There is always a first time

There is always a first time

From my childhood, I’ve been a person who would stay 10 steps away from any kind of suspected danger. I was never a kind of person who loved adventure and I would never dare to venture out for any such activity.

One night, as I was just about to sleep, I received a Whats App notification from one of my most inactive groups. My school friend mentioned about the trek she was going to through Trek The Himalayas to Hampta Pass for 5 days. I don’t know how, when and why it stuck me to join her. Next morning, I spoke to my parents about it who were taken a back as I was expecting. They confirmed, if I was sure about what I was signing up for and I said a firm yes.

Immediately after that, my dad was on internet for next one day googling every possible detail about the trek before he finally said a yes with a heavy heart. Within a day, I applied for leaves at office and all my bookings were made. Now, I just had to count days backwards and get prepared for the trek.

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From a month in advance, I started training my self physically and more importantly, mentally. I would read as much possible about trekking so that I don’t have many surprises on way. For a first time trekker,even the easiest Himalayan trek is a challenge and I wanted to be ready for it in every way.

And then, the day arrived, 5th July morning when I opened my eyes in the bus which was taking us from Chandigarh to Manali. We were close to Kullu and I could feel the beauty of mountains within every nerve of mine. The beauty of Himalayas along with the river flowing on one side just cannot be captured in a single camera frame. You need to keep your eyes wide open to appreciate the beauty.

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At around 9:30, we assembled at our meeting point near Rambaug at Manali where we had our first briefing session with our trek leaders Mr. Sanjeev Thakur and Mr. Naresh Sharma. Meeting them gave me a confidence that I was in safe hands of some experienced mountaineers. Soon after the briefing, we left for Jobri which was supposed to be
the starting point of our trek. As soon as we got down from our cars at Jobri, the first thing I did was switched off of mobile phone. Next 5 days, I wanted to be adopted by the nature and love Mother Nature’s every bit.

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Day 1

was filled with some lush green grass on way and the sound of River Be as flowing alongside. By early evening, we reached our first campsite. We were first taught how to camp our tents and then some lovely hot tea with biscuits was served to us. We were lucky enough to get some dry logs and had a bonfire set up as it got dark when the entire group came in together to know more about each other. It was an easy day and we all slept peacefully,excited to know what awaited further for us.

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Day 2

was not very simple for us. Rather, I would say, the rains made it a little tough. Started off with the river crossing which was apparently the first huddle of our trek. The chilled water made my feet go numband at that point I realized, the challenges on way wouldn’t be easy at all. It almost seemed like an endless day, but nevertheless, we reached our destination. The kitchen staff also walked along with us helping on the way making it easier for the group as a whole.

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Next morning, cold enough for us to leave our sleeping bags,was the day we were going to touch the Hampta Pass ridge which was the highest point of our trek at 14,100ft. The first thing as we began the trek, was snow walking lessons as we were to mainly walk on snow. Slipping and slumping on snow though the whiteout weather, we
did make it to the Hampta Pass ridge. It was hard for me to believe at first that I made it through but yes, I was thereon the top. The air was so pure for urban people like us to breathe. Indeed,the trek detoxified the impurities within us.

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After spending some good time on the top of the ridge, it was time for us to descend.

For a trek to be complete, it is not just important to reach the top, more important is to come back safely. We were warned in advance that most of the accidents and injuries happen while descending. Slowly and steadily, we kept walking downwards. My favorite part of descend was when we had to slide down through the snow. I felt like
a child again at that moment.So rightly it is said, grow up, but don’t let the child within you die.

That night, I slept with a sense of satisfaction within. I had climbed up to that height, The Hampta Pass ridge. Never felt any better any better, because it was something I myself was doubtful if I’ll be able to do.

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Day 4

was the last day of trek we spent mostly descending.It was the day when we crossed our finally huddle and proudly applauded for ourselves on doing that. And then came the time, to explore the most awaited destination of the trek, our final and supposedly the most beautiful destination. So, from Chatru we boarded a car and left for Chandrataal Lake.And yes, we were not disappointed at all. The destination made our trek complete in every sense. The breeze there chilled every bone inside me. I so wish I never had to leave that place, never in my life I had been so much in peace and composure. But then, all good things come with a “Limited period offer” and we had to leave from Chandrataal Lake. Later, by night, we returned back to our camping point at Chatru. It was our last night in the tent, in the sleeping bags. The weather was clear and when we looked up in the sky, I can vouch that, I had never seen so many stars together at the same time. It seemed like, the stars had joined to celebrate our moment of joy.

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Next morning, it was time to leave for Manali. We were given our trek completion certificates and everyone spoke about their experiences. We laughed, we cried but at the end, we all returned back with a smile on our faces. In these 5 days, every face of Mother Nature had spoi lt us. The mountains,the valleys, the river, the Lake, the grasses, the flowers, the rains, the breeze, the sun, the stars, the rocks, the ice and most importantly, the air,everything just made the trek perfect for us along with the most wonderful and supportive trek leaders and their staff.

So yes, there is always a first time and I hope not the last time for me. I will wait to meet the Himalayas next until then, for my next trekking expedition.

hampta-Pass-trekker-Avni-Johri
Writer: Avni Johri

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