Travelling to the Himalayas was always on the bucket list. In fact this one thing is on everyone's "Things To Do List". To follow the stereotypical vacation to the Himalayas, I would've chosen a family trip to Kashmir which includes the most visited Rohtang pass to play with the snow. Little did I know, I ended up selecting an adventure activity on my very first visit to the north of India. To make it even more interesting I opted for a Himalayan Trekking Expedition.
Born in Maharashtra, I was always fond of the monsoon weekend getaway which was always a small trek to any of the forts. Having done a few it was now time for a big one. One day while scrolling the not so interesting Facebook feeds, I came across a sponsored post of Kailash Rath about a trip to Sarpass. I was amused by the pictures and decided right away that I have to do this. this was it! Right from January I started convincing my parents for this. In no time my parents agreed to this and we were all set to start our preparations.
Trekking is a kind of activity which brings you and your friends closer. Throughout the trek you walk towards the summit together. Helping, motivating, sharing, kindness comes naturally. It's an activity which lets you live the journey on your foot. So here, I'm sharing my Sarpass Diary.
Everything was first this time. First sister's trip, first ever flight, first adventure trip, first visit to the Himalayas, first bag packing trip, first Delhi metro ride. I explored Delhi on foot.
I had a million dollar smile on my face when I saw the first snow clad mountain from the bus on the way to Manali. Then, the thought that I am going to walk on the snow after four days was magical.
Further, I and my trek mates took and an impromptu halt. The bus driver dropped us in the middle of nowhere and while waiting for help to reach the base camp, all of us started the morning at the foot of Beas River. There was no sound and pollution other than the sound of the river was being heard.
I reached the most happening base camp. Kailash Rath has their base camp in a very small village named Rumsu. Well, I could stay here for another 10 days.
The acclimatization walk was a reality check of what the five days would be. We also had a relaxing session with new friends, rains and pakodas.
The next day we all woke up 4:30 am, all excited and ready for the trek. We started of the trek from Kasol. The only water source we had during the trek to Grahan Village was the pure Parvati River.
PRO TIP: I skipped breakfast on the first day due to which I struggled to walk on higher altitdude. So, Never skip the first meal of the day on the mountains as it will boost your energy to trek to the next camp.
While all of us were chilling at a Maggie shop at Grahan, we met a local named Prakash ji who informed us about the beauty and traditions of Himachal Pradesh. We also had a great session in the dark about the stars by our Astrophysicist friend.
"It's so beautiful when you meet humans from different backgrounds and professions coming together where there's no Wi-fi."
As said "there is no shortcut to success". But there to reach the second campsite, we used a shortcut in the end to avoid rains which was kinda difficult but the guides were really helpful.
As we reached the most beautiful camp Min Thatch around 2 pm, we had a long day to rest and have fun. I spent some time alone admiring the mountains from the top while a few of them tried their hands on Teen Patti ;-) .
When we were all busy making boomerang videos, the horses were making out.
The journey to Camp 3, Nagaru started and we were tired already. The day's trek was a difficult one as only 4 kilometers had to be covered within a time span of 4-5 hours. Between that we reached the most scenic lunch point. Many enjoyed "Maggi with a view".
The journey that day was very tiring as the climb was steep and extremely difficult but I managed to complete it faster because it was the first time I was going to touch snow.
The batch of 31 had an extra reason to be happy as there was mobile network after four days. So, we all made calls to our families to tell them we almost made it and we are still alive :-)
At Nagaru, the weather was so cozy that 11 of us squeezed in one tent to gossip, play cards, have tea and fries. Kailash Rath was kind enough to serve us bournvita post dinner in Zero Degree Celsius.
The next day was the D day and we had to wake up at 3 am, but the night had much to offer where a few tents had a special visitor after midnight - a bear who slept on a few tents including mine.
I finally managed to take a half and hour nap and woke up for breakfast at 3:30 am. YES, at 3:30 am. And finally, I was ready to cross the Pass at 4:30 am. It was freaking cold, we were dressed up in three layers to walk on the snow for the next six hours. I almost gave up in the hour where I had to climb 60 degree steep mountain. But the guide and my friends motivated me and helped and me reach the pass.
The minimal time we spent on the top breathing the fresh air from the snow-covered mountains and posing for pictures and snow fights was the best part of the trek.
The snow slide of approximately one kilometer was the highlight of the trek where my jacket was filled with huge balls of snow.
After trekking for nine hours we reached the last camp Biskeri Thatch where the nature welcomed us by the rains and freezing weather.
With renewed energy, we were all set to descend. A six hour trek of about ten kilometers with one scenic lunch break and no water was the toughest. As we descended and the mist cleared off, the Tosh valley came into view, sharper and prettier than ever which comprised of villages of Tosh, Pulga and Barshaini.
If you research about Sarpass, it will say that "it's an ideal trek for beginners". But I wouldn't say that. It's a very challenging trek which not only needs physical strength but a equal amount of mental strength. But I am glad that my first ever Himalayan trekking expedition was a challenging one as this helped me to figure out my strengths and weaknesses.
I bet you should go for a trek at least once in your lifetime.
It gives you life lessons.
It teaches you to take risks in life.
It teaches you sharing.
It teaches you to live with limited resources yet to live to the fullest.
It teaches you to respect nature.
And most importantly,
It teaches you to make friends who have crazy conversations at 14000 ft. above sea level.
The friendship that will last long.