Saturday, July 29, 2017

Rupin Pass- Everything Beautiful!

"Give your heart to the Mountains,
For they'll never Break it,
For they'll keep it Safe”

I have always believed I am more of a beach person and never had any doubt about it till the time I visited Rupin pass.

It’s been more than a month since I am back from Rupin pass and many times I tried to write about it but I couldn’t.

Rupin pass was my 5th trek and it was different from last 4 for many reasons.. one reason was... in Rupin we had 2 days of village stay.

Initially, during our village stay, I was missing the isolation and serenity of camping, but now… when I look back… I realise that was one of the most beautiful part of my journey. Living among those amazing people, beautiful kids, wooden floors and that warm lifestyle was a brilliant experience in itself and I loved it. Especially, Day 2 of our village stay where I discovered an amazing place to sit and look at the majestic mountains and starry night sky!

Aah and I am back there already!

So much love I have for this trek, maybe that’s why I am unable to express it.

It was an 8 day long trek started from Dehradun, Uttrakhand and ended in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.

The memory is still fresh in my head from day 1 till the end, except for the names of the sites, I am really bad with names.

Trek in brief-

Maximum Altitude- 15200 ft

Weather- Rainy/Hailstorms/Snowy/Sunny

Grade- Moderate- Difficult

Trek distance- Approx. 65kms in 7 days

This time my brother joined me for the trek, we reached Dehradun a day in advance and enjoyed the city and famous food.

Day 1
Road Journey from Dehradun to Dhaula-

Our pick-up was from Dehradun Railway station where our group assembled. We started our road trip around 7.30am for our first campsite at Dhaula. Around 5pm we reached Dhaula, roamed around, interacted with group. It was a closed campsite, very less to explore. We ate early and slept early.

Day 2
Dhaula (5500 ft) to Sewa (6300 ft)- 7-8 kms

This was our first day of trek, it was an easy walk and also, it was day of ICC Champion trophy’s final match between India and Pakistan. I don’t follow cricket that much but I never wanted to miss the final match.

Since, it was our village stay I was very hopeful to find TV and some connection to follow the match. In a hope we walked.

Around 1-2 pm we reached our campsite and had lunch followed by random games. It started raining heavily around 3pm. We waited for it to stop, around 5pm we managed to find a TV with match on. But, we were told not to bother the local people by out trek staff.

Match ended tragically. I am glad I didn’t watch it.

Day 3
Sewa (6,300 ft) to Jhaka (8,700 ft)- 9 kms

This was our day 1 of homestay and last day where we had an option of taking shower. And how can I miss this opportunity! :P

It was not a very difficult walk. We reached Jhaka around 2-3pm. I am having difficulty remembering exact timings but that feel is there in my head.

It was a beautiful wooden house, I loved it. We had a small dining room where we ate our meals and played random group games. I loved the food.

This evening we went for an acclimatization walk to an old temple. During our walk, we saw an isolated house in the mountains, I can’t explain that feel. It was calm, it was peace. It was a pull I can never forget. That magnetic pull I felt was very strong, I can still sense it with the same intensity.

The only miserable part of the day was night, I couldn’t sleep. And we had to walk 12kms next day.

Day 4
Jhaka (8,700 ft) to Saruwas thatch (11,150 ft)- 12 kms

I left my room at 4am, anyway I was up. Took a cold water bath, stretched myself and was ready for the trek.

It was again an easy day. Not very hectic. The homestay we stayed in Saruwas was just brilliant. I specifically loved people there. And the food was delicious.

We reached around 2pm, I saw a female standing alone, I started a conversation with her, she told me she was the resident of the home we were staying in. We talked about her family, marriage, kids, life and everything. She was telling me about her lifestyle where she told me she goes to the forest every evening to bring food for her cattle. I asked her if I could also join her and she gladly agreed.

We had lunch and soon after my lunch I discovered a beautiful place where I could sit and stare the mountains, oh it was so so amazing. I didn’t realise I was sitting there for 2 hours undisturbed, I heard my new friend’s voice where she was calling me for her jungle trip. Yayy, I was so excited to go. :)

I am really happy I went with her, it was a beautiful experience and we talked about the village, people, food, life, addictions, India-Pak final match and so many other things.

After coming back from my Jungle trip, we went for an acclimatization walk till waterfall.

Post dinner, I enjoyed star-gazing at my favorite spot with my favorite music plugged in. Pure bliss!

Day 5
Saruwas thatch (11,150 ft) to Dhanderas thatch (lower water fall (11,680 ft)- 12 kms

From here our proper trek started, where we stayed in camps on beautiful campsites.
This was an easy-moderate walk with 2 small snow patches, we reached our campsite around 4pm. It was astonishingly beautiful. And finally it was cold.

I share a strong love-hate relationship with cold. I love it but I can’t bear it. And since I left thermals at home I was shivering most of the time.

The night sky was perfect for star gazing and since this was our first proper campsite, I was craving for the starry sky. I was out for an hour looking at the sky but it was damn cold for me. I was forced to slip inside my sleeping bag.

Day 6
Dhanderas thatch (11,680 ft) to Upper Waterfall camp (13,120 ft)- 6 kms

It was an unexpectedly short walk. In just 3 hours we were at our next campsite which was very close to the upper waterfall.

Site was brilliant. Everything was brilliant. Except the cold.

In evening we went for a short acclimatization walk when it started raining cats and dogs. We spent most of our evening inside the tents.

Next day was a big day, the “Rupin pass day”, so we were supposed to get up at 3am to leave our campsite by 5am.

Okay, I forgot to mention in all this while I realised my waterproof shoes are not really waterproof, so that was again an adventure for me :P

We slept early this evening.

Day 7
Upper Waterfall (13,120 ft) to Rupin Pass (15,250 ft) to Ronti Gad (13,420 ft)- 16kms

The D-Day

We got up on time, ate breakfast, and left almost on time for our climb.

It was a snow walk day, I was scared of snow but after this trek, I am somehow in love with snow.

I loved this day, amazing views and beautiful walk.

Day was a bit hectic but our leaders were really good, we completed this day successfully and so called difficult day was easily managed by our entire group.

The evening was so peaceful and calm. And I was sad as this was our last day.

Day 8
Ronti Gad (13,420 ft) to Sangla (8,800 ft)- 12 kms

This day was difficult for me, I was feeling tired and realised I was down with fever.
That last 12km walk was really strenuous for me.

We reached Sangla around 2-3pm, had lunch and left for Shimla around 4.30pm.

We reached Shimla at 1am in night, took a cab till chandigarh and from there we got a Volvo till Delhi.

By 10am we were back home.

Rupin for me was more about facing my fears. My fear of AMS and snow.

I realized drinking water is really important, more water you drink less prone you are to AMS.

I loved every bit of my Rupin pass journey and I wish to go back to the house we saw on day 3. May be someday I’ll go back.

Dear God, I can’t tell you how thankful I am for this experience. Please take care of my people. I love you. :*

Some more clicks-

1 comment:

Saif Farooqi said...

Really nice pictures :)