After 3 failed attempts to go for a trek, finally in December the time came for me to pack my bags and leave for my home town, Dehra Dun. Being my first trek, I decided not to depend on anyone for it and go for it all by myself, to make it a different experience. The trek was organised by Indiahikes and the group which I was in for this winter trek, seemed to be really energetic and motivating. During the trek I was fortunate enough to make some life long friends. People from different place, of different age group, of different background, became an integral part of this journey, to the summit and back. Who would have thought it would take just 5 days for 20 random strangers to gel up a with bond so strong that the 'goodbyes' would turn out to be the toughest part of the whole trek. The comfort level that we shared at the end of the trek was totally contrasting from where it all began.
The total altitude gained during the trek was of 12,500 feet. Being a winter trek, the weather was fairly cold and right from day one we experienced snow, which made the trek more interesting. Although we were mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the snow clad mountains, on which we were trekking, the snow actually made the walk quite difficult. Each day brought learning in its own way. Be it the tough ascend, the acclimatization or the cold, each and every experience was taken by every individual with a positive attitude. For me living out of the backpack for the first time was a totally different experience all by itself. Having just the bare necessities really grounds you in life. It makes one realize the things that we take granted for in life. No matter who you are, or how much you have earned in your life, the Himalayas have this peculiar feature of bringing the most out of a human being. Your start respecting yourself, you start appreciating all the small things in life, the whole perspective towards life changes.
The day that stood out in this trek was at the first camp site, Juda Ka Talaab, which is nothing but a frozen lake. What made the day special was the occasion of Christmas. I were fortunate enough to celebrate a white Christmas. It was the first night in the wilderness. Indiahikes were kind enough to bake a cake for us which was served after the dinner. Hats off to the local cooks for such a wonderful gesture and going this distance at such hostile place.
Overall, the trek was a moderate one, considering the rigorous and exhausting summit day. Yes, first timers can go for this trek and it will build a good foundation for the forthcoming treks. The food was quite decent considering the remote environment and the limited resources available. Still the staff did their best to cater to our needs and no stone was left un-turned, be it timely serving the hot tea or the different sweets we got post every meal !
A must do winter trek with the prettiest of the camp sites, which will live up to its expectation and leave you in High Spirit !