The initial part of the trek got us back near the vicinity of Bekaltal. We would walk on a tangent path to the lake under a blanket of oak and rhododendron trees. The initial 1.5 hours inside the forest were quite steep and taxing. And the dust on the trail was not making things any simpler. But once the forest section got over &amp; opened up to a vast, endless meadow the mountains of Garhwal Himalayas would welcome us to its divine, massive appearance. The excitement upon our first clear tryst with the snowy mountains were immeasurable. These vast meadows would serve as the most idyllic camping spot, infact imagine waking up in the morning to a view like such. But due to the recent ban on camping in meadows in Uttarakhand trekkers would just need to move on from here. Still, the excited we dumped our bags across and merrily trotted around, clicking pics to our hearts content. This meadow is named Telandi. Mt. Trishul, Nanda Ghunti and other colossal peaks would clearly be visible from here.
The lake was not more than 500 meters from the campsite. Upon reaching there though I didn't jump out of my seat with sheer excitement. At first was not sure if it was the actual lake. The lake, well, looks less convincing for a lake and more of a water puddle. I mean, you can just walk through it, with water levels not more than 2-3 ft I would assume. But with the ensuing sunset and Golden Hour the lake looked pristine. While clicking plenty of pics we walked to the other side of the lake which was in semi frozen state. Some snaps of the same below...Right next to the lake was a hill from where the sunset looked absolutely jaw-dropping. Just sat there all of us, witnessing the sun go down behind those mountains. Yet another day has passed on earth.During the night all of mustered courage to attempt night photography. And the efforts and results were not bad at all. To withstand bone-freaking cold was one thing, and to get a decent shot out of many attempts was another. We didn't give up that easily. In fact Aashish, Vikrant, Ashutosh, Gautam kept trying just to get that one perfect shot. Braving all the cold we could that was a beautiful night-sky out there, alas we couldn't get the same framed through our pics.
The next morning we left for Brahmatal. The trek on this day is a little longer and takes more time. You start by walking steep uphill into the forest for about an hour after which you come to a clearing. You stop at the clearing to take in the view of the beautiful snowcapped ranges of Nanda gunti and Trishuli.
It was the coldest night of my life yet. To emphasize this, I will tell you a small instance. Before sleeping we all were given boiled water to drink as the normal water was freezing cold. We all filled up our water bottles with it and in the morning when we woke up, it was ICED inside the bottle. LITERALLY ICED!!!!It was 7 in the morning and the sun was nowhere to be seen. After getting fresh, we all gathered around the fireplace and got the briefing from our trek leader. We had to leave by 8:30 for our summit. We were going to the Khamira top and as per the old people of Uttarakhand, it essentially means we have crossed the Indian border and are in China. It is at a height of 12,500 ft and it is the highest point of our trek. It was necessary for us to leave by 8:30 as clouds were approaching fast and the view of astonishing and spellbinding Mount Trishul and Mount Nanda Ghunti and other ranges from there would not be visible clearly.We left at 8:45 and the way upwards was steep and dangerous. The way goes through the Brahmtal river and requires a lot of steep trekking but this day is also the most rewarding.I was on my way up with my other members when I got the nature's call and I had to go out of my way to do the doo-doo. YES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HILLS IN THE OPEN!!! Believe it or not, it was a great experience. My ATL was waiting for me on the ridge upwards the rock I had used as my shelter for doing the deed. I got to him and we started trekking upwards. HERE IT COMES GUYS, ANOTHER ONE OF MY FRIENDLY ADVICE!!!! When you are trekking on a steep mountain trail, always rest with your face towards the way you have already covered. Use your trekking pole to lean down on and take deep breaths while looking at the path covered by you. It gives you a sense of achievement and motivation. If you look straight up to the way you still have to cover, it might make you feel like OH GOD!! I HAVE TO KEEP GOING FOR THAT LONG!!I was pretty far from my other group members and only Me, Vatsa and our ATL were together. Vatsa was essentially down in the spirits until our ATL told us this trick to boost our spirits. It was a challenging way up and we could see our other members along with our team leader who had already reached the top and was taking in the serene beauties the top had to offer. This made us take the north face of the mountain to climb as it was the fastest way up. Now the north face, as you might be knowing, is not the traditional choice of anyone because it doesn't have any direct sunlight and due to which there was snow on our paths. But our perseverance paid off and we didn't stop until the very first glimpse of the majestic Mount Trishul and Mount Nanda Ghunti.