Our Speakers' Profile
Director and Lead Guide of Climbing The Seven Summits
Mike Hamill is a 6-time Everest summiter, world class mountain guide, and author. He oversees every CTSS expedition.
A veteran climber, Mike has built his vast experience over twenty years as a senior mountain guide across all seven continents. Known as the foremost expert, he authored the book “Climbing the Seven Summits” and has made 6 laps of the acclaimed Seven Summits mountaineering challenge. In 2008 he completed the circuit in just over 200 days.
Expeditions under Mike Hamill’s guidance have maintained a 91% expedition success rate overall with an 80% client success rate on all expeditions.
An adventurer by nature, Mike has skied to the South Pole, cycled unsupported across the United States, competed at a national level as a nordic skier and is an ultramarthoner, cyclist, traveler and philanthropist. He began his climbing career on the steep rock and ice of New England and New York State while obtaining a bachelor of science from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. He is originally from Hanover, New Hampshire, and Bridgton, Maine.
His love for the mountains and adventure continues to compel him to travel the globe and connect with the local mountain communities, particularly the Sherpa of the Khumbu region. This bond was his impetus in creating the “Tiger of the Snows Fund” a not-for-profit that provides grants to further education of mountain tourism workers and their families.
Mike is a familiar and well respected face in the mountaineering community. He is passionate about imparting his knowledge, skills and experience to inspire others to harness their full potential in the mountains.
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Dr. Renuka David
An honoured guest who is going to demystify charisma and her personal experience. A doctor graduated from Coimbatore Medical College she is the founder and spearheads the first of its kind WELLNESS Conclave in Chennai.
She is the Managing Director of Radiant Medical Services, Radiant Home Health Services, Radiant Wellness Forum, Radiant Medi- Fitness Lounge. A powerful social influencer, women entrepreneur, motivational speaker who is a TED X speaker and has addressed various forums like Rotary, Lions Club, police ladies club, CII, FICCI, FICCI Ladies Organization.
She was awarded “ The Jaguar woman achiever ” in the field of wellness & “ International human right award 2016 as India’s Most Exceptional Speaker Award in Healthcare and Wellness. She has contributed her articles in various newspapers and magazines and has been extensively written about. She has hosted episodes on inner Wellness called “Wellness Talks” on YouTube.
She is currently in the midst of production of a television wellness show called the The Dr Renuka David Wellness show. She is married to the founder and chairman of The Radiant Group of Companies Col. David Devasahayam.
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Nungshi and Tashi Malik
India’s most renowned international adventurers and multi-Guinness world record holders, Nungshi and Tashi Malik have achieved several global gender iconic milestones. They are the world’s first female twins to scale Everest together, first siblings and twins to complete the ‘Adventurer’s Grand Slam’ (scaling highest peaks in all continents and skiing to North and South Poles). They were also the world’s youngest persons ever and the first South Asians to complete it. They are fellows of the Royal Geographical Society, London. The twins are qualified mountaineering instructors and graduates in sport and exercise from New Zealand.
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Col. VS Malik
Retd. Col VS Malik VS Malik is a retired Colonel from the elite 2/8 Gorkha Rifles (Field Marshal SAM Manekshaw’s battalion). He has also served on the UN Peacekeeping force in Sierra Leone and commanded 22 Assam Rifles in Manipur before taking early retirement to devote time to his twin daughters ‘Nungshi and Tashi’, whom he mentored to become world champions in mountaineering and exploration.
Depi’s passion for the outdoors started early in life studying at the boarding school (Lawrence School, Sanawar) in the hills. His passion continued his academic years, when he acquired an engineering & an MBA and also across his corporate career spanning over a decade.
In 2004, he quit his corporate job and started spending lots more time in the hills. He realized the need for better trekking resources for independent adventurers. Thus he began documenting his treks – Trekking in Western Himalaya – Collins. He has cycled from Agra to Kanyakumari – 4500 km. Shimla to Kashmir via Kinnuar, Jalori Pass, Manali, Leh, Pangong, Tso Moriri, Nubra, Zanskar, Kargil, Drass a few times. In 2019 he is doing a Trans Himalaya cycle ride from Kashmir to Kathmandu.He is currently running a successful Cycling Tour company – ThikanasOnCycles.com
He has made a detailed trekking map on the Indian Himalaya. The map is displayed in Delhi at IMF and is 17feet tall and 17feet wide. Depi, does not stop here. He is developing an app for the outdoor community along with TCS. He is also exploring the idea of 3D printing the himalaya map.
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Love Raj Singh Dharmshaktu
Love Raj Singh Dharmshaktu is an Indian mountaineer who has climbed Mount Everest seven times. He was awarded the Padma Shri by Government of India in 2014.
Dharmshaktu is from Bona village, Kumaon Himalaya. He worked at Uttar Pradesh Tourism office on Special Duty and took his adventure course. Later he completed Basic Mountaineering and Advanced Mountaineering courses from Nehru Institute of Mountaineering(NIM) in 1990. He earned a specialisation in Search and Rescue.
In 1989, Dharmashaktu climbed Nanda Kot (6861 meters), accompanying as a part of a mountaineering team from Lucknow. He reached the peak. He was part of mountaineering teams that attempted Mamostong Kangri (7516 mt) in Ladakh and Nanda Bhaner (6236 mt) during 1992. He was liaison officer for a British team that attempted Nanda Ghunti (6309mt) in 1997. In 2008, he reached the summit of Kanchenjunga (8586 mt) along with a BSF team. As of June 2012, he has climbed about 38 peaks.
Bridget Kruger is an inspiring adventurer who explores the edges of the earth and the depths of the soul. She has lived and worked on every continent. She has ridden a horse across Mongolia, lived with remote villages in Africa, played with penguins in Antarctica and polarbears in the high arctic, dogsledded and canoed across Canada and skied across Greenland. In the midst of these adventures Bridget experienced a life changing head injury from which she is still enduring today. She had to regain her ability to balance and to think cognitively. In her healing journey she fully realised the power of the mind and how being in nature affected her spirit.
After her accident Bridget completed a Masters in Transcultural Outdoor studies. She has guided all manner of outdoor adventure expeditions but specialises in transformational journeys and leadership trips. Combining psychology and adventure is her passion and when she isn’t guiding, she designs and facilitates all female adventure retreats. Her ambition is to inspire, empower and connect women back to themselves and nature while simultaneously helping the average girl to live out her wildest dreams. By sharing her own personal learning and helpful healing strategies, she hopes to help others take ownership of their lives and empower them to make the healthiest life choices for themselves and for the natural environment.
Rebekka Sæter is a Norwegian guide, artist, therapist and Yoga-teacher.
As a practitioner she combines her interest for aesthetics and the body to influence a more creative and curiosity based approach to outdoor education, guiding and therapy.
She has studied Contemporary Performance Practice at Royal Scottish Conservatoire, Choreography at Dartington College of Arts and has a Masters degree in Transcultural European Outdoor Studies. She has also studied energy work and healing practices with Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and is a certified Vinyasa Yoga Teacher after studying yoga in Rishikesh, India.
Rebekka has performed at Buzzcut festival in Glasgow and Theaterforum Kreuzberg in Berlin. She has walked across Spain, written a cookbook, published an article at renowned Harvestmagazine.no, taught a workshop at Norwegian School of Sport Sciences and spent hundreds of days hiking and dancing in the mountains of Norway. She works as a guide and outdoor educator all over Scandinavia.
Rebekka is interested in work that expands the innate, inspired and intuitive consciousness and creativity of human beings. More specifically she is interested in our relationship to place and how increased awareness and presence through connecting with our bodies and nature through movement, creativity and touch can develop our sense of grounding and feeling at home in ourselves and in our environments.
Col. Arun Malik
Arun Malik, a veteran of the Indian Army, has served the elite organisation for 23 years. True to his character, he joined at the top, being a Sword of Honour and President’s Gold Medal from IMA, and took voluntary retirement too at the peak of his professional career. This he did, to pursue the other love of his life – sports and adventure.
As an officer, alongside tenanting all the prestigious assignments and qualifications needed, he also excelled in sports played within the organisation. The final 2 years of his service were spent serving in the Army Adventure Wing, where he was associated with mountaineering expeditions including Indian Army Everest Massif Expedition for two years in a row; 2015 & 2016 and Mt Thalaysagar Expedition 2015. He was also looking after the Army’s Mountain Terrain Biking Team, which participated in some International races in and outside India.
His time after the Army was spent being actively involved in Alpine Skiing, High Altitude Treks and small scale Mountaineering expeditions, High Altitude Mountain Cycling and Road Cycling. He has the singular honour of conducting an International Adventure Race, the first in Asia, in Ladakh – The Himalayan Challenge – as Race Director, which was acknowledged by the National Geographic Society.
His need to excel in Endurance Sports, started with running Half and Full Marathons. With his focus and grit he rapidly achieved exceptional results, securing top positions and a few medals in his age category in India’s top Endurance Races like the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, Tata Mumbai Marathon and New Delhi Marathon. This motivated him to graduate his love for endurance sports from running to triathlons. He recently participated in Ironman 70.3 Vietnam in May where-in, his timing 5:39 secured him India’s Rank No 1 in his category. He recently participated in Ironman Kalmar, Sweden on 18 August 2018 clocking an exceptionally good time, making him one of the fastest few Indians in this format thus far. The Colonel is just 48 years young!
After spending nearly two decades in advertising and communications, Chandan gave in to his passion for adventure and exploration. Son of a Lieutenant General, a Green Beret and an Olympic level footballer, he imbibed the passion for sports and adventure from a very young age.
In fact, his father Lt Gen MK ‘Mike’ Lahiri, PVSM was one of the first officers from the Indian Army to be trained at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in jungle warfare to become a Green Beret. Thereafter he started the Commando Training Wing for the Indian Army. He was also the Commandant of the famed Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School that trains soldiers from the Indian armed forces and from around the world, in jungle survival and warfare. Chandan has spent many nights with his father when the soldiers were undergoing training in the leech infested jungles in the north east of India. His interest in sports, adventure, survival and self-reliance were inherited from his father.
In 2002, Chandan hung up his tie and Oxford shoes to pursue his passion for adventure and exploration by starting OutThere Adventurers, India’s first event ideation firm focussed on developing and promoting adventure sports, events, tours, expeditions and other related activities.
He runs OTA Survival School to train people for a safe outing in the wilderness. His aim is to try and ensure that people living in eco sensitive regions of the country are trained in survival and self-reliance to be able to take care of themselves in case of natural disasters and calamities that hit the country so very frequently, often resulting in fatalities.
Freshta Ibrahimi & Hanifa Yousoufi
Freshta Ibrahimi is graduate of American University of Afghanistan majoring in Management. She is working as a program coordinator with Ascend: Leadership through athletics since 2015. She is also a climber and part of the 2018 Nowshaq team. She leads daily activities for Ascend programs in Afghanistan. She started practicing yoga when she joined Ascend and loves practicing yoga in the mountains. She had the opportunity to attend two courses aboard; women leadership in the United States and peace and conflict resolution in Spain.
Hanifa Yousoufi was the first Afghan woman to climb Afghanistan highest peak in August 2018. She joined the Ascend program in 2016. She is working with Ascend as a program assistant and helping with daily programs.