particular sport”, says Ishani.
She pushed her boundaries by skiing down from slopes and sections where her other course-mates were scared to try. It was a beautiful experience. She realised she would want to do this every year during her winter vacations. Ishani then started competing professionally, making it to the state, national and international championships. In 2012, Ishani represented India in the International Skiing Championship in Italy. She was team captain and asked to deliver a speech on behalf of India in Hindi.
Recalling the moment, Ishani said, “I remember marching with the Indian flag and giving a speech during the opening ceremony- it still gives me goosebumps. I guess it was then that I felt that I'm doing something for this nation and I would want to make the country proud”. Adventure sports have since become a prominent part of her life.
Unfortunately, in India we do not have a good infrastructure, instructors or support from the government for skiing. Moreover, skiing is a seasonal game. Athletes eagerly wait for snowfall every year so they can go to the slopes and practice. We have the mighty Himalayas. The government can definitely create international level ski resorts and slopes here, but this is not possible until the government realises this and supports skiing as a sport.
Ishani is also a professional mountaineer. She completed all her courses from the Abvimas Manali and was given the ‘best trainee’ title by the institute. Mountaineering is an extreme adventure that she likes. Ishani has climbed beautiful peaks and has been part of some great expeditions, including the first-ever all women expedition to Mt Kun (7077 m), which made history by being the first women team to summit this peak. She was the first Indian to attempt to climb Mt. Cho Oyu, the world’s sixth highest peak (8200m) from the never-climbed South route, which is extremely risky. She looks forward to climbing more mountains and taking the tricolour to new heights.
“Climbing mountains is not always about great views and tranquility. You battle with yourself mentally and physically in extreme temperatures. Climbing in altitudes with almost no oxygen and gasping for that air after every five steps just to keep you going and alive is a challenge. Every step, every move and second counts at that altitude where you are always surrounded by all kinds of fatal risks. The power that these mountains give me overpowers any other feeling or obstacle. I have always felt more self-aware, confident, humbled, yet powerful when climbing or skiing down the Himalayas. I have pushed my boundaries at every step. The adrenaline rush and fear makes you addicted to climbing even more. It is a completely different and pure experience. I cannot express in words. I have learnt so much from the mountains and it literally feels like a place of worship to me”, says Ishani.
Ishani is happy she is able to motivate people. She gets messages from people who want to try these adventures and who started trekking and mountaineering after they followed her journey. She feels grateful she is able to inspire and guide them.
“I first came across Steadfast Nutrition on Instagram through another athlete I follow. Later, the team contacted me on the social media portal. We connected on a phone call and I decided to join the team as their athlete. I've been using the products for sometime, especially now, when I have to recover from an ACL tear. I make sure I take my Curcumin and multivitamins everyday. Good nutrition is something that is extremely important for every Athlete- Steadfast’s products are a saviour when it comes to good nutrition,” says Ishani. Ishani participated in the National Nordic Skiing Championship 2022. The same year, she became the first Indian who attempted to scale Mt Cho Oyu in Nepal.