Tuesday, April 12, 2016

First Himalaya trek experience with Indiahike.

Batch July:2015


July 17th -July 18

How to reach Base camp:
Journey begins from Goa airport to Delhi domestic terminal. Where my journey of adventure already started by missing my bus to Manali from the Kashmir gate :Delhi. How bad a metropolitan traffic would be!! I must thank my destination guts where it helped me to complete my journey by taking local 2+3 seater ,where we need to fight for ladies seat in front of staring XY chromosomes. Finally we end up in a local government bus of Himachal , which travels via Chandigarh and takes 18 hrs to reach Manali perhaps  Volvo and execute coaches will consume only 11 hrs. Definition of WE is Me and Preeti. But trust me not even a single second I thought to return back. 
I can not thank enough for welcoming us with a smile on face to Indiahike and co trekkers although we were late because of our overnight journey by local transport . And waiting for us with patience though we are late to reach the base camp. But fortunately we were not the 10th wicket. :)   We started our trekking at 2 pm in empty stomach. Where we didn't get the chance to have our afternoon meal. I also did not get chance to pluck " apples and apricots" from the orchards adjoining the trail. 

Day 1

The base camp is at Jobra , 1 hr vehicle journey from Manali. After registering at the check post , vehicle proceeded further.
After reaching Jobra we had little food , where our stomach felt that yes something came in to gear us further. Anyway for the first time I was trekking with some weight so initial stretch became really taxing till I get adjusted to the situation. Trail passess through beautiful alpine meadows following the Rani Nala.Take off your shoes if you want to feel the icy cold water of Rani Nala. Pitch your tents at Jwara besides the river. 

Day 2

The trail stays along the banks of the river for most part of the day.The initial climb involves a lot of boulder hopping. Walk along the Rani  river into a valley dotted with tiny multi coloured flowers until you reach Balu Ka Gera. Balu Ka Gera is a level ground made up of the sand and dust brought down by the river.  Balu Ka Gera, 11,000 feet above sea level. Comparatively, we reached early to the camp site than the estimated duration.  Balu Ka Gera is one of the beautiful camp site in the summit  . One side the great Himalayan View , other side Hampta river with many water falls.  

Day 3

The trail moves along the river which is lined by tiny pink and yellow flowers.If you trek during month of July -August , you will find a lot of snow, else you may see a few snow patches.There are two steep climbs over ridges before you reach Hampta pass. Hampta pass at 14,000 feet is pretty windy and with gods grace there is no rain or snow fall where it could have made our journey difficult. The descent to Shea Goru from the pass is slightly tricky. Better to slide down if any one wants to experience the snow slide and this is the best option I feel. The snow was very slippery to trek down.  You will reach Shea Goru in about 2 hours form there. Camping at  Shea Goru beside the heavy flowing river. Temp might reach minus at night. 

Day 4

This is the most  beautiful day out of all. It is a gentle downhill walk to Chatru, with a few tricky sections.The trail continue along the river, and there are two three huge glacial flows down the mountain side. Need to be very careful while crossing across. Little negligence might lead to the danger event.  Camp at Chatru beside the many streams that flow through the meadows. Chatru is a beautiful camping spot with lovely mountain views.  It will take you about 4 hours to reach Chatru from Shea Goru. From there we went to Chandratal via road by Tata sumo. Where you will have to literally search for existence of  the road  . Since it was raining , the road got  disappeared and small Nala has formed instead.  Camping near Chandratal after traveling 3 hrs from the Chatru. 
Chandratal is very beautiful moon shaped lake. Sitting on the bank of the lake and seeing the mountain itself , you feel that you are blessed. We took bath in the lake as its been almost 4 days that we could not touch the water. We have celebrated our summit successful party at Chandratal camp with nice music and group dance. 

Departure Day
Indiahikes will arrange vehicles to drop trekkers back to Manali.It will take about 4-6 hours to reach Manali depending on the condition of the roads. Book your return tickets from Manali late in the evening to give you enough travel buffer time .Another option would be stay at Manali for two more days , enjoy the place and depart. And also dont forget to buy enough time for shopping in Manali :) 

Learnings: Always better to reach the base camp one day prior. Kindly get all the gears which ever mentioned in the package guide.