General · Travel · Trekkings

Himalayan Expedition – A Stairway to Heaven (Part 2)

Dear Reader,

This is in continuation with my previous post. Hope you liked it. Kindly leave a comment.

As i recall the moment of high energies, the time for us had finally come to leave the base camp. I still remember that i was waiting even on that day though i was literally standing on the edges of himalayas. I was anxiously waiting for this moment actually. I never in my life earlier had seen or touched or felt snow. When ever i used to see those movies i some where felt i could play in the snow the same way.

On the previous evening, we were asked us by the camp leader to strip off much weight from our ruck sacks. So as part of this process we did the best by taking the minimal cloths required since we do not take any bath for next 8 days until we return. So i packed just 2 tees and 2 tracks and 2 bottles and associated accessories.

We had a nice dinner that night and again there was a good briefing by the field director for us and to the rest of the group by informing about our departure tomorrow morning. He also gave couple of other tips and tracks. That night went well for me as i just slept dreaming about the next day.

We had a long journey to travel, i looked at the whole map which was hung up at our base camp kasol.

The altitude, the distance, nor the travel time did not matter to me at all. I just stood there for 10 mins looking at this map and thinking wow i get whole 7 days in the nature to just sip all the essence mother nature provides.

I woke up next morning around 6 and get ready with all the bag packs tucked in and tent cleaned up for the next batch. A nice breakfast with nice tea was served, after which under directors presence snacks was packed for us for our journey ahead. It was around 8 or so we all assembled with our back ups ready. One thing all along we maintained was a nice discipline with proper queue system. He wished us good luck and briefed a bit about progress of our previous batch. Then a nice send off applaud was shown for us departure. With all smiling faces and happy moments in our heart we just left our base camp. The sun was bright shining upon us, we waved adieu for every body and with a full discipline left the premises. A guide is always accompanied with every batch. This guide who joined us from base camp to the next camp was really a nice person and basically was from the same place kasol.

Along with this, a senior fellow is appointed as a group/batch leader who takes care of our group. Our batch was of 49 folks and there were couple of oldies too, but highly energetic. Among 49 folks, we were around 22. So ours was the biggest noisy funny group in the this batch. All along the path we kept making jokes, teasing others. The path was mostly inside the dense forest, so alot of shades and a good weather kept us with high energy and highly keen to move on. All along the path we had a nice view of the sourrounding mountains with god’s created white hat as a gift. It was soo beautiful to look at them so close. Every way i looked, there was a snow capped mountain stood there proud and beautiful. The sun rays falling up the snow cap made it even look amazing and thrilling.

With the eyes full of astound nature and all around birds chirping it was a pleasant gift from the mother nature to us. It was a real deal to walk in these woods with all these happening around me. On the way in this dense wooded forest we encountered a small water stream which looked amazing and beautiful with its shiny water due to the glimpse kisses of sun shine and the green vegetation around it.

As we walked and walked all along the wooded region with carpet like greenery all around us, it was a treat for our eyes to just stare at them and walk further. We almost took 5 hours or so to reach our first camp. The camp was situated near by a village, which had hardly few houses. On the way towards this camp of ours, we stopped by few of the houses and took couple of snaps with the local villagers as well. The view, the surrounding, and the snow capped mountains all around gave us a very good feeling and filled us with an high energy. It was almost evening when we reached our camp.

One amazing thing which happens as we ascend the altitude is the rapid changes of weather. Before we even could reach our camp, it started raining. The camp along with the greenery just pleases ones eye and makes self stumble upon its beauty. I really enjoyed being at this camp and just looking at the nature. I really wish i could spend the whole life looking at this beautiful nature.

As you can see in the above image, it was almost evening by the time we all got antiquated. A hot nice coffee/tea was served along with a snacks. We still had time before the sun really went down. So we all thought, why not just have a game. So we all decided with the local village kids to play kabbadi.

It was night on that day, we were all kinda tired but still had high energies filled inside due to this immense beautiful nature. We all went back to our tents. Each tent was equipped with 14-16 beds (sleeping bags) depending on the size. So it was almost bed time and our team just gathered inside our tent for heavy discussions, jokes and bit of masti.. πŸ˜‰

One big happy trekking family i would say πŸ˜€

Oh before i forget the topic of grahan, it was a pleasure for us to meet a nice cute girl of kasol village, who came along with us by selling biscuits, frootie, etc. She and her cousin put up small stalls all along our path trying to sell and make money. I wonder how strong she was. Before we reach certain point, she and her cousin used to be there long time back. They always take a short cut route i belive. But still with such heavy sack on her back, she was strong, but alas gorgeous in her own ways ;). So i invited her to have a pic with me. πŸ˜‰

It was the next day, we got all as usual ready. Had fresh nice tea, nice breakfast and a some thing for packed lunch. By around 8 AM we left the camp as usual in line and good discipline. Our next stop was Padri. It was at 9.3K feet altitude. The weather was nice and pleasant. We did not feel any heat though sun was bright and shiny and sky was almost clear. This time, the nature around us was not a dense wooded area as before. It was just rocks and sand. But here and there we had small bushes were we could rest for a bit. As i said, no matter how bright the sun was, it was always sweet, cold breeze which kept us from sweat. We started to climb, along our way we encountered few good water streams. It was nice to sip that flowing water, damn even bottled water was not so pure. It was good in its own ways. Every sip boosted our energy. Every gulp internally felt as if it was a amrutham (powerful drink).

We kept walking all this forest, unfortunately we did not encounter any animals so far. Fortunately this girl reshma and her cousin kept walking with us for couple of distance. After which they had to say adieu to us as they do not climb any more and they should return back to their village for tomorrows batch as well as refill their sack. So we all said goodbye and they disappeared on the edge of the hill. So for couple of hours we kept walking and walking.. All along the way we kept making big noise with alot of jokes and pulling legs of each other. It was fun ride though.

We all just immersed ourselves in the comedy about each others and we were laughing like any thing. Suddenly a voice screamed in a distance in front of us saying the padri camp is very near. Couple of guys already reached and they started expressing their enthusiasm. At first we thought they might too kiddish and stupid to act like that.

The area around the camp was covered by similar trees but densely packed. As many books says, the heaven door opens up with alot of beauty in it. Alas it was the same expression on all our faces. As soon as we stepped out of this canopy, for a minute we stood there starring at the huge field of greeny sourrended by snow mountains and all along this green land couple of animals was grazing. It was really a wonderful view i ever seen in my life even on tv.

This scenery just made my blood shoot up. It was a thrilling view. This place must be a heaven i thought for a minute. I was almost day dreaming about this place while i stood there glazing on it. At this point of time, the sun shine slowly made the snow capped mountain look even more beautiful. Although i had looked at this kinda mountain earlier but this time it was very close by. I enjoyed this view alot. Infact we all just threw away our bags in the tents and just enjoyed the nature for like an hour or so.

This place was even more amazing and pleasant than i thought. At one side of this place had a nice waterfall. Which was really amazing. At the end of the waterfall there was a big ice glacier. Totally the view of this place was similar to my dream heaven. So folks plan for your honeymoon then πŸ˜€ lol

From distance, this water fall was very beautiful. Thought the water stream was very scarce, but the beauty in it was amazing. At the bottom of this fall was a very thick ice glacier. Though the bad thing was that it was fully covered with alot of dust and leaves, so its real beauty lay hidden. We did spend couple of hours looking at this glacier. The local villagers near do come here and worship it. They do consider this place as very sacred. This pure water is merely polluted.

We even consumed it for every possible purposes. But it was too damn cold. Every hand dip in this water make our hand go numb. There is no other way go, except to enjoy this cold freezing water. Thank god we did had to take bath in it. Or else i would remember Bear Grylls taking a skinny dip in frozen water at Alaskan frozen forest.

Click to view bigger imageOne of our team member Sanjay was very smart professional photographer. He managed to get the very sharp picture of this fall. At that moment we did not see the effect. He really took his time to get this amazing pic.

This is another pic which i really love to look at. Its amazing to see those fine grains of water stream. Amazing photography.

Click to view bigger image

Having all the fun needed that evening, we had nice hot tea/coffee in that beautiful heaven. We as well did enjoy the sun set and its dusk light falling on the snow mountains. As usual, that night we spend just by talking, kidding, etc. while we were watching moonlight. The weather was quite chilling in the evening. As the night goes on, the temperature would drop close to 0C. Thankfully we were provided sleeping bags which were in very good condition. So we had a nice sleep. Thanks to YHAI.

The next morning i woke up as early as 5 AM. I was sure that i would really a get a nice sunrise rays over the mountains. So i stood outside of our tent watching those mountains. By 5.30 the sun began to rise, so slowly we got the sunrise over the mountains which was amazing to see. A small wind blowing over those mountains would take away the melting snow with it. Watching this was a god gift to me while many guys were lazy sleeping inside tent.

Today, as usual we all got ready around 8, with our packed lunch ready we left the place to our next camp Ratapani. This place is what the villagers believe the source of water source for them. Hence they call it RataPani (Rata = Brings, Pani = water). So to speak we kept going towards this place while we just drawing more information from our guide all along the journey. Infact, we did not know this journey was more tougher and more longer than others so far. In many places, the steap of climb was like 80 angle. So it was really tough to climb on snow at this steep. Atlast we reached the camp. This camp was located at one of the best view spot. The nature around this location was immensely beauty and vast. We could see the farther end of the earth, atleast thats what it feels when one looks at the far edge of the himalayas.

As always, we reached this place pretty early by around 3 PM. Though the climb for this place was kind of tough, still we managed to complete pretty early. As usual, couple of snaps taken at this spot. Then we waited for the dusk with a nice coffee and snacks. From now on we started to feel the real deal cold. It starts to get cold and chill pretty soon. The wind blowing make the cold much worse for us. Some how we passed the night. Though it was a bit windy and terribly cold in the night. Our camp leader said the temp do drops below 0 at this point at night. So it was pretty cool that we did spend at such low temperature πŸ™‚

The next morning, again as usual we just woke up and had a good sunrise which was really good.

Having enjoyed this sunrise at this camp, we all got ready and once again with the command of our camp leader we marched towards our next camp Nagaru. Apparently we were told by our camp leader that the next camp is very near to this camp and you shall reach that place in just around 4 hours.

Thanking him and every other camp leaders so far we started our journey as kids in a line. The queue and the spot was so good, one of our fellow member took a snap of it. Apparently few others who were not part of this trek did like this pic. Even i do the same, and ever since this pic is one of my wallpaper πŸ˜‰

This morning was a bright sunny, the wind was a bit warmer yet it was a bit cold too. So we did not feel its much effect on us. We just started off from this beautiful heaven. We slowly marched towards our next camp.

We have been told by our camp leader that the next camp distance is pretty short as we should be reaching it pretty early. So that we get enough/adequate rest.

As said, we hurried towards our next camp Nagaru. Well this camp is the final or top camp for the whole trek. After which we shall start to descend towards our original base camp kasol, though our route would not reach there.

Any ways, i was bit sad at this point because i felt a bit of enthusiasm and inspiration was just lost by listening to the camp leader saying that would be the top point. So all my climbing fun is over in just couple of hours more. Thinking about this constantly in my mind i just started to move all along with the rest of the group.

The look at our next route was just breath taking actually. It was very steep.Β  We some how did our best to climb this path. Some part of this steep path was filled in snow.

Its not easy as you night think to climb on the snow. Holding hand the snow covered rocks is damn tough as we would feel numbness thus loosing the grip.

But it was really thrilling to complete this path. Our legs kinda started to pain, as the rocky part of this mountain was hard part of us to climb.

Though some of ours surroundings were covered in snow, still the heat was kinda more. Having all this issues, our constant goal kept us going forward.

Along the edge of the snow patches, we walked/climbed with tasting the wildness of the nature around. We did spend some quality time in this rocky mountains just watching the nature. It was idially amazing. We could see the much farther end of the mountains range than we could in raatapani.

We had a local store kept by one of the village guy to serve us with couple of things he had. They are really nice people. I just stood there having some thing to eat and drink while enjoying the nature around. Where ever i go on this nature, i was absolutely stumbled upon by the mother nature.

This is where i would happily whole heatedly standup and salute to her greatness. Although the whole land looks pretty worse and harsh, but really the one who finds the way to lead a life is the luckiest of all.

I still do remember that standing at that point and looking at the nature, i felt whats the use of earning millions when you can not really enjoy this amazing beauty. Money is nothing in front of this nature beauty.

After enjoying a nice snacks and a drink, we kept along with our journey. In another 2 hours we reached our top i.e Nagaru camp. This camp was situated on top of this mountain almost about 13.5K altitude. It was really good to see the breathtaking view around. We were fully covered by snow mountains. Where ever we step our foot it was snow. It was very beautiful. Since we reached very early, we were told to take rest because the next morning we shall be leaving very early by 3 AM or so because we had to walk very long around 15 KMs on snow itself. So based on that, every one of us just spend rest of the evening quite and taking few pics around. We consumed a good amount of liquids and finally dinner was ready. The weather was quite warm till evening, and we enjoyed the views around. After which it started to fall down, thus we all ended up inside our tent chatting and making noise.

The next day started at 3AM….

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed πŸ™‚

Oh before i end this post, it gives me a great pleasure to share this small info about this awesome female dog which accompanied us the whole trekking. Every day i used to feed her the food from my share of roti’s. I still do have no idea where she got lost in the end when we were finishing our trek route. But anyways all along for couple of days i did really enjoyed her company πŸ™‚

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