Kuari Pass Trek
HIMALAYA – The Kuari Pass Summit @ 13000ft
Himalaya – is it only a mountain range ? or it’s a world in itself !
A summary of my 8-day beautiful Himalayan journey with Trek The Himalayas, with the hope that someone who enjoys mountains will read it. We may have seen Himalaya in movies, poems, and tourist attractions.
But it’s not limited to that, it does have a wide angle, it does have a gigantic, prodigious, titanic form. When we go into its wild zone, we find that we are nowhere in front of him. It’s a well said in hindi, “अगर येपहाड अपनी एक करवट बदल दे, तो मनुष्य जाती का अस्तित्त्व ही खतम हो जाये ! “
by various means(Rail, Air, Road) we reached Rishikesh.
Rishikesh, the ultimate spiritual place, is where you can spend your whole life seeking peace of mind. Despite visiting many times, I still feel magnetism at that place.
The next evening, we reached Joshimath (Jyotirmath) by road at 6000 ft., after experiencing the complete mountainous journey. We drove 250 kilometres in 12 hours. We could see the government’s various development activities all the way to Joshimath, with the main activity being the mountain breaking at all the places to make way for the “4-Dham Yatra” road and the TEHRI DAM PROJECT, one of the world’s highest altitude built projects.
Here, I could not figure out whether we should appreciate the government’s development for people’s pilgrimages and tourism, or whether we should criticise the government for disturbing nature and inviting more natural calamities like Kedarnath and the recent devastation of the Dhauliganga project (by NTPC). The next day, we started our actual trek from Joshimath.
We arrived at our first base camp at Guling Top after passing through a couple of small villages, the devastated DHAULIGANGA PROJECT, and catching a glimpse of the snowy mountains. It was a chilled place (even at noon).
After enjoying lunch and various sports activities arranged by Trek The Himalayas, we finished our day in warm sleeping bags inside our tents. With the beautiful sunrise from the Himalaya, we started our next day’s journey towards 2nd Base Camp at Tali Forest, at 10,000 feet.
We arrived at our campsite that day after passing through the tallest pine forest, wall nut trees, and small dead snow patches. Another surprise was the unexpectedly heavy snowfall. It lasted for another three days with only minor interruptions.
It was a real adventure here; in such a snowfall, we had to do all our activities: set up our tents, have meals, and of course, spend sleepless nights.
Some of us sport freaks even played cricket there! The following day was Summit Day!
That day was a physical and mental test for everyone. In windy weather and continuous snowfall, one had to ascend from a height of more than 12000 feet. It was a task for all. Someone falls while slipping his leg on snow, someone’s leg falls suddenly as deep as 3 feet in the snow—this was a common occurrence that day. Due to the high altitude, there was a low oxygen level, so everybody had to ascend in such extreme weather after three sleepless nights. Everyone had to take a break every 5-10 minutes of exhausting walking to regain energy and oxygen. Many of us could not summit and returned to our last base camp for the day.
Pushing yourself on physical and mental ground was the key to the summit that day. After crossing all the barriers, we did summit that day at 13000 ft. altitude. It’s an achievement. (Having experience of treks in western GHATS was far different than having treks in the Himalayas, so it’s an achievement for a fresher in the Himalayas.) Now, if that wasn’t enough, we were faced with a total whiteout (a combination of strong winds and heavy snowfall), where one couldn’t see more than a few feet ahead. You need to look down, push your limits, and keep walking.
For the distance of 5km up and down, we took around 10 hours. The descent was relatively easy, and we made it to base camp. The next day, we began our descent, and by the evening, we had safely returned to the Joshimath facility. Overall, it was a life-changing experience for all of us.