Bagini Glacier runs down northwards from Changabang & Trishuli peaks and then the Bagini river turns westwards where it is joined by Dunagiri Glacier waters running down from Purbi-Dronagiri ridge. Further west, it is joined by the Lampak stream and finally flows into the Dhauli-Ganga, just north of Jumma Village.
Region: Uttarakhand Duration: 9 Days Cost per person: INR 14,900 Grade: Moderate Max Altitude: 14,816 ft. Approx Trekking: 43 Kms.
Day 1: Haridwar to Joshimath. Day 2: Joshimath to Jumma & trek to Ruin village Day 3: Ruing Village to Dronagiri Village Day 4: Dronagiri village to Longatulli Day 5: Langatuli to Basecamp Day 6: Base camp to Bagini Glacier and Back to Basecamp Day 7: Base camp to Ruing Village Day 8: Ruing Village to Joshimath Day 9: Joshimath to Rishikesh.
Day 1: Haridwar to Joshimath (8-9hrs. Drive)
Drive to Joshimath from Haridwar is about 256 km. If you arrive Haridwar in the morning, drive to Joshimath through Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudrapryag, Karnprayag. You can have breakfast and lunch on the way.
Day 2: Joshimath to Jumma & trek to Ruin village
The trek starts from a non-descript village called Jumma which is an hour ride from Joshimath. Tapovan, Reni, Lata, Suraithota, Phagti are many villages which fall on the way. In between Suraithota and Jumma, the road is on par with the Dhauliganga River, which makes it a good watch in autumn. The trail starts with a steel suspension bridge over the Dhauliganga after which the ascent of Ruing begins.
Day 3: Ruing Village to Dronagiri Village
The trail from Jumma to Ruing is a well-laid path through the forest sometimes meandering up and sometimes down. At a distance of around 3.5mtrs from the Campsite, we reach the beginning of the landslide zone. The trail is dusty and full of mudslides, small streams crisscrossing your path.Once we reach there, a cemented pavement awaits in silent anticipation to take us to the Village. The scene is straight out from a Swiss alpine landscape. The horizon is dotted with the snow-laden peaks of Hathi Parvat, Ghori Parvat. For once we forget this is not a trek but a walk in the Swiss Alps.
Day 4: Dronagiri village to Longatulli
After leaving Dronagiri we reach a meandering path which leads us to a high ridge from where the first view of the Rishi peak is visible. Bagini nala too is first visible from here. After we leave the village we will reach a concrete bridge over the Bagini Nala.
Day 5: Langatuli to Basecamp
After crossing that bridge the path again takes a meandering turn upwards. Further an hour more we reach the camping ground of Longatulli which is again a very good campsite.
Day 6: Base camp to Bagini Glacier and Back to Basecamp
Bagini lower base camp is reached after a sound 3 hours hike on a rocky trail from Longatulli. Bagini lower campsite is a plain plateau. Few stunning peaks that can be observed from this place are Satminal, Hardeul and Rishi Pahar. From Bagini Advanced Base camp the route to Changabang base camp again ascends. The road is full of a moraine, and we will spot a number of crevasses on the bagini glacier.Changabang Base Camp is a huge amphitheater. The peaks which are visible from here are Hathi, Ghori,Satminal, Dunagiri east,Garur peak, Trishuli, hardeul, Rishi, Kalanka, Changabang.
Day 7: Basecamp to Ruing Village
After Breakfast, we trek all the way back to Ruing village through Dronagiri Village. Overnight camp at Ruing Village.
Day 8: Ruing Village to Joshimath
Today we descend down to Jumma to drive back to Joshimath. Overnight stay at a hostel.
The Buran Ghati trek is built to perfection. It feels like a wormhole between two worlds– one green and verdant with meadows and hills and the other rough, jagged and majestic.
This trek is suitable for those who have some trekking experience and have followed the fitness schedule regularly. The minimum age requirement to be eligible for this trek is 12 years.Buran Ghati is a moderate to difficult trek. The 1628 ft climb to Dunda can be challenging and requires a decent level of fitness. On this trek, your mental strength is as important as physical fitness. At the top of the Buran pass, you will see the main obstacle ahead- a 400-meter vertical ice wall. This stretch is a great adventure but one must tread carefully.
Region: Himachal Pradesh
Duration: 8 days
Highest altitude: 15,000 ft
Average temperature: Daytime: 13°C-18°C; Night time: 0°C-7°C
Cost per person: INR 13,950
Day 1: Reach Diude/Janglik; 9-10 hours drive from Shimla. Day 2: Diude/Janglik (9,200 ft) to Dayara (11,075 ft) Day 3: Dayara (11,075 ft) to Litham (11,737 ft) Day 4: Expedition to Chandranahan Lake (13,900 ft) Day 5: Litham (11,737 ft) to Dhunda (13,365 ft) Day 6: Dhunda (13,365 ft) to River campsite (11,800 ft) via Buran Ghati (15,000 ft) Day 7: River campsite (11,800 ft) to Barua (6,700 ft) Day 8: Buffer Day
Day 1: Reach Diude/Janglik; 9-10 hours’ drive from Shimla.
Report at the road ahead of the trek in Diude/Janglik.
Day 2: Diude/Janglik (9,200 ft) to Dayara (11,075 ft)
The trek starts from Diude. The trail till Dayara is covered with beautiful flowers– yellow, white and purple and myriads of sweet-smelling herbs. Every little stream is covered with bright yellow flowers.
Day 3: Dayara (11,075 ft) to Litham (11,737 ft)
These streams are all over the place, glistening as they go on their way. The trail takes you through a dense forest of oak and pine before a nights halt at the Litham valley.
Day 4: Expedition to Chandranahan Lake (13,900 ft)
Chandranahan lake is set in a glacial nest surrounded by prayer pillars and other symbols of spiritual adoration. The lake is considered sacred by many locals. The view of both sides from the Buran pass is exquisite! After spending some time at the lake we turn back to the campsite. This short excursion will help you acclimatize for the trek ahead.
Day 5: Litham (11,737 ft) to Dhunda (13,365 ft)
The 1628 ft climb to Dunda can be challenging and requires a decent level of fitness. Continue north-east along the Pabbar River which originates from the slopes of the Buran Ghati. Pass through Khubrini Thach and leaving the tree line behind climb steeply through boulders to enter Dunda Thach, located at the foot of the pass.
Day 6: Dhunda (13,365 ft) to River campsite (11,800 ft) via Buran Ghati (15,000 ft)
Out of the Dhunda campsite follow the ridge and hop over boulders towards the base of the pass. From the base, it is an hour long climb to the top, mostly on snow. Buran Ghati at exactly 15,000 ft is a thrilling climb. Descending on the Buran Ghati trek is quick and very soon you lose all the altitude that you have gained. It takes about 2 hours to get to the end of the snow line. You also lose about 3,000 ft in altitude. Out of the snow line, the descent takes you down a ridge with junipers and lovely flower crested shrubs. Descend for another hour to get to a stream that needs to be hopped over. Across the stream, the first farmers’ huts appear. This is where you camp for the night.
Day 7: River campsite (11,800 ft) to Barua (6,700 ft)
The trail is well marled from river campsite. Take the lower trail descending into the valley. The trail passes through grasslands & forest of pine trees. Arrive at kahrcham by the afternoon. You deserve to spend some easy time after an arduous trek. The campsite itself is very beautiful. Enjoy the evening at the campsite.
Day 8: Buffer Day
This day will only be used if the need arises during the trek. You are advised to keep a buffer day in your travel plan.
From beauty to adventure this trek has it all.So let’s get going folks!
Himachal never disappoints any visitor who reaches here seeking adventure and hardcore trekking. Himachal boasts of Himalayan elegance and natural beauty. It proudly challenges the seekers of the offbeat tourism spots. Churdhar is one such awesome destination where you can quench your thirst of experiencing nature at one of its best faces. At a modest elevation of just under 12,000 feet, Churdhar is the highest peak of outside Himalayan range. Very few know that it is from the top of this peak George Everest made his astronomical reading of Himalayan Mountains. Churdhar is also called Chur Chandni, which means mountain dressed in the moonlight. From the summit, you get a panoramic view of the lowland tracts on the south and snow clad ranges, including the peaks of Badrinath and Kedarnath in the Garhwal region towards the north. For almost six months, the north face of the mountain is snow-clad, and below that the flanks are covered with verdant forests. The Churdhar peak is only marginally higher than the long east-west ridgeline separating the rivers Tons and Giri.
Duration: 2 days
Cost per person: INR 4250
Best season: May to November (Except Monsoon season)
Day 1: Drive from Chandigarh to Nauradhar (2175 meters) and then an easy trek from Nauradhar to Jam Nallah (2855 meters) Day 2: Moderate trek from Jam Nallah to Churdhar Peak (3655 meters) and return Day 3: Trek back from Jam Nallah to Nauradhar and then we drive back from Nauradhar to Chandigarh
Day 1: Drive from Chandigarh to Nauradhar (2175 meters) and then an easy trek from Nauradhar to Jam Nallah. (2855 meters)
Nauradhar is a small town where one can purchase basic essentials. Trek starts right from the center of this town. First 2 km is a bit steep, and after that, it is a gradual incline through a forest of pine trees till Jam Nallah, our first-day camping site
Day 2: Moderate trek from Jam Nallah to Churdhar Peak (3655 meters) and return
During a trek of almost 5 hours, you don’t feel tired as the striking views, like that of the Kedarnath and Badrinath peaks, ranges of Lahaul and Spiti, a thick forest full of chirping noises, Gujjars with their cattle and many more, keep your energy level up. Also, a few other charming spots and temples, that you come across while you are on the way to Churdhar, make the journey unforgettable. After that, we start our descend towards the campsite.
Day 3: Trek back from Jam Nallah toNauradhar and then we drive back from Nauradhar to Chandigarh
We descend down from Jam Nallah to Nauradhar. It would take 3-4 hours to reach Nauradhar from Jam Nallah. Later we drive back to Chandigarh from Nauradhar
Most people think Spiti Valley is inaccessible in the winters. For the adventurous soul, this may turn out to be the best time to visit. There are hardly any tourists around and you will have all of Spiti to yourself. Winter is a perfect time to see local life in Spiti, as it has existed for centuries.
Winter in Spiti is harsh and temperatures are known to plummet to lesser than -35 degree Celsius at night. Everything is quite likely to be frozen and there is no running water in the taps. If you are lucky, there is a huge possibility of experiencing snowfall in Spiti, and sighting a snow leopard is a good possibility.
The change in landscape means it is quite possible to think of Spiti as an entirely different land as compared to summers. There are frozen waterfalls, azure blue skies, trees devoid of leaves, pristine freezing rivers in the winter that make Spiti a more beautiful and novel experience.
It is a good idea to first get acclimatized to the bare cold and high altitude of Kaza (3700 m) before exploring the various sites in the region. While coming from the Shimla route, the monastery of Nako coupled with a walk to the frozen or semi-frozen Nako Lake will help in acclimatization and be getting used to the cold. The oldest monastery in India, Tabo Gompa complex can be explored at leisure before making the final run to Kaza.
Apart from these places, there are other noteworthy monasteries in Spiti, including the Sakya Gompa in Kaza, Ki Monastery, Dhankar Monastery and Dhankar Lake, Komic Gompa, Giu Monastery, Lhalung Gompa and Kungri Monastery.Keep in mind that, depending on the amount of snow, the roads to these places may or may not be open. If the roads are closed, it is possible to trek to these villages on foot in the snow; it is advised not to trek by yourself and have a local guide or villager around. Major Spiti Valley attraction in the winters is the possibility of walking on the frozen Spiti and Pin rivers; keep in mind that there have been instances of people drowning in the past and any attempts are off the recommended list. A visit to a high altitude Spitian village is another major attraction, you will get to see local life and experience how it goes on in spite of the unbearable freezing temperatures. Reaching the village of Losar is a big upcoming attraction in Spitian winters. It is the biggest and farthest of all the Spitian villages and is a cultural delight. Locals celebrate festivals and folk dances by singing traditional Spitian songs. To revive the tradition, winters also see young men learn the art of carving Buddhist prayers on mane stones. In Kaza, locals can be seen playing the favorite Spitian game of ‘Cholo’.
The road to Losar is almost unbelievable in the winter and the landscape is covered in a blanket of white. There may be blossoms of various colors of almond, plum, peach and apricot trees along the route in February/March. Celebrating the festivals of Dechang and Losar is another big attraction in the winters.
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trekking, also popularly known as Annapurna Sunrise Trekking, or Annapurna Panorama Trekking is one of the most popular and relatively easy treks that meander through the beautiful ethnic villages of Annapurna Region. Invigorating through some rhododendron forests, Poon Hill Trekking in Nepal will let you feel the Himalayan Panorama while providing you the opportunities to get close to the local Culture.Poon Hill Trek is obviously best known for the views from Poon Hill.
Being popularly known as the Photographer’s Paradise, you can capture some of the best snaps of impressive Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Poon Hill offers you the striking panorama of the huge Himalayas including Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Annapurna II, III, and IV, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung Himal, Gangapurna, and Manaslu ranges among few others. The phenomenal sunrise from Poon Hill is just unmissable. A provocative glimpse of high mountains surrounding you can mesmerize anyone who’s the part of this awesome trek. In addition to that, Poon Hill Trekking will also let you witness terraced slopes, warm villages, beautiful paddy fields, and wonderful culture and lifestyle of ethnic people like Gurungs and Magars. Ghorepani and Ghandruk are two of the largest Gurung settlements in the Annapurna Region.
You will hike 2 days to Ghorepani (which used to be a rest stop where ancient traders found water (pani in Nepali) for their horses (ghoda in Nepali). You will experience sunrise at Poon Hill, with breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks of the Annapurna Sanctuary, including Gangapurna, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and Hiunchuli. Along the trail, you will hike through bamboo and rhododendron forest which will be in full bloom in the spring if you trek the Himalayas in March-April.
Enjoy the energizing fresh mountain air while you are totally enthralled with the breathtaking view of the dramatic Annapurna and Fishtail range. Hiking in the serene mountains is truly a blessing and it is made even better with the presence of the Himalayas. The sense of joy that comes to you while you see the snow capped mountains is indescribable; you must experience it for yourself.
200 km west of Kathmandu is the unbelievably beautiful city of Pokhara, a six hours bus ride or twenty-five minutes flight from Kathmandu, it is the main-gate way to the Ghorepani Poon hill trek. From Pokhara there is another one and half hour drive to Nayapul where your trek of the lifetime starts. As you walk the rugged trails, you will enjoy the beauty of nature as you cross small beautiful mountain streams, green hills that overlook the white Himalayan peaks and eventually watch the sunrise over the Annapurna mountain range which is blissful.
This short but spectacular trek will make you fall in love with the Nepal Himalayan Mountains, and make you want to see more.
College is probably the most amazing experience one can ever have.What makes college so exciting?!Friends, fun, partying and what not!But the most amusing part is embarking on adventure tours with our buddies!Here are some of the coolest adventure tours you must set out on:
Jodhpur or popularly known as “Blue City” is one of the most popular tourist locations. In Jodhpur, there is much scope for adventure at Mehrangarh Fort. At Mehrangarh Fort, you can enjoy the 6 zip line tour of the fort, lakes, Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park, and have the mesmerizing view of the blue city.
Punjab is also a good option for adventure trips. Kikar Lodge is a good option where you can enjoy the forested safari experience with adventure activities like aerial zip lining in India, elephant riding, and much more.
If you are an all-boys group, make sure you don’t miss this road trip. If you have girls along, well, it makes it all the more memorable! Rent Royal Enfields and get ready to put your endurance skills to test. Brave streams of ice-cold water, snow-capped mountains and glacial melts to complete this Mecca of all road trips!
Havelock Island, Andaman
If your group has traveled on all of the Indian soil, try plunging into the deep Indian waters! Jetpack to Havelock Island, take your bestie’s hand and go snorkeling beneath the azure waters and witness the splendid coral reefs, only to come back with unforgettable sights.
Dandeli is an ideal vacation destination in north Karnataka for those who love nature.Whitewater rafting, kayaking, and canoeing on the Kali River make it an unforgettable experience for adventure seekers. Overland treks, cycling and mountain biking can be spontaneous or fully catered with equipment and guides.Wildlife enthusiasts will fall in love with the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary offering a glimpse of black panthers, Sambhar deer, bison and Malabar giant squirrels.
You don’t get to visit Ladakh every day. But you should make sure you go there at least once. Visit the Pangong Lake and experience cotton candy clouds over you and unblemished water at your feet. Also, try the Yak Safari to navigate your gang through the glacial valleys.
We recently interviewed Spriha Gupta, an adventure seeker from Bangalore. In a candid chat, she told us about her thrilling experience to Chadar trek that she recently completed in February. Read on!
Q: When did you start trekking?
A: I started trekking a couple of years ago but I only did a few short treks in South India, in and around Bangalore. Last year, I went for my first winter Himalayan trek with you guys, when I completed the Kedarkantha Trek. Hence, I was experienced and well-prepared for the Chadar trek.
Q: Why did you choose the Chadar trek?
A: There are two main reasons why I chose this trek. Firstly, I wanted to challenge myself and test my abilities. Secondly, I heard the route to this trek was going to shut down and another route was going to open. So I had to complete this trek this year and check it off my list.
Q: How was the Chadar trek?
A: For me, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. Maybe, because I was better prepared for it, in terms of clothing. My experience in Kedarkantha trek came in handy as I knew how cold it can actually get at an altitude as high as 12,000 ft. So I wore thermals, better and warmer jackets this time and in addition to this, I also carried heat pouches.
Q: Sounds like it was quite a task, So what inspired you to keep walking in below freezing temperature and an extreme weather?
A: My wish and will to complete the trek kept me determined throughout the trek but yes, the trek did challenge me on so many levels. The first day was definitely difficult because I was completely clueless about everything. As one reaches there, he/she is unaware of what lies in front of them and in case of this trek, what lies beneath them. Apart from this, I was adamant about the fact that I have to reach the waterfalls.
Q: How was your stay at the Dib cave?
A: It was an overnight camp but we didn’t really stay inside the cave as it is reserved for locals but our camp was right opposite to the cave and it was pretty amazing. Overnight camps are always beautiful.
Q: How did you feel when you reached Gyalpo waterfalls, your ‘destination’?
A: It was a feeling of accomplishment and relief that I had completed the trek after all the challenges that I faced. The biggest challenge was broken chadar. As I remember correctly, every other batch except ours returned because the chadar had cracked. Our batch faced the same issue, but later that day we saw a couple of girls coming down from another route. Excitedly, I asked them about the route and they told me that the alternate route was steep and rough. So when I asked my guide to give us another shot at this, he agreed and this is where Renok adventures really helped me out. Out of our batch of 9 people, 2 trekkers, my friend and I completed this trek against all odds. And all of this was definitely worth it because when I reached the waterfalls, the view was to die for!
Q: Was there any particular event from the trek which stood out for you?
A: My journey to the waterfalls was definitely the event that stood out for me. That day, I challenged my own self and I came out as a winner and that feeling of achievement was spectacular.
Q: Lastly, do you have any advice for first-time trekkers who aim to complete the Chadar trek?
A: Yes. Firstly, go for this trek in the second half of January because the chadar might start breaking in February and trekkers can lose out on experiencing the whole trek. Our batch faced the same challenge and many others didn’t get to see the waterfalls. Secondly, carry heat pouches because it can get really cold out there.
Spriha’s determination and willpower amazed us all. Her trek to the Chadar trek proves that you can go for this mesmerizing trek if you are as strong-willed as Spriha. She definitely had an amazing experience. Do you think Chadar trek could be your calling too?
Well, you’ve been working for a while now, and you think you need a break, and want to go for a trek. But which trekking location should you head for? Take the following factors into account, and we’re sure you’ll have your answer by the end!
How fit are you? Ideally, you should be fit for any trek. Work out a month in advance in order to make sure you’re prepared.
If you’re in good shape, then most treks can be undertaken by you. Even Kuari Pass can be done by trekkers who don’t have that much experience, yet are fit.
3. Weather and Season
Most Himalayan treks like Hampta Pass and Kashmir’s Great Lakes are doable in May and June, but there are some treks that are known for the particular seasons they thrive in. If you’re going in April, think of Chopta-Chandrashila. The rhododendrons are in full bloom at Chopta and the route to Tungnath, and you might even encounter some ice and snow near Chandrashila top!
The pink rhododendrons aka Buransh, at Chopta.
Come July and August, and the famous Valley of Flowers beckons you. The flowers are in full bloom, and monsoon treks hold a charm of their own.
September, October, and November, though cold, are the best months for catching a view of the snow capped peaks. The skies are at their clearest, so I’d recommend Nag Tibba or Kuari Pass.
Come December and January, and we have the classic winter treks, namely Kedarkantha, and the Chadar trek.
4. Number Of Days At Hand
How many days do you have? If it’s a long weekend trip, then something like Kheerganga and Bhrigu Lake may be more up your alley.
But if you have a good week to 10 days, go for a trek like Roopkund in Uttarakhand, or the Great Lakes in Kashmir.
For something in between, try Chandrakhani Pass near Manali!
If you’ve got a humble amount saved up, then Piang Neru or Khar Myundari may be just what you’re looking for!
If you’re a beginner to trekking, here are 10 trekking tips that should help you prepare for your first trek! And even if you’re experienced, it’s never too late to brush up on some information.
Trekking Tip 1: Double check everything.
Equipment matters. You don’t want to be out on a hike, and when you need something important, you don’t have it. It can be the difference between life and death. Trekking usually takes place in remote locations, where facilities are scarce, so there’s a good chance you won’t find what you’re looking for.
Even if it is available, why would you want to waste money and buy something you already have?
Trekking Tip 2: If hit by AMS, descend.
Mountains can be your best friend, but also your worst enemy. Acute Mountain Sickness hits when you don’t acclimatise properly. Presuming you’re past the point of acclimatising and are already facing symptoms of altitude sickness, the best solution is to descend. While Diamox etc. can help curb the symptoms and effects, removing the cause(high altitude) is the most logical solution.
Trekking Tip 3: Prepare adequately.
Make sure you’re physically and mentally fit to go for a trek. Fitness can make the difference between making a trek really easy to complete, or really difficult to manage. You don’t want to be left lagging behind!
Trekking Tip 4: Climb high, sleep low.
Once over 3000 meters above sea level, climb slowly, sleeping no more than 300 m higher at the end of each day. Going higher during the day is fine as long as you go down to sleep. It’s a good idea to reach your destination for the day and then go for an acclimatisation walk somewhere high around, thereafter returning to camp.
Trekking Tip 5: Start early, reach early.
It’s a rule I follow religiously. Early morning usually makes for glorious weather, with astounding views. Plus, if you start by around 5 or 6 AM, there’s a good chance you’ll be at your intended destination by 12 PM or max, 2, just in time for lunch. Plus, the weather usually gets cloudy and rainy post noon, and it’s never fun to trek in that.
Trekking Tip 6: Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but photos. Kill nothing but time. Keep nothing but memories.
Global warming is consuming our planet at a rapid pace, and the Himalayas have one of the most fragile ecosystems in the world. Add to all this, the throngs of tourists visiting them each year, and you have at hand a disaster waiting to happen.
In light of all these, it is our prerogative that we keep our ecological footprint to a minimum. We leave them as we would like to find them. We do not harm the flora and fauna. We take away nothing but experiences.
Trekking Tip 7: It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.
This one applies to both trekking and mountaineering. If we keep wasting time thinking about how much further the destination is, we make it mentally tiring for ourselves. So it’s best to concentrate on the next step, on the immediate present, and where to put our foot next.
Trekking Tip 8: Take care of your feet.
Your legs and feet are your most valuable companion on any trek, and that’s why it’s really important to pay attention to them. Make sure to wear the right socks, and the right number of layers. Break in new shoes before taking them for their first trek. Get comfortable in them. Lace them up to the top to reduce chances twisting your ankle.
Trekking Tip 9: When you reach a destination, set up camp first before anything else.
Before doing anything else, it’s necessary that you pitch your tents first. When you do that, you have a base to function out of, out of which you can organise all other activities like cooking. In the event of unforeseen weather, you have a place to take shelter.
Trekking Tip 10: “Aur kitni aage hai?/How much further?” is always a bad question to ask, and one we hate answering 😛
We all know “Bas thoda aur/just 10 minutes more” is a blatant lie we tell just to keep you satisfied, so why make us say it 😛 ?
We recently interviewed Kratika Jain, a digital marketer from Ahmedabad. In a candid chat, she tells us about her first time trekking experiences to Hampta Pass in July. Read on!
Q: How did you start trekking?
A: Actually, this was my first time trekking, and it all happened rather quickly. Quite a lot of my friends were doing it, and I couldn’t handle their pictures, it was too beautiful, and I really needed a break from my job as well! The satisfaction of the mountains couldn’t be felt in a city like Ahmedabad, and I really wanted to get away. So I quickly opened up Google and started looking for a trek to do.
Q: How did you end up choosing Hampta Pass?
A: I simply searched which trek was popular during July, and Hampta Pass popped up!
Q: What was Hampta Pass like, for you?
A: It was easy to moderate, even though it was my first time trekking, but the last two days were quite difficult(during the pass crossing and descending). Even the day we crossed Hampta Pass, we walked for 12 hours. I thought to myself, “Oh shit I’m killing myself !”, but looking back when we finished it, it was a really nice experience, and at that point, I realised that we(the group) had actually done something exciting in life!
Q: How did it feel when you reached the pass itself?
A: Actually, I wasn’t feeling that good, since there was still some portion of the trek remaining. When I reached the pass, I was jubilant, but then thought “Oh shit, abhi aur chalna hai(I still have to walk more!)”. Then, on the final day, my feelings were the exact opposite and I was thinking “Oh damn, it’s the last day”, and then we felt like it was too short, we wished it was longer. Suddenly all my energy came back that day and we wished we could do it all over again!
Q: Sounds like it was quite a task managing the trek. What inspired you to keep walking?
A: You see so much natural beauty and variations in weather, which you would not get to see in a crowded city like Ahmedabad. The scenery is amazing and beautiful, sometimes it’s flowers, mountains, waterfalls, sometimes it’s rivers. It all inspires you to keep going!
Q: Speaking of rivers, how’d you find the river crossing at Jwara?
A: At first, I felt like not doing it, then I felt a lot of adrenalin during the actual crossing itself, and then I felt like doing it again! It was adventurous, but thankfully I was never scared.
Q: Once you cross Hampta Pass, you come to Spiti and Chandra Tal. How did you like those?
A: It was absolutely beautiful! I had never seen mountainous landscapes, especially since it was my first time trekking. My immediate reaction was “Why don’t they shoot Bollywood movies here? Why do people go abroad to countries like Thailand? Spiti is equally, if not more beautiful”. The truth is, Himachal is really unexplored. That is because of its inaccessibility. But it is this same inaccessibility that allows this region to remain peaceful, calm, and serene. By contrast, we saw Rohtang Pass on the way back, and wahan pe to mela laga hua tha!
Q: Being an Indian woman, was there any hurdle you faced while informing your family about going for the trek?
A: I just told my family, don’t wait for me, agar mai waapis nahi aayi! They were asking for a phone number to contact me in case of an emergency, and were shocked to learn ke waahaan pe signal hi nahi aata. They could not comprehend that there are still regions in this country jahaan pe signal nahi aata! All jokes aside, they were mostly fine, they just wanted me to stay in touch, since it was my first time trekking.
Q: Was there any particular event from the trek which stood out for you?
A: The truth is, I wasn’t in a good condition, and desperately wanted a break from my life. I wanted to move out of the city and go to the mountains. So this trek was a big break for me, and genuinely a life changing experience, which I felt I needed. So I would describe the entire trek as an event that stood out for me. To top it all, the Renok staff were really nice and supportive. The group members too were very cooperative. Some of the group members and guides are now friends of mine!
Q:Do you have any advice for first time trekkers?
A: What I witnessed on the trek was that people were scared of the altitude, saying “No, mujhse nahi hoga(I will not be able to do it), I can’t do this” etc. If we keep this sort of mindset, we will not be able to concentrate on the trek and enjoy it, enjoy the scenery all around. For those for whom it’s their first time trekking, I have to say this. We should soak in every moment, because every moment is unique, memorable and enjoyable, and we should not forget this in our tiredness!
Q: Finally, has this trek had any lasting effects on you?
A: Apart from being in touch with all the group members, I have realised a lot of things about the mountains. Trekking is not boring, ever, and it probably won’t be for anyone. Anyone can go for it, people from all walks of life, age, etc., so everyone can disconnect from their individual backgrounds and connect together to the mountains. Trekking also helps you get to know yourself as a person, and nothing can be better than staying with nature. I felt so much positivity when I returned from Hampta Pass, it’s been life-changing for me. Whenever I’m faced with a negative situation in life, I think of the mountains, and I channel positivity through them into me. When I returned from Hampta, I kept telling my family and friends the tales of my trek, and now they’ve started to grow bored! Even now, I am in the same mood, dreaming of the mountains. Ab to keeda lag gaya hai(I’m hooked to the mountains now), to trek once or twice during the year.
It looks like Kratika had a gala time. Do you think Hampta Pass could be your calling too? Head on over here to find out!