The BAD NEWS:
A yearly trek had become a routine by then We had no idea that we will have to do the Kuari pass trek, because we had plans for Kamet base camp trek. Weather befriended us heavily this time. We had reached Joshimat with full hope of getting the permission to Kamet, but despite all of our efforts to get the permissions, we were denied permission. We spent 2 valuable days in Joshimat, just for the permission issue... Finally we gave up and started looking for an alternative. Now I can confirm - An unplanned travel is more adventurous, actually a God's gift
We had 11 days in hand, and after some research and phone calls, we changed our plan. Our new plan had two treks within that duration. The Kuari Pass trek and The Upper Baghini Glacier trek, merged together. We had so many attractive things to set our mood for this trek, namely the Pangarchulla summit, the panoramic view of Gorson's, Kuari Pass - a part of the ancient silk route, Baghini glacier, etc... However, deep in my mind, it was not what we actually had gone there for, and that became a reason for my low energy for this trek. Anyways, we finally set ourselves for this trek..with a low mood..
FINALLY THE TREK:
We were a group of 8 people, with a guide, a cook, a helper, and 3 ponies. I started with a low mood, but atleast it was better than to be indoors, in the hotels of Joshimat. We were back on track again with our rucksacks. Its altogether a different feeling when that sack gets on my back.. !!
Nanda Devi seen enroute Gorsons Bugyal
We had just set ourselves on the trail, but the weather played foil yet again!!! We had to stop midway due to rains as the road became slippery and difficult for the ponies!!! The weather was so irritating that as soon as we completed setting our tents, it stopped to rain and became very clear. The sky turned clean blue again, and the sun shined bright!! However, we were taken afloat by the beauty of the Gorson's when it cleared. Mighty peaks showed themselves clearly and in full glory.. There wasn't just one peak to see.. there were many!! The Mighty and beautiful signature stand of Nanda Devi, India's self owned highest peak.. then there was Dunagiri standing like a king's crown... the Hathi Ghoda.. Neelkanth.. Chaukhamba's 4 peaks...
alluring magic of mother nature
We took a shelter under a tree, and were lost in the panorama of the Gorson Bugiyal. I took time out to climb a rock top there.. and was very satisfied to see the same things from a bit higher position.. :-) :-)
A day gone...
It was in dream as if I was riding my bike without helmet over 100kph!! and then when I opened my eyes in doubt, our tent was almost being blown away by the wind.. :-) When I opened the tent cover, it was snowing outside.. gone!!! another day gone :-( Guides and cooks started saying it never snowed at this time of the year in many years... and it became such a hype that people from below village came to see us.... just because it never snowed at that time of the year!! :-) :-)
meadow of gorsons
However, the day was gone.. no progress can be made.. but the Gorsons did not let us remain sad... When it snows in a bugiyal, it looks beautiful.. BUT, when the bugiyal is The Gorson's Bugiyal, it becomes heavenly.. It took me no time to go out with my camera, even in the snow... The views which we saw I believe was a gift to our eyes.. It requires a bad luck like ours to witness such sight of nature. There were just two colours.. WHITE and GREEN, on top of the irregularly curved surface of the bugiyal.. few trees, few rocks.. 5 of our coloured tents... a sight never seen, and I wonder when can I see it again!! The mountains had decided to remain shy and just reveal itself in patches.. :-) The clouds were all over them..
snow changes the face of gorsons bugyal
Weather teased us a lot i9n this trek. It cleared after noon, when we had cancelled our day's trek plan. We made most of it by climbing the highest point that could be seen... It was fun again.. as if the highest point kept moving away from us. We targeted a point, reached it.. and then again saw almost the same view from there.. We headed for it again.. reached it and again the same!! :-) It continued for 2/3 loops, until the mountains started to turn golden.. the sun was setting.
the panorama from gorsons
Half way down, and then I relized - I had dropped my mobile. I had to go back to search it at anycost, as it was almost new, and expensive too !! It was getting dark faster, but the snow helped a lot. I could track my way down with the help of my footsteps on it. I walked on the same track which I had used to come down.. luckily it was different than others and hence easier to track.. I almost reached the top point from where we had returned without finding my mobile. The sun had almost set and it would become dark in some 15/20 minutes.. I sadly returned... thinking of so many things while turning back.. wondering if a miss call could be given somehow in the no-network zone.
Suddenly I saw it lying on the snow.. :-) :-) Yay !!! that was the moment of childish happiness I sensed in me after ages!!! I got my mobile and joined the group again!! :-) Sadly, I missed the beautiful sunset. It was a day... really... We the went to the shepherd's tent a little far away to buy dried lamb meat. After some tough negotiation, and tasting few lightly roasted pieces, we bought it. Life's so great and easy!!!
In the next two days, we got clear weather enabling us to complete the trek with good views. The climb down to Tapovan was steep. At some point, it was even getting difficult to stop ourselves.. specially with the heavy sack on our back. The same day we would be starting another trek.. the trek to Baghini Glacier.. and we were excited and all set for it.
Dunagiri hovers over
shepherd's kingdom - Dunagiri and Nanda Devi in background
campsite of khullara
nature forces you to go silent at
I will share the Baghini Glacier trek details separately..
Thanks for reading.. It was a very pleasant and nostalgic to jot it down.. :-)