After the initial rest of 3 days the following days were anything but rest. We started with light walks of about 3 kms which graduated to jogs and then into sprints. Our morning schedule comprised of running and strengthening exercises with all the fauji flavour. Rolling, crab walks, pushups, crunches, jumping forward and back in a plank position and stuff that I haven't even heard. It was pure 'ragada' as in the Army lingo and it felt like we had enlisted for an Army boot camp and that we were going to become soldiers. The "Ustaads" were strict with the routine and were very punctual about timing. Twice a day everyday we had our regular medical check ups and this went on for a week. Our time in Leh was the first stage of acclimatization and based on our medical condition no one got dropped out from Leh.
Second stage of acclimatization started with us being sent to Siachen Base Camp which is at 10,000 feet for further ragada. This word 'ragada' is going to come a lot many times because that is what actually happened, there are no two ways about it. Coming back, we reached Base Camp after crossing the famous K-Top or KhardungLa Top and eventually reaching the staging area from where our trek would start. This is also the place where we would be getting our Army issued clothing and equipment that we would be wearing during the trek. The training at base camp comprised of long 5 to 7.5 km walks with and without load; learning ice craft skills like 2 point climbing and fall arrest techniques; learning to tie different knots on ropes and making yourself a makeshift harness. Apart from outdoor lessons we also attended lectures on various illness associated with high altitude and to how to prevent them. The ragada that we received here was taxing on some and by the end of our second stage of acclimatization there were a few people who were dropped either due to medical or physical reasons. The herd was much smaller now.