Roopkund Trek – The Memories of a Life Time…
Trek Leader: – Sabyasachi Pathak
Trek Guides: – Pushkarji and Kalam aka Kalli bhai
Participants: – Naitik Dedhia, Monish Chedda, Monish Kothari, Rohit Bahiya, Aayush Daga, Raghav Singhal, Abhishek Gattani, Sangita Palod, Gaurav Jain, Nisha Sharma, Ketan Pandhi, Shivam Singh, Ankit Agarwal, Monish Shah, Sahil Shah, Sonali Bhagchandani, Viyomi Shah, Ekta Mohnani, Rupal Rathore, Ankur Jain, Akhil Agnihotri
Trekking had been in my bucket list since quite some time but I was always too lazy to go for one. There are several places to trek in and around Bangalore and many of my friends go for different treks every now and then. I was long wanting to experience a trek, but I was never sure, if trekking is for me or I am just okay at the comfort of my bed. But one day, a friend of mine told me about Roopkund Trek, and I started searching over the internet for it. As soon as I saw the pictures my love for mountains and snow took over me and I thought, let’s go for it. I enquired about it and booked my trek with Trek the Himalayas. I was always scared of heights and my legs used to shake, even when I used to look down from a height of 1st floor, yet I always loved mountains. After I made my bookings my mind was surrounded by doubts like – will I be ever able to do this and I thought to cancel the weird plan!! Also, since I was going for it all alone, and being a sort of introvert, I was never sure if I will be able to get along with others or not. But then I was thinking, let’s give it a try. Even if I can’t do it at least I will never regret that I never tried. So, I thought, I’ll go for it no matter what and the only objective I wanted out of this trip was “I just want to complete this trek on my own, and make long lasting memories with some new friends.”
June 2nd: Bangalore to New Delhi and New Delhi to Kathgodam
Finally, the day had arrived. I took a morning flight to New Delhi. I boarded Ranikhet Express from Old Delhi Station at around 10:00 PM. As soon as I sat on my seat, Monish Shah came to my seat and that was the first time I met with a member from our group. Rupal’s seat was very close to mine, so me and Monish went there and met with her. Post that, we went to meet the Nagpur gang in coach S7 and saw they were 5 close friends with only 2 seats J. The irony of their seats was that they had booked all 5 confirmed tickets to Kathgodam from Jaisalmer but forgot to change the boarding station from Jaisalmer to Delhi and hence TTE canceled their tickets. Later on we came to knew that 2 guys from Mumbai – Naitik and Monish Chedda also met with the Nagpur gang in the station and tagged along with them without any additional confirmed seats. From that moment itself, we realized that this is going to be one of the most adventurous trips of our life.
Later on I came back to my seat and me and Rupal started chatting about ourselves. I tasted very delicious home-made food Rupal bought from her hometown Udaipur. The best thing was the kacche aam ki sabzi (Raw mango vegetable) which tasted Yum! After sometime everyone went to sleep eagerly waiting for the next morning to get down at Kathgodam and kick-start our first trekking experience (for most of us).
June 3rd: Kathgodam to Loharjung (Our Base Camp)
We all got down at Kathgodam @ 5:30 AM and met outside the station. All of us had received details about the driver and our pick up cars from TTH. I called the driver and he said he will be there to pick us in 10 mins. At around 7 o’clock we all managed to gather and took our seats in the cars that TTH had arranged for us to our first base camp at Loharjung. From the moment we left Kathgodam station on our route to Loharjung and as the car went along the hills turning left and right passing several hairpin bents, the cold winds and the thrilling atmosphere were all pointing out towards the journey of a lifetime for which we 21 people had signed up for. The scenic beauty on our route to Loharjung was mesmerizing and everything was so calm and serene.
When we reached our Base Camp at Loharjung after covering a distance of 210kms in 10 hours, we met Mr. Nitin our Base Camp manager. We were shown our rooms at the base camp for overnight stay and were served with tea and snacks and were told that briefing for the Trek will happen at 7:30 pm. Everyone got ready and gathered for the briefing where we were told about DO’s and DONT’s for the trek, how to avoid getting Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and just enjoy the trek. After the briefing we all went out to shop the remaining few items in our list to pack for the trek. We shopped for Walking Sticks, Sunglasses, Backpacks, shoes, etc. After that we all had a good dinner and slept in anticipation to wake up for one of the most memorable journeys we have been waiting for.
DAY 1 – June 4th: Loharjung to Didna Village
The D-day had come. Almost everyone woke up early feeling excited about the trip, got ready, packed bags and were ready to move. We then met the most dashing personalities of our trip our Guides – Pushkarji and Kalam aka Kalli bhai J and our Trek Leader Mr. Sabyasachi Pathak aka Sabya – the real hero who motivated and entertained all of us throughout the trek; and it was all because of him that I was able to make it to the Roopkund Summit.
He gave us few tips and tricks on how to walk, tighten our backpacks and use our sticks for effective walking. And then it was the moment we all were waiting for. The long walk for our trek started after a group photo J at around 8:30 AM. It was all smiling faces then. We were told that today’s walk was 4kms of gradual descent followed by 2.5kms of steep ascent.
Our first destination was Didna Village. As soon as we all started walking and went off the normal roads to enter the trek trails, we all were surprised to see the beautiful nature welcoming us. The 4kms descent walk was on a work-in-progress road full of stones and we all were walking in groups, clicking pictures at every possible angle and running forward and backward to see the beautiful nature.
The trail and beauty of the nature was so mesmerizing that we all were left speechless and confused, should we continue taking pictures or are there more beautiful sceneries waiting for us. Then after a long descent walk, we reached a natural water source where we all filled our bottles with water. It was a hot yet pleasant day. The sun was shining bright on us and at the same time cold winds were giving us the goosebumps. We continued our walk and finally after 4kms of descent we reached a large garden like area from where the 2.5kms of steep ascent was to start. Everyone took a breather, we all clicked pictures of mighty mountains and ourselves looking so small in front of the giant Himalayas. Everyone filled themselves up with energy bars and chocolates to rise to the challenge of climbing the mountains for the first time.
Then after a 5-minute break, we started to climb, and only after few steps to the north that I realized this is not easy. This is not what I had thought of. It will take some doing to climb to 16,000 ft. The entire 6 days of trekking was circling my mind if I would even be able to do half of it or will I fall within the first day itself. But, I did not want to give up so early and just thought let’s take one step at a time and not think about the entire 6 days together. Then I continued to climb one step at a time. Many of our group members climbed quite quickly especially Ankur, Akhil, Rohit, Monish Shah and I was wondering have I made the right choice of coming to this trek?? Because if I walk or rather you can say crawl at this speed, it will take me twice the time to complete. But then I looked back and saw few were behind me as well :P. Then I thought, I am not that bad J. Sabya (our trek leader) was walking with us at the back and motivating us saying that “first day sabko tough lagta hai, keep walking bus thode dur mein hi rest point hai” (Everyone feels first day to be toughest, keep walking there’s a rest point just ahead). Just by the thought that a rest point is coming, we kept walking and at around 2:30 pm in the afternoon we reached at the top and saw our home stay. It was so close yet so far for us; somehow crawling and managing to reach there. The moment we reached there it was all joy. The people who reached earlier were resting and soaking in sunshine. Then we also, removed our troubling trek shoes and sat to relax. When I looked around and saw the mighty beautiful mountains and clouds over them, the mere sight of it, just took all my fatigue away in moments.
After few minutes of rest, lunch was served. We all stuffed ourselves and then went on to the fields to have fun and play amidst the nature. We met a kid there named Kamlesh who was so cute and adorable. We played flying disc in the mountains and then went for a walk where we had a 360-degree view of the place. It was just so beautiful. We then came back to our homestay where our trek leader was waiting for us. We all then had some tea and then went for the evening walk with the entire group as part of our daily routine to get acclimatize to the mountains. We went in the forests and found a large open area there where everyone introduced themselves and our trek leader and guides also introduced to us. We then divided us into 2 teams and played damsharas and each group gave movies to other group which almost no one had heard of!! It was an amazing experience how everyone getting along with each other and we had a great time. After the game, we started to come back but then our trek leader told us to find out some wood logs within the forest to take with us for a camp fire. We all then scattered inside the forest to find out the logs and after collecting everyone took few wood all went to our home stay and were served by hot soup and papad.
Then it was the test time. Sabya was ready with this medical box to check the oxygen and pulse levels for all of us. Everyone was excited yet scared if their oxygen level will be fine or not. But to the liking of all of us, we all were perfectly healthy. For few of us, it took several reading to get a stable value since our hands were so cold, the equipment was not able to read our oxygen and pulse levels. After our test time, we all were briefed for the next day. We then were served dinner and started camp fire and post our dinner we all enjoyed the camp fire and were dancing to the music. Post that, we all came back and some of us started just chit chatting and suddenly we started talking about our ghost experiences J, an all-time favorite topic for discussion especially at such a place. And it was drizzling as well. After that we all went for the sleep since, we all knew this was our last day when we are getting beds and rooms to sleep. Post today tents and sleeping bags will be our sleeping partners.
DAY 2 – June 5th: Didna Village to Ali Bugyal
We heard voices in our rooms from outside at around 6 am – Chai ready hai, sab le lo (Tea is ready for everyone). I love having tea in the morning. In anticipation to that, I woke up quickly and went out to have the tea and I saw we were served black tea and I was like, I can’t drink this. I need my normal tea. But then I was not up for the normal trip!! It was black tea with ginger and lemon and I thought something is better that nothing, so better have it. So I took a glass of tea and to my surprise it tasted way better than I could have imagined. I savored the tea with the breathtaking views and then others also got up and all were busy getting ready for another adventurous day. This was supposed to be a long day of 10.5kms from Didna Village to our second camp at Ali Bugyal.
We all started walking at 8:00 AM. It was ascent all the way through. Sabya told us that it is a gradual ascent, and today is easy, except for a long walk. But as we started walking the gradual ascent seemed as steep as yesterday. And some of us felt tired after few minutes of walk itself and there lies ahead of us the whole day and the entire 10.5kms. In the mountains even 1km used to seem to us like 3kms. Just after half an hour of walk, we all needed rest and we rested. As usual I was walking at the back with few others. As soon as we reached the rest point, others started walking, and we were estranged that we just reached and these guys are running like in a marathon. But still we decided we need to have some rest. We don’t need to catchup with them J. After few minutes of rest, we too started walking again!! And as we walked and continued on the trail, the views looked amazing. We were climbing up the forests and our path were covered by dried leaves fallen from the trees. It was so beautiful looking like a desktop wallpaper.
And as I was walking so slowly, few mule men were passing by and told us, that if you walk so slowly you won’t reach anywhere. As we were so tired this was the last sort of encouragement we needed from a local. But we just ignored him and continued our tortoise like walk. The weather was getting colder and after few hours of walk we reached at the top of the mountain we were climbing to reach the meadows; and I must admit I forgot all the pain when I looked at the meadows and below I could see the tree line ending. This gave me a sense of achievement that I have climbed on the top of a mountain for the first time in my life and it was time for us to have lunch from our packed lunch boxes. But when I reached at the top, there were still few people left to arrive – Gaurav, Nisha, Ketan and Viyomi. So the remaining of us, who reached ahead of them, took the opportunity to take one of the best naps of our life. After 15 mins of power nap we all sat together to have our lunch. It brought back memories from school picnic when we all were sitting in a circle opening our lunch boxes and having the lunch. Gaurav, Nisha, Ketan and Viyomi, still haven’t reached by that time. Suddenly weather turned cold and dense fog covered the meadows. I was not wearing any warm clothes and Sangitaji asked me if I at all feel cold!! After finishing our lunch, even I actually started feeling a bit cold and decided to put my fleece on!
Then again we started our walk to reach the Ali Bugyal camp site. But this time, there was hardly any climbing; it was walking across the meadows (felt like walking in a green carpet) but the tiredness of climbing the forest had already taken over me. So I was still very slow as usual. Many were deliberately walking very slowly because everywhere we just wanted to click pictures. We didn’t want to miss any chance to click that perfect picture of the acres of meadows ahead of us. Slowly and steadily all of us reached the camp site and were delighted to see the tents. We all took our tents and were admiring our first experience of tents. As soon as everyone reached and occupied their tents, it started raining heavily. Our lunch was waiting for us in a bigger size tent. But after climbing, walking and crawling for 10.5kms nobody wanted to leave their tents in the rain. But one after another everyone came to have second lunch of the day (the hot one!). While we all were having lunch the rain picked up and was pouring heavily and in no time rainfall turned into a hailstorm and tiny balls of ice were falling heavily all over the place. We felt lucky that we reached in time at our camp site. It rained for almost an hour or so, after which we saw a clear sky and sunshine looked and more so felt so good. And to our delight we got this rare opportunity to spot DOUBLE RAINBOW which was a delight to watch; something never seen so beautiful. It was visible at the backdrop of green and as well as snowy mountains which made the sight even more adorable.
We were then served with hot tea and pakodas, a perfect snack for the perfect weather and the perfect surroundings. I had never dreamt of having pakodas and tea in the meadows at the backdrop of snow-capped mountains. It was a moment to cherish for! After our snacks, we all went for the evening walk again for acclimatization. We went to a Maggi point where we all had loads of hot Maggi and Omelets. Both the dishes never had tasted so delicious, as they were out there. After spending about an hour there and having our evening snacks and clicking numerous photos we headed back to our tents. There one of our camp staff shared the story about all the places we visited and were about to visit including the story of Mysterious Roopkund Lake. It was a pretty thrilling story with the chilling winds freezing us. After listening to the story it was almost dark and we had our soups and soon dinner was served. While waiting for dinner at the dinner tent, we all gathered and started playing Antakshari. Everyone was signing at the top of their voice all sorts of songs old, new. It was amazing! Soon our dinner was served and while singing songs, we had our dinner too. The songs were still on. When I came outside the dinner tent, I saw a galaxy of stars in the sky. The entire sky was filled with stars. it was the first time I was seeing something like this and I completely got submerged into this beautiful sight that I didn’t wanted to bring my eyes down. I also spotted few shooting stars. It was one of the most beautiful nights for me. Many of us sat outside our tents and stared at the sky for hours and then went to our respective tents to sleep. For almost everyone, it was our first experience to sleep in a tent and sleeping bags. We all slept in anticipation of more beautiful nights like this to come!
DAY 3 – June 6th: Ali Bugyal to Pathar Nachuni
Today, was supposed to be the easiest day of trek. It was about 6kms of walk and actually a gradual ascent over the meadows. It was again a day when I started a little ahead but took only minutes to fall back behind everyone. But then I found Viyomi behind me and both us started walking together for the entire day today. The trail was beautiful and as we passed across Bedini Bugyal we saw few tents there. It was a beautiful sight. We could see acres of meadows below and above us as we were walking. As and when we gained height, the weather was getting colder and colder and winds becoming chilling. Both me and Viyomi were taking rests every now and then and we met one other group passing by. We were thinking that even if we are too far behind we can follow this group :P. And then we reached one more rest point where everyone was resting. On our way, we came to know that 3 of our group members – Sangitaji, Aayush and Rohit were feeling sick and tired and they were far too behind. Kalli bhai was with them. Then all of us started walking again to finally reach Pathar Nachuni.
As soon as we reached Pathar Nachuni, we saw the camp staff was playing cricket @ 11,500 ft. It was quite a sight. We all quickly took our tents and dumped our luggage. After that, we all had lunch. Everyone then disappeared to roam around, few started playing cricket. Few of us were still left in the tent along with Sabya. We then started to play a Bangalore famous indoor game called Mafia. We played for few hours while few others joined us as well. While playing Mafia, the group who went to Roopkund had arrived at our camp, and one person from that group came to our tent and wanted to share his experience and also gave few tips to us. Honestly, his experience and tips scared us a little. But we were all charged up to climb the summit amidst all adversities. That was what we were all thinking about. After that we had our tea and snacks and headed for our evening walk of acclimatization. Today we went to a point where everyone could get mobile signal. So everyone was dialing in to their homes to talk to their loved ones. The entire site was looking like a telephone booth. Everywhere people talking over phone. I too, took the chance to talk to my parents. My parents started scolding me as my phone was not reachable since 3 days. They barely had any idea that trekking would also mean no phones. I then calmed them down and told that I would not be getting phone signals for another 3-4 days. They finally understood! We then again took some photos and came down to our camp site.
From our camp site itself, we could see the next day’s trail. It was looking thrilling and beautiful too. It was a steep ascent of about 3kms (as they say), and zig zag trail. I personally was fearing the site of it itself and then thought just forget it. We’ll see it tomorrow. Then we were chit chatting and Nagpur gang came and Abhishek started singing songs and then we thought let’s bring out our speakers and dance to the music. Then we played some Hindi and Punjabi songs and Nagpur guys – Abhishek, Monish Kothari, Rohit and Ketan & Nisha from Bangalore really got into the groove and everyone started dancing. Even the camp staff joined us and we had a lot of fun. After a while dinner was served. We all had our dinner while singing and dancing together. And as soon as we finished our dinner it started to rain heavily and we all were stranded in the dinner tent figuring how to reach our sleeping tents. The moment rain started to soften down we all rushed to our tents. I reached my tent and straight away went inside the sleeping bag. I started shivering inside sleeping bag as I was feeling too cold. After a while I came to normalcy and had a good sleep.
DAY 4 – June 7th: Pathat Nachuni to Bhagwabasa
Today we left for our last camp site to Bhagwabasa. As said earlier, already the trail was looking tough. But we all were determined that we have to make it anyhow. But to our disappointment, our friend Aayush, had a low oxygen level and he was not allowed to go any further. So he stayed there itself, waiting for us to return. We all wished him good luck and left. As we started climbing, the ascent was indeed very steep and as we were climbing up – the thin air and low oxygen levels in the air made it more difficult. It had snowed last night there, so the weather was also very cold. As usual I was climbing very slowly. But this time I had company of few others, Viyomi, Rupal, Ekta, Gaurav, Naitik and Nisha and our beloved Sabya. To keep up our motivation levels, Sabya engaged us in a word game where one by one we need to speak a word which should be related to the previous word and should not start with an S or a T. We got engaged in the game and climbed quite a while. But then, me and Viyomi were left behind again by others as they gained speed. We were walking along with Kalli bhai. He kept cheering us Chalo chalo rukna nahi hai!! (keep walking, don’t stop!!) we somehow crawled and crawled and reached at the top of the mountain we were climbing to reach Kalu Vinayak temple. Everyone was waiting for us there. So we clicked few photographs with the temple.
And as we were starting to walk, we all witnessed something very special – SNOW FALL!! I think most of us were experiencing this first time too J. It was one of the happiest moment for me as it started snowing. Snow was something that had brought me to this trek. It was a 1 km walk to our camp site from Kalu Vinayak. It was an easy walk (you can understand how easy it would be, when I am saying it ). I enjoyed every moment of this walk. There were few people who were returning back from Roopkund that time. We asked one person about the experience and he said I won’t say it, just go and experience it for yourself. And that was the moment, when I felt this has to be experienced. They wall wished us good luck while passing by. And then we reached our camp site at Bhagwabasa. When we reached there, it was raining. We straightway put our backpacks in our respective tents and went to the bigger tent for lunch. There we had our lunch and were hoping for the rain to stop. But it didn’t and everyone went to their respective tents to take some rest. After a while, rain gods showed some mercy and stopped. We then all gathered and took off for our last acclimatization walk. Sabya told us, that he’ll take us to a point where we can play with snow. And boy, he did take us to the place. It was a long patch of snow, enough for a snow fight. We all made snow balls and started throwing at each other. It was one of the most joyous moments for us. We all played with snow and were making plans to make a snow man when we reach Roopkund, the next day. After a hard fought battle with the snow, we all came down to have tea. Today, was one of the special days, as we were served samosas along with the tea. But to our disappointment, one could get only one samosa .
Then it was the time for one final briefing for tomorrow, the day we all have been waiting for. Today’s briefing was being done by the local Technical Team who would be helping us to climb the summit. The Technical team was led by Vicky. He was like a Hitler to us, ordering the battalion. He told us that we will move at 4 AM in the morning for Roopkund, and if someone even comes at 4:01 AM will not be allowed. We were shell shocked. Then he and his team gave us crampons to wear on top of our shoes for a better grip while walking in the snow. We all tried our crampons and practiced a bit to walk over the stones as well. We then got a clear sight of Mt. Trishul and few other peaks that day. All of us took pictures and group photographs. Everyone was walking around with crampons on their shoes. It was nice to watch everyone practicing so religiously. After a while, today we were served dinner quite early at 6:30 pm in the evening. We all had dinner and also the last oxygen test. We all were fearing what if our oxygen levels suddenly go below today after all the efforts we had made till today. For most of us, it was all okay but for few it was coming low. They all started drinking loads of water and did some breathing exercises. After a while for few of them, Oxygen levels were okay but still for few not okay. Then Sabya decided that he’ll check oxygen of these people in the morning itself. After that everyone went to their respective tents to take a short sleep to wake up to one of the most important climb of our trek.
DAY 5 – June 8th: Bhagwabasa to Roopkund and Roopkund to Pathar Nachuni
The day had finally arrived for which all of us had come for, to climb to the summit to reach Roopkund. It was a 3kms steep climb with final 500 meters being one of the toughest. We all woke up early and got ready by 4 AM sharp and lined up to start. The girls were lined up at the beginning. And then as we took our first step to climb in the darkness toward the summit, it was one of the most precious moment of my life till date and I still remember that feeling. We all were walking slowly with our crampons on our shoes. After about an hour’s walk the first rays of sun came down and we turned our torches off. I was feeling the tiredness after every few steps. It was a steep climb and was getting difficult and more difficult more due to the fact that the air was thin with less oxygen. We rested quite a few times throughout the entire distance. There was a lot of snow all over. The last 1km was all over the snow. When final 500 meters were left, there was a final rest point. Everyone was resting here and stuffing themselves with energy bars and food. I was too walking very slowly along with 4 others. Sabya was walking with us all through motivating and keeping our spirits high. At the final rest point, Sabya told us this last 500 meters is most difficult and we call it final summit push. He told us just give everything of yours in this final push to reach at the top.
We like obedient students listened to him and started climbing slowly and steadily. The final 500 meters was literally tough. Snow was almost 5-6 inches deep and with steep ascents. I was shivering like hell and scared due to my height fear. But I didn’t look down and kept walking very slowly. And FINALLY I reached the summit. Tears came down my eyes as I reached there and my happiness knew no boundaries. I exhaled sigh of relief and was delighted to see the Roopkund Lake with my eyes and the skeletons lying down below. I could not believe that I have done it!! I have managed to climb 16,000 ft. by my own!! This was the experience I have never felt in my life. I can proudly say that this was THE HAPPIEST MOMENT IN MY LIFE TILL DATE!!
We clicked several individual and group photos with the lake and skeletons. The Trek the Himalayas camp staff served hot porridge at 16,000 ft. which felt overwhelmed. Hats off to them for their efforts. After about 30 mins at the summit it was time to go back. I didn’t want to go down. But we all had to, before snow starts getting softer. We started to climb down now, which looked more difficult and dreading to me now. I was getting down each step by step very slowly fearing I don’t fall down. The Nagpur gang like always started dancing and all of us joined them in dancing while getting down. Everyone was proud of themselves having to reach the summit successfully. I still could not believe that I made it to the summit. It felt like it was a dream!!
We then climbed down to Bhgwabasa, it took us almost 6 hours in total to cover the distance of about 6kms; and we reached Bhagwabasa at around 10 AM. But these 6 hours were one of the most exciting moments of my life. I wanted to cherish each and every moment as they come. I and Vyomi as usual was walking last while getting down and one of the Technical staff was along with us helping all along. We finally managed to reach at around 10:30 AM. We quickly had to pack our stuff, have our lunch and start moving to Pathar Nachuni, our stay for tonight. As we started moving back to Pathar, with a proud smile on our faces, we saw another batch of people coming and this time it was our turn to say good luck to them!! While climbing down to Pathar, my knees started to hurt and it became very difficult for me to walk. I was somehow crawling my way back. And after almost 3-4 hours I reached Pathar, where everyone had already reached. As soon as I reached there, I felt I had fever and went to Sabya, to get my temperature checked. It was fine, but still I was somehow not feeling good. Since, I was not feeling well at all, I kept myself inside my tent all the time. I was feeling very cold. Then I took a paracetamol, after a while I started feeling better.
In the evening, we were again having dance to the music and then suddenly Sabya, told us all to gather at the dinner tent. We sensed something is going on. And to our delight, the camp staff at Pathar had prepared a cake to celebrate our success. We came to know, that this was the first time that they had prepared a cake for any group. We certainly were very humbled by the gesture shown by them. We all thanked them for this and had cake. After that we all had our dinner and that day almost everyone slept early as everyone was tired and was preparing for a long next day which was a 15kms long trek.
DAY 6 – June 9th: Pathar Nachuni to Wan Village via Bedini Bugyal and Ghaeroli Patal
We all woke up and got ready for the last day of our trek. Today was supposed to be the longest walk for us of 15kms straight from Pathar Nachuni to Wan Village via Bedini Bugyal and Ghaeroli Patal. We all geared up in the morning feeling excited to head back. We started at 8:30 AM in the morning. And as we again passed through the beautiful mountains and meadows we tried to capture everything in our cameras to take back home. We reached Bedini and this time we went down. We saw a herd of sheep and saw several horses on our way down to Bedini. It was a beautiful sight. Aayush left Pathar in a mule .
After about 6-7kms of getting down, my left knee started hurting very badly and I was barely able to move my feet. Rohit, Aayush and Viyomi were walking alongside me with Kalli bhai. I had to apply some medicines on my left knee and then I could slowly crawl. Finally, we reached the Neel Ganga banks which was our rest point making our way from the forests. At Neel Ganga, I applied some Volini on my knees to be able to walk. Ankur helped me with the same. And as I started walking or you can say crawling. Rohit, Aayush and Viyomi were walking at my pace. They all supported me throughout that day, otherwise I could not have made it on my own. They kept my spirits high all throughout!! The highlight of this day’s trek was there was supposed to be several water sources, but due to heavy rain earlier at Bedini, all water sources got dirty and we were unable to find drinking water. We then finally reached Wan Village at around 6:30 PM after almost 10 hours of walk and were delighted to see our cars standing there. Monish Kothari, Abhishek and Raghav were too waiting for us. Then we all boarded the cab and left for our base camp at Loharjung.
We had planned for a party at the night to celebrate our success. We all got freshened up and then Sabya came for final briefing. It was the moment of celebration. We all were to get the Certificate of Accomplishment. The manner of handing over the certificate was also very unique. One person will randomly pick one certificate and read out the name of the person and hand it over to him or her. The person receiving the certificate will have to share his/her experience with the group. And then he/she will pick another certificate randomly to give it to the next person. I felt prouder when I received this certificate compared to when I got my MBA degree!! Suddenly, it all seemed more important to me than anything else.
After getting the certificates, every one of us gathered to party, dance and have fun!! We partied till 2:30 am in the morning and then went to sleep to leave for Kathgodam in the morning. We all woke up in the morning got ready and bid adieu to each other!!
This was one of a lifetime experience for me. It was my first ever trek and I felt so humbled and grateful that I made a great choice to do this trek. The learnings from this trek was far more than what I had learned so far – to live in difficult conditions amidst all adversities, to embrace the nature, having patience, taking one step at a time rather than thinking about getting everything at once, to utilize the limited resources efficiently, we all are very small in front of these giant mountains, the value of food, water, etc. These are few of many other learnings I had from this trip. Hoping for many more learnings from future treks!!
It is not the Mountain We Conquer but Ourselves…!! – Edmund Hillary
Many thanks to Sangita Palod and Shivam Singh for clicking and sharing wonderful pics J