Taking a Walk on the Wild Side of Trust

September 13, 2021

Are you willing to walk on the wilder side? Come along for a scenic detour into the Indian Himalayas, and explore the importance of trust, remaining calm in the face of danger, and having a safety net, whether it is perceived or otherwise.

Author: Hannah Hokarari - Social Ambassador for Snaffle. Click here to follow her on Instagram for more fascinating stories.

Back in 2019, my partner Daniel and I were trekking around northern India, immersing ourselves in the rich cultures, seeking rugged and remote landscapes; propelled by a sense of adventure. It was late September, with winter imminently approaching, and the roads and trails nearly becoming impassable due to snow fall. However, with a little time to spare, we hit the trails for just one more trek… Naturally saving the best, biggest, and most challenging one until last. The experience I am about to impart played a pivotal role in affirming the strength of the amazing human body, the human spirit, and of our personal relationship.

Adventure buddies, best friends, teachers and students of life’s humbling lessons.

Just like most epic experiences in life, it was one of those days you know you will have to dig deep; but exactly HOW deep is always the question?! Un-alarmingly, we eased into the day with a delightful dry morning, gawking and gazing up at the spectacular surrounds in all directions – waterfalls pouring down from unknown heights, snow speckled peaks immerging from the top of the valley, gnarly looking raging rapids below, and the vibrant colours on the valley floor and hillsides. Inevitably, the cleansing rain arrived, but when you are armed with an umbrella there is really no place for complaints, and as we know, nature sings in such conditions, oh so vibrantly. The drizzle and the early hour convinced us to soldier on, passing many a campsite to try and ‘knock off one more challenge’ for the day and trip… The Rock Bridges!!

Rainbow umbrellas can brighten up the dullest of days or trickiest of treks… They were ticking all boxes here!

The crux had arrived – the weather conditions were less than desirable, and it looked so much harder than we had optimistically imagined! Just to paint the picture: there was an enormous rock boulder, the size of a bus, suspended above a raging river, with a 6m drop down to narrow rock arch way, connecting to land on the other side. The drop was not feasible, given the height, our cumbersome backpacks, and the tiny target below on which to land. Alas, the only other option was to contour the boulder via the one tiny ledge with just enough space for your big toes, then make a leap of faith to land on the precarious rock arch.

Another rock bridge to grasp the size, slipperiness, and difficulty of such a river crossing…

A fall in any direction would result in an icy plunge into the boulder strewn raging river below… irretrievable and life threatening. Fortunately, we both understood the severity of the situation at hand, so our internal freak outs, escalating nerves, and crying fears remained just that. We had scouted the route and made the plan of attack…. So, after a few deep breaths and calming words of reassurance to each other Daniel led the way. He was tied to our one and only rope, a 4mm paracord (essentially a really long shoelace), which we had never had to use before, so the weight rating was unknown to us. Despite being the only safety measure that we could think of no matter how dodgy, this perception of a “safety” line, gave us enough courage to pursue the path ahead. The other end of the paracord was tied to both our packs, sitting just over the crest of the boulder, from where I was weighting them down as an anchor with all my might in case Daniel took a fall.

Daniel demonstrating the functionality of paracord and the essential four-point contact when climbing or contouring rocks!

With great trepidation Daniel tip toed successfully along and with his heart in his throat leaped to the narrow rock arch, with a huge sigh of relief. I then lowered the packs down to him, again with the trusty paracord/shoelace. Finally, we reversed roles and it was my turn to traverse the tight rope ledge putting faith in both Daniel and the paracord, but mostly myself. I delicately placed each toe on the few areas of slippery rock large enough to secure a hold, but eventually the ledge disappeared, and I too had to make the leap. It was a 2m gap with deadly consequences, requiring me to launch from the mere grip of my big toe, and land in an area the size of a couch cushion, where Daniel was also balanced precariously.

A diorama of the rock bridge to better paint the picture, courtesy of Daniel.

After much deliberation, Daniel reassured me his long limbs could reach out and help swing me over the gap. This was the moment we completely surrendered and entrusted our lives in each other. If our grip loosened, I would fall into the whitewash of entrapments below. Or, if I swung with too much gusto, Daniel would lose balance and we’d have the same fateful fall. Knee knocking terror aside, I leaped…and landed. A leap that has strengthened our relationship from that moment onwards.

Where does your wilder side want to explore?

Trust is the foundation from which relationships flourish, across all areas of life; personal, business, and professional. Understanding our own relationship with trust within ourselves and with others is an important place to start. Consider your own relationships with friends, family, and loved ones. Are they bound by trust? Are you yourself trusting and or trustworthy? Is there consistent effort to maintain said trust? Now, I am certainly not suggesting trust can only be displayed or tested by jumping from rock ledges! If anything, it is displayed in our everyday actions through commitment to our words, fulfilling our responsibilities, and honesty in all its forms.

Stay tuned for your opportunity to take a walk on the wilder side with Snaffle Your Challenge on upcoming experiences. Just to clarify, any experience on offer will not involve life risking activities as mentioned above. There may be a perception of risk, but nothing that will comprise anyone’s safety. Follow us on Instagram and let us know how and where you would like to be challenged!

Hannah Hokarari is the social ambassador that heads up Snaffle Your Challenge, an initiative from Snaffle to challenge our customers and staff to push themselves to the next level.

Read more about it here and stay tuned to the Snaffle blog for more of her fascinating adventures.

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