“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it.” - Andy Rooney
You know, what is the best part about visiting a mountain?
It teaches you how to be humble. Mountain doesn't discriminate between rich and poor, managers and peons,men and women. Everyone have to adhere the same rules.And if we don't then everyone have to face the same repercussions.
In the month of April, 2018. I was up for an another adventure in the mighty Himalayas.This time we chose Chandrashila peak summit via Tungnath which starts from Chopta village in Uttarakhand.
As usual bus tickets had been booked, backpack had been packed, trekking shoes had been washed and leave request from the office had been raised.And finally here we were, sitting in a bus to Haridwar from Delhi.
In the morning we reached Haridwar. The planning was to catch the morning bus to Ukhimath but since our driver hadn't watched fast and furious so we got late.
As of now in my life nothing have gone according to plan so this was too not an exception.But we have to keep moving no matter what right? this is what we did.
We didn't get the bus to Ukhimath so we took the bus to Rudraprayag which is few kilometers behind Ukhimath.
By 6pm in the evening we reached Rudraprayag. It was raining so we decided not to go further and booked a lodge for a night instead.
Planning a whole trip is good as there will be less hustle bustle but I find uncertainty more exciting as you can mold the trip according to your situation and the money you are left with.
So next morning we picked up a shared jeep to Ukhimath which charged us 80 INR per head. It took us 2 hours to reach Ukhimath. From Ukhimath, we needed to reach chopta. You will find no sharing vehicles to chopta. Chopta is around 30 km from Ukhimath. So you have to hire the jeep all by yourself. We booked for 900 INR.
There will be clean and serene roads,breathtaking views of Himalaya while commuting to Chopta.
We reached Chopta around 11:30 am. We booked a lodge to keep our luggage and to stay overnight.We had our breakfast and started climbing.
We started at sharp 12 pm in the afternoon. Chandrashila is a very small trek you can complete in 5 hours if you trek every now and then. If you trek rarely or not at all then it might take some more time. But this is doable to almost everyone no matter how amateur hiker you are.
Total distance to the peak is 5 km. You will find a Shiva temple,Tungnath when you will be done with 3 km of trekking.
Till Tungnath, there is well built trail. Even if it rains, you won't find any mud till Tungnath. But after that trail is not well built. You have to walk carefully and watchfully.
So we started with our own pace, taking pictures, gazing at the blue skies and enjoying tranquility. But when we were about to reach Tungnath. It started raining cats and dogs. There was shelter in between so we hid there. There were other trekking groups. We interacted with each other. They were listening music. They had DSLR camera so they offered us to take few pictures of ours. And we obliged and posed for the same.
I was skeptical if we would be able to complete the trek or not as it was raining intermittently. But since we were short on days,we decided to give it a shot. I bought plastic raincoat and went ahead. It was still raining slowly.
Finally weather listened to our prayers and it stopped raining. But the whole trail became slippery. We were ascending slowly and watchfully. And it was matter of an hour when we reached to the summit.
I did summit to the quite a few mountains now but I don't know why I still get the feeling that I am doing it for the first time.
Anyhow, There was no one at the summit when we reached there. I think that's because of the rain. We were the only two at the peak.
Ohh , did I forget to mention? two dogs accompanied us till the summit too. Such a cutie!
We sat, we gazed,we clicked pictures and finally we started descending.
One quick tip: Always be more careful while descending as ascending is tiring but not that dangerous but descending is. 73% deaths occurs while descending in the Mount Everest expedition.
Anyhow, We took extra precaution while descending and in about 2 hours we were in Chopta again.
We had already booked the lodge so we rested that night. And the next morning We left Chopta and reached Ukhimath. And from Ukhimath, We then reached Rudraprayag. And finally from Rudraprayag we took the roadways bus to Rishikesh.
And the whole world knows, how to go and come back from the spiritual city of India, Rishikesh!