Buran Ghati… um, what’s that?
Buran Ghati… um, what’s that?
This was the exact response which I got from my boss when I asked him for a week’s leave to go for this not-so-popular-yet trek in Himachal Pradesh.
– Sir, it’s a high-altitude trek.
– Oh, so it’s like a hike?
– Yes, Sir (“but not like the hike you promised me last year but forgot during salary revision”, I mutter under-breath)
After some begging and pleading, he approved the leave and I hopped out of his cabin happily. Fast forward to June 2nd when, after a series of packing, re-packing, flight-hopping, sleeping on the airport floor, exploring Shimla on foot, losing my way & other misadventures, I finally reached the parking lot in Shimla on a bright, sunny Sunday morning where TTH had arranged for our pick-up. The trekkers turned up one by one – bright, friendly faces, everyone bubbling with excitement about what the next week holds in store for us. Our group of 20 comprised of people from all over the country and with ages ranging from 14 to 70 ! With this strange and enriching amalgamation of cultures, we set out for Janglik, our base camp.
The road from Shimla to Janglik (9,200 ft) is a long but picturesque one & everyone shared their previous trek experiences so it was never boring for even a minute.
We stopped briefly at Hateshwari temple, which is a holy shrine beautifully nestled among high mountains, and after having lunch at Chirgaon, we reached our pretty little basecamp at around 4 pm.
Base camp, Janglik
Leave your broken windows open and in the light just streams (A head full of Dreams)
After moving our backpacks to our respective rooms, we gathered in the dining hall of the home-stay for our paperwork. We were introduced to the TTH team that would be our family for the upcoming week – our expert trek guide Bhisham Sir, the ever-patient Pritipal Sir and the charming Ram Sir. Our trek leader, Joslyn gave us a quick, precise overview of what awaits us in the next few days. While we were slightly intimidated by his stern, military ways, his confidence made us feel good knowing that we were in safe hands.
The following morning, we set out on a moderate hike to Dayara (11,150 ft) where the trail plays a never-ending hide-and-seek between pine forests and meadows. The lush green campsite surrounded by snowy peaks is a treat to sore urban eyes and we reached just in time before the rains came down heavily upon us. We took shelter in the dining tent with popcorn, hot soup and an extremely enjoyable round of Antakshari!
Our pretty campsite at Dayara
Sheep grazing in the meadows of Litham
Now the sky could be blue, I don’t mind, without you it’s a waste of time. (Strawberry Swing)
And you give me this feeling, this everglow. (Everglow)
In the night, the stormy night away she’d fly, and dream of para-para-paradise..(Paradise)
After a brief snowstorm, we emerged into clear, bright sunlight to have our briefing for the following day. The trek leader and technical experts showed us the climbing equipment and demonstrated the tools and techniques in great detail.After an early dinner at 5PM (I am fully convinced now that the TTH cooks are sorcerers because they made hot jalebis for us at that altitude!) we retired for the night with butterflies in our stomach.
Climbing tools on display for us
People moving all the time, inside a perfectly straight line. Don’t you wanna curve away, when it’s such a perfect day? (Strawberry Swing)
At 1 AM, we were awakened by our Trek leader and after a quick breakfast, we set out at 2 AM for the pass.What a spectacular sight it was! The stars lighting up the pitch-black sky and a bunch of trekkers ascending a steep icy ridge with nothing but headlamps to illuminate their way.
I kept moving in a line slowly, just one-step at a time, not daring to look up. After a while I lost track of time, my feet felt numb with cold and exhaustion, and I wanted to stop. However, as much as I would have liked to give up, there was really no turning back anymore. Almost after 5 hours of continuous climbing, I walked up a ledge and realized that the road is over. I looked up at the clear blue sky and the 360-degree view of colossal mountains all around and thought that if heaven was real, it could not be more beautiful than this.
We live in a beautiful world, Yeah we do, yeah we do.(Don’t panic)
The panoramic view of the Kinnaur-Kailash ranges from the top of Buran pass
Rappelling down the slope – exciting and fun!
We’ve crossed The Wall. Now let’s see if we can find some White-walkers
On the way to Barua
Everything you want is a dream away, under this pressure, under this weight, we are diamonds taking shape(Adventures of a lifetime)
Written by: Archi ChakrabortyBatch: June 2nd, 2019
All the captions used in this article are from the lyrics of songs by Coldplay.