Rupin Pass Trek

30th Jun 2022
Day 1

The first time I cried on a trek.
May 2019. My first batch to Rupin Pass (15,500ft); batch size 19 all of age group 45 & above. We started on May 23rd on a very happy note. Everyone were fit & fine and were enjoying the trek. May 26th we reached Udaknal campsite & the weather changed from sunny to rainy in the evening. It rained continuously the next two days & we were stuck at Udaknal. Next morning the sun came out & we hiked up till the lower waterfall. The weather changed again & this time it was snow. It snowed the whole night & we put our next days plan on pause as we learnt that there was a death on the pass. A 19 yo porter had passed while crossing the pass in a snow storm the previous day. 
Thankfully the weather cleared out the next morning & sun was out bright. We reached the Upper waterfall campsite (summit camp).
Next day was the pass crossing day & normally begins as early as 4:30am. We were on schedule & began our climb. It was white everywhere. It was so cold that few were complaining of their face going numb; few complained about their fingers & toes freezing & refused to move forward. I was feeling that very cold too but had to ignore & motivate people to move forward. At one point I became so demotivated that tears rolled out of my eyes & I started regretting the choices I made. My fingers were so numb that I couldn't move them inside the gloves, felt like my toes were cut off inside the socks. Luckily after a while Sun rays fell right on us & we stopped to soak in the sun to warm our numb bodies. I quietly wiped off my tears & resumed the hike & crossed the pass successfully.

Photo of Rupin Pass by Meghna N Kushalappa