The day started way before the sun came out, the whistle blew and there was a sharp sound of it sinking in our ears and a sudden jerk to our tents as the guide went to each of it shouting to get up for the trek!
My watch read 3:00 am, I woke up and came out of my sleeping bag to shiver to death. Everyone in the tent had to coat themselves with the layers of clothing before we could even unzip the tent.
A strong gust of wind made our eyes roll as we stepped out and the view took our breath. The moon was visible and was shining bright, the reflection of the snow was enough of light.
The whole campsite started with the rush and packing our lunch we started with our trail to summit – Sar Pass.
The initial trail was beautiful, between the mountains covered with the snow leaving back the tents and the people and obviously the signals we had been getting we left for the summit and by the time the sun was out, running out of breath we all managed to reach the summit.
The snow made us all kids, we were playing, dancing and singing in the snow not realizing it was eating up all of our energy which was much needed for the trail we had ahead of us!!
A strong whistle after hours of play was to make us realize that we need to move, we started and this was the first time when we were walking on snow, the boots were being tested and so was our balance.
We kept each step with total accuracy to avoid slipping though it was snow we didn’t want our clothes to get wet and later itchy.
On our way the group got divided, a huge section of the group with 8 people was walking upfront and we the rest were way behind tired and starting to give up. The route was dangerous and on our way, I saw a patch of water which reminded me of the worst day thing, the first-day speech. The words in my mind started racing and I was just trying to recollect what did the guide say then, and these were his words – “if you see water on Sar Pass trail then remember the route won’t be easy for us, water is the sign that the snow has started melting and climbing those mountains with melted snow ain't easy!!
We started pacing, we soon caught up with others and the group was back, the mountain got steeper and we were walking on the slope but neither upwards nor down!! Our way was straight so basically, we were walking sideways to a mountain that was covered with snow which is melting and on the other side, we have a deep mountain ditch…
The joy in the air, the fun in our eyes and the cheer of being able to reach here disappeared in no time, in this beautiful ambiance we were left with a moment of disbelief and no hopes of being able to cross this and suddenly a sudden loud noise of someone shouting and the next thing I see is my brother slipping down the ditch, we all shouted on the top of our voice, the voices echoed in the mountains and we are sweating in this minus degree cold weather!
He manages to keep himself intact to the snow and stand back to the trail with the help of the guide but then suddenly a girl loses control and starts slipping into the ditch, the view almost took our breath away as she kept on going and was not stopping with anything.
All of a sudden the guide and the dog came into our sight who went running behind her and saved her from falling further. The whole distance that she had covered already was now rebuilt for her.
The group was now scared and we were ready to give away anything but not to lose control of our body.
After two more people slipping into the ditch, we managed to reach to the top of the summit, this actually was the highest peak and there was nothing above us, I couldn’t feel my body, I was both happy and scared and was praying that the route up ahead is better for us!
There came the fun part now we intentionally had to slide down the mountain till the snow ends and have to walk from that end down to a spot where we suppose to do our lunch.
We went sliding down and reached to the bottom, all three of us were tired and had given up, we waited for everyone and later were the one at the end to leave, we had no one around us, the whole group had already left and there was no one but 3 of us left.
We went down walking, slowly, tumbling and shivering out of tiredness and wet cloths when we, at last, saw a plain ground where everyone was resting. I remember reaching there and falling asleep later when I woke up everyone was leaving again except for 3 of us.
We hurried and took our lunch and then started pacing, soon we were at par with the group and now the route was again green.
The tree lines were returning, the oxygen was helping, we were no more getting tired easily.
We kept on pacing till 3 of us were leading, through the jungle and the woods we kept walking dodging the branches of the trees which opened up to a clean mountain with no trees and lots of cows and horses and it was our next campsite – Biskeri Thach!!
Stay tuned for the last blog!!