My First Solo Alpine. 

Tripoto
8th Feb 2018
Photo of My First Solo Alpine. by Kislay Kukreti

Battling a few days of melancholy and monotony here at base camp I decided it was time to get out and explore. Explore the country and new places was the idea, but as it turned out, the journey was one of introspection and self exploration along with a good tough trek, of course. Through a friend who works in an adventure company, i finalised my destination. It was the highest peak, in the lesser Himalayas, without support or a guide i set out. My destination, Nag Tibba!

Day 1

In the company of my Rucksack, tent, sleeping bag & a brand new playlist, I was on a bus to Dehradun (my home town). At the station I got a shared cab to a place called Pantwari which is about 3 hours from Mussoorie and from there the trek started.

The terrain is not very challenging. The first hour is great as the view gets better and better as you ascend. The local Garhwali population on the mountain were very kind and there are a lot of sign boards that take you to a place called the Goat village which could be your first stop after about an hour and half of hiking.

Pantwari fades away in the distance.

Photo of Pantwari, Uttarakhand, India by Kislay Kukreti

The kilometres mentioned is a prediction at best.

Photo of Pantwari, Uttarakhand, India by Kislay Kukreti

The Lush greenery with the view of the mountains are quite scenic. An old lady in the village invited me into her house to have some rotis, i guess she felt sorry for a solo traveller. I am glad that she did as i would later find out, the rest of the journey demanded energy from a stomach filled with all the pahadi food you could get. Untill now the route was well defined and quite easy. On departing the Goat village on my way to the Nag tibba temple, i took a wrong route and went around the mountain rather than going up. Facing a 70 degree slant & after about 30 mins of trekking i decided to turn back to the Goat village from where i got some directions from the locals. The climb from now on was not easy. Being alone and short of day light and water was not the only problem but the sheer uncertainty of the route i was on and not knowing what to expect when i got to the temple was making me apprehensive about spending all that energy. I thought of turning back a number of times but looking upon the valleys and surrounding mountains that were behind me as apposed to the thick forested path in front, i decided to carry on for another 20 minutes, until finally the curious nature of my travel hungry soul and my ego of not giving up got me to a clear beautiful meow surrounded by hills.

Picture at the goat village. That's where the summit is.

Photo of The Goat Village, Pantwari, Uttarakhand, India by Kislay Kukreti

The goat village also has hotels.

Photo of The Goat Village, Pantwari, Uttarakhand, India by Kislay Kukreti

I saw some locals sitting near a well near the Nag Tibba temple, & crashed on the floor of the hill, dropped the last drop of sweat for the day. After a small break, i set up my tent, paid a visit to the temple, made friends with some locals and refuelled. Was lucky enough to have some of the villagers get me fresh water and guide me to place where i would get that bloody 21st century mobile coverage. With the stars on full brightness and some nice warm Maggie and boiled eggs i went to the hard bed i set for my self with the Nag Tibba summit in mind for the next day.

Settling in with a great view for the front porch.

Photo of Nag Tibba Base Camp, Jaunpur Range, Uttarakhand, India by Kislay Kukreti

Base camp.

Photo of Nag Tibba Base Camp, Jaunpur Range, Uttarakhand, India by Kislay Kukreti
Day 2

Before the power of the rising sun set itself on the mountain, this kid was up and about. Tough the summit was less than an hour away, the climb was very steep and being in the dense forest one couldn't tell which direction looked more promising and yet again the solo traveller was lost. Not knowing if the multicolored flags tied to a pole which marked the summit known as the jhandi top was to my left or right i just put one foot in front of the other to go upwards until i finally saw it.

The picture taken from my not an iPhone phone does not do justice to the view but you can get a good idea of how awesome the rising sun looked as its rays set themselves on the mountains & i was humbled. However no picture or blog will give you the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that I experienced as i summited it alone with only a rough idea of the route. Sitting at the summit looking at the spot where the other mountains lower to me greeted the sky, i had my Frooti and boiled egg sandwiches contemplating my journey. Not to the Nag tibba summit but the summit of life that was still ahead of me and just like this trek, the route uncertain and with a lot of way points where i may look back but must push forward. Whoever said its not about the destination but about the journey must have had a few beers in him at his end of the journey for sure.

The Nag Tibba summit!

Photo of Nag Tibba Base Camp, Jaunpur Range, Uttarakhand, India by Kislay Kukreti

Enroute base camp. The terrian gets better while the route more mysterious.

Photo of Nag Tibba Base Camp, Jaunpur Range, Uttarakhand, India by Kislay Kukreti
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