Our base camp is in Rumsu, a small village bordering the Northern states of Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir. Having lived in central India all my life, the remote northern mountainous region practically never existed for me. This place is my very first introduction to the Himalayas. Rumsu is small, scarcely populated yet one could find a million things to do in went out exploring. I try my hand at picking strawberries, mind you, they were orange, not red, and the best I have had to date.While returning from the local market, I lose my way back to the camp. It is dark and there is nobody around. A little brown labrador comes from nowhere and walks me back to my base. He is my first friend in Rumsu. I now call him Shadow because he keeps following me wherever I go.Although most of the locals have not been formally educated, they are not short of courteousness or civility. Their day-to-day activities are closely connected to nature and the manner in which they revere Mother Earth is something we all must learn from them.No book or traveller would be able to describe the Himalayan experience fairly. One could fall short of adjectives. To me, it appeared like a great saint meditating in peace; detached yet one with the cosmos. It was huge but not intimidating, powerful yet ego-less. Later, I would realise that during and post the trek, there had been an unmindful change in my attitude towards people and everyday life. My frivolous miseries had hardly mattered in front of the herculean ranges. Now, I had to be punctual if I was to stay with the group. Interacting and conversing with strangers had become easier.The climb was always going to be a test of one's determination and patience, a lesson to balance our emotions effectively. I left home with no objectives or motives. There were no names on the Himalayan map when I started but I was to return with more than 50 must-visit places and loads of self-confidence.
Trekking!!! The word that, for some people is, generally associated with hard work, pain and unease. For me too the thought of going on a trek did not pop up in my head, not because I am the lazy kind but I always thought I had enough time to do it in the later half of my life. Well long story short, I had recently broken my hip (doesn't happen everyday to many 28 years old) and after being in the hospital for a month then 2 months of lying in bed after that, I had to literally learn how to walk again. But after those three months of being handicapped and staring at the ceiling thinking if I would be able to walk again, I had realized one thing very clearly. "You might not have a full lifetime to do whatever it is you dream of doing". After 6 months of strength training and numerous physiotherapy sessions I was able to walk and jog somewhat like a normal person again. SO here I was, and I had decided come what may I am not going to wait for the right time anymore. So, I take off to Delhi for a snow trek to Chanderkhani Pass.We start from Manali early and after an hour and half drive we arrive at a beautiful village called Rumusu.
Rumsu, is an ancient Himalayan village of around 1000 years. It has an old world charm to it. It is also the base camp of Chandrakhani Pass trek that leads you to Malana.A quick 45 minutes drive from Manali leads to a steep gradient trek from Chakki Nala to Rumsu village.Outdoor lovers enjoy the moderate hike through deodar forest and apple orchards, while crossing beautiful old wooden houses, rushing Beas and lush greenery around. This unexplored trail is only used by the villagers as of now. The trail leads us to a school at Rumsu village and further to the temple and Panchayat area of the community.How to Get There:–Take a cab from Manali to Jagatsukh leading to Chakki Nala drive. It is a 45 minutes hour–There is a tea stall near Chakki nala. The trek starts from here, leading to a forest trail–From the Chakki Naga it takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to reach Rumsu.Option 4: Prini Village to Banara VillageDuration: 3.5 to 4 hoursTrail: Manali- Prini- Banara- ManaliAltitude: 1189 m/ 3900 ftGradient: Easy – Few Steep Slopes
Today was the day for what all we had planned this “1st ever Snow trek”Always remember to be in front, not only you will witness the virgin traces but also find your way up all by yourself leading your friends to the top. The trek holds its own wilderness giving you answers to more questions than we have yet learned to ask.The destination (2600Meters) welcomed us with snowfall and a heavy one this time. This experience cannot be put into words just look down.
At around 2.30 pm we hired a Safari from Patlikuhal and left for Rumsu and he charged us Rs 600. Buses only go till Naggar and from there you either have to hike to Rumsu or get a taxi. Considering the route from Naggar to Rumsu was really damaged and messed up, 600 Rs was fair deal. We distributed the food items in everyone’s bags evenly, packed our bags finally before starting to walk. We had to first assemble near a temple in Rumsu which required us to climb 60-70 odd stairs which normally you won’t even give a thought about but with a load of 10-12 Kgs on our back, it gave us some idea of what was coming ahead of us. At the temple, the guide offered his prayers and ‘dhoop’ to the almighty. He told me that he does it every time he starts a trek. I don’t know why but that gave me some feeling of security and protection too. He shouted -“Bolo har har Mahadev”, which we repeated with enthusiasm and the trek started.The first part of the trek was through dense forests. For the initial half an hour or so, all of us found it a little difficult to walk. With 12 Kg bags on our backs and steep slopes we weren’t really appearing to be positive about the walk ahead. But as our blood grew hotter, we slowly started getting used to the weight and the walk. We found a leaked pipe of water supply somewhere on our way, drank chilled water and refilled our bottles before continuing further. There were different paths at few junctions and one of the guides was showing us the way. After some more altitude gain, the Beas valley could be seen. We took a halt at a plane area surrounded by small peaks. There was a tea point there and locals were also there with their cattle. We relaxed for 20 minutes, had snickers and started walking again. Since it was getting dark, Ramesh suggested us to not to move to Naya Tapru that day and camp at a place, half an hour before it. We walked through more dense forests, saw small falls and water streams on our way before reaching the camp site.