Being a technology person that is constantly evaluating business plans I am quite used to running a SWOT Analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) and deciding on the fate of such proposals. But this is not limited to my work I tend to do such analysis on real life situations as well. So when me and two of my friends were evaluating the possibility of doing Miranjani Peak a full SWOT Analysis was running in my mind. Here is what the analysis said.

Strength: Three reasonably fit persons, one more fit than the other two

Weakness: Missing out on an early morning start, partly due to weather condition

Opportunity:  Three of us together, on a Sunday morning in the mid of summer

Threat: Dark clouds and thunder was threatening to ruin our plans

Before venturing out on the trail we also consulted quite a few locals and we were given estimates of 2 to 4 hours for the hike to the peak and somewhat lesser time for the return journey. But when we talked to the local guide who regularly takes people to the peak he was quite optimistic and said that the round trip can be done in as little as 2.5 hours. So keeping everything in mind especially the “Opportunity” listed above we decided to head out on the trail.

We started our ascent at around 11:30am and reached halfway at around 12:30pm. There is small water pond that marks the half way point. We were told that this is the easy part of the trip as the trail is much steeper further on.  This was quite obvious as the mighty Miranjani, standing tall at around 10,000 feet, was now right in front of our eyes. But undeterred by the mammoth task we continued on our journey steadily, taking frequent stops to have some water and bananas that was being carried by our guide in a backpack.

At around 1:45pm we reached the Miranjani peak which is marked by a lone tower the purpose of which is quite unclear. There were some people at the top who were shielding themselves from the light drizzle that had started when we reached the top. We also met quite a few people who were returning from Dagri Bangla after an overnight stay there. The travel time to Dagri Bangla, we were told, is about 6 hours.  After munching some apples and having some more water and juice we decided to head back at around 2:30pm.

As expected the return journey was a bit quicker and we reached our car, which was parked close to the church, at around 4:00pm.  Tired but highly satisfied we headed back to Islamabad. The moral of the story is that never be overawed by the situation, take small and steady steps and you will reach the top eventually!