I was constantly being pushed by the Co-leader for our trek. He kept telling me Just 15 minutes more. Almost there. You can do it. Do not sit down.
I finally reached the base camp and started gazing around the place when I found the perfect spot to capture the beauty of the setting sun. I sat inside my tent and captured this mesmerising scenery.
It was 10th of January, 2017 and just a normal day at the office for me. BTW, I'm a software developer by profession. I was exploring India Hikes for a while now and was searching for some easy trek to embark upon as my first trek. I came across a couple of these. Nag Tibba trek and Prashar Lake trek. Though Prashar Lake seemed a bit more tempting to me, I decided to go for Nag Tibba.
I convinced four others to tag along on this. All of us were first timers and had zero experience regarding treks, the equipment required, the physical preparation needed for the same etc. I have noticed a common problem with trying to finalise a trip. The more you discuss it, the difficult it becomes to finalise it. So I decided to go ahead and make the bookings for our start and return journeys for Nag Tibba and I also booked 5 slots with India Hikes for 28th Jan-29th Jan batch.
I felt exhilarated as this was the first time I had taken any initiative and headed a trip all on my own. The next step was deciding what all to purchase for the trek.
As this was my first trek, I had to buy some basic equipment for the same as we were told that the temperatures would be sub zero and we might have to trek in snow as well. So I started exploring Decathlon for hiking products. I searched a lot online as to what all needs to be taken to a high altitude trek. India Hikes has pretty much covered up a lot of things in their documentation for each trek and their videos were extremely helpful.
One recommendation. Never buy products from the Decathlon store online. Always visit the store near you and explain your requirements and future plans for treks, the Decathlon guys will suggest the best possible products with maximum durability and reliability for your seamless trekking experience.
I ended up purchasing Forclaz 60L bagpack, Rainwarm 3-1 jacket, Trek Shoes, a pair of Fresh warm thermals and a couple of water bottles for the trek. My stuff before packing it up in the bag-pack looked like this -
Finally, on the eve of 27th January, 2016, we left for Dehradun. We took the HRTC Volvo from ISBT Kashmere Gate, New Delhi to Dehradun and the fun filled journey took around 7 hours. We reached Dehradun around 10 p.m. and we went straight to Treebo Queens Pearl Inn hotel right next to the ISBT Dehradun. We had already booked a couple of rooms for the five of us via Cleartrip.
Next day, we had to assemble at 6:30 a.m. at the railway station from where we were to be taken to Pantwari village, the starting point for our hike. There were 22 of us in the group and there were two tempo travellers which took us on a 4 hour journey from Dehradun to Pantwari via Mussoorie.
It was an exotic ride with a lot of fun filled scenery. I decided against taking any shaky pictures during this time as I knew I'd get plenty of options during the trek itself. Hence, I controlled the photographer in me ;)
The Trek begins
We reached Pantwari village somewhere around 11 a.m. and this was supposed to be our starting point for the trek. We were given some instructions by our Trek leader Chetan from India Hikes regarding our trek. Some do's and don'ts and some hands on tutorials for using the trekking pole, tightening the bag-pack etc.