Roopkund Lake Trek
Date – 20th Oct 16 to 27th Oct 16
Trekking in the Himalaya’s is my longtime dream. I had done many treks in Western Ghats especially in Maharashtra. I do regular trekking in Sahyadri Mountains, but maximum altitude here is around 5400 ft.
I want do something bigger and for that there is no better option than Himalaya. Now question is which trek? From last few years I was very eager to Chadar Trek, but for that I have wait until Jan-Feb next year. And I’m running out of patience. Somehow I come to know about Roopkund Trek. Immediately I have decided to do Roopkund Trek this year. I tried it to be done in May but failed. Idea of doing this trek was just getting out of my mind and that time I come to know about TTH.
Suddenly everything comes alive. I told my friends about same. One of them (Mangesh) shown interest in it. Without any further delay we did booking with TTH. We took this opportunity and took some more holidays to explore capital of India ‘Delhi’. Our total tour was 12 days. We spent complete four days in Delhi just before my dream trek to Roopkund.
Journey Started- Day 1- Long drive to Lohajung
On 19th night we were having train to Kathgodam from Delhi. From there TTH will take us to Lohajung which is almost 10 hrs. drive for 210 km. But before that my and Mangesh adventure started on 19th night itself. Due to some timing confusion we missed the train. But somehow we managed to catch the Bus for Kathgodam. We reached Kathgodam almost an hour late than others. Thankfully everyone waited for us without any complaints.
There were 14 people at Kathgodam including us. One traveler and one Sumo were arranged for our transportation. Just after Kathgodam we stopped for Breakfast. Weather was perfect that day. Sun was shining, no clouds and temperature was also normal, not so cold not so hot. We almost took one hour to finish breakfast. Until now we did not had introduction with each other, just formal talk with each other.
After breakfast we moved towards our destination. There were five people in our vehicle. We did our introduction with each other. Ruby, Roja and Kiran all are from Bangalore. Road journey was really nice, even though it was all through Ghats. I can clearly notify the difference between Himalaya and other mountains. It’s really huge. I can see mountains on one side and valley on other side. There were many villages on these mountains. There structure, construction of houses simply different than rest of country. I feel that they are really living real life here. I’m hoping someday I will have my house on such mountains.
We had one halt for tea and then for Lunch. Around 6 pm we reached at guest house of TTH at Lohajung. We had welcome drinks and some food to eat. We put our luggage in our rooms. Now we were feeling cold. After freshen up we gather for introduction and instructions. Here first time we came across our trek Guide Gopal sir and Rahul sir. We also come to know with remaining mates. They were Ankita, Manoj, Prateek, Suddept from Banglore, Shrenik, Pritesh, Amit, Aashish, Gaurav, from Coimbatore and Kapil from Dubai. We were 17 people for Roopkund Trek, and will be together for next one week. It was almost everyone first trek in Himalaya. I feel that I am having good experience than others. (At the end it becomes mythJ). Gopal Sir and Rahul Sir told us the next day’s plan and gave us important instructions about treks. Once introduction and briefing ends we had our dinner. We get into the bed thinking about exciting days ahead.
Day 2 – Didna Village
On day 2, we have to trek for 6.5 km. first 4 km is road walk and easy descend. Then last 2.5 km is steep ascent. We were ready with our backpack to move. Around 8.30 am we took first step towards Roopkund Lake. In the morning we come across our third trek leader (local person) Amar Singh. In the starting we were really comfortable with walk. The scenery surrounding us was just awesome. After 2 hours we reached Ruan Bagad, which is an iron bridge across the famous Neel Ganga River. We took some rest on this bridge. Our first group photo was clicked here. From there our real test was started. It was steep ascent of 2 km. During this ascent everyone got tired. We were hoping that it should finish as soon as possible.
With tired legs we were reached our destination Didna Village. Tea was ready for us, which gave us some energy. Didna is very small village; I barely spotted any villagers there. In the evening we had acclimatization walk. It was small plateau, from where you can have nice view of mountains. We had many photos there. While returning back we bought some woods for campfire. We heard many stories, experience at time of campfire from all mates. Briefing about next day trek was done there only. It will be tough day ahead. We have to carry our lunch with us. This was our last stay in house, for me it was last good sleep (except Bedni Bugyal).
Day 3 – Ali Bugyal
Day three started with some bad news, three members from our group have decided to quit. So our strength reduced to 14. With packed lunch we started our next journey. It was 10.5 km trek. It was supposed to hard day, but at the end it was one of easy and pleasant day of trek. First half of trek was though oak and rhododendron forest. Second half was through big alpine meadow. After first half we had our lunch. Post lunch trek was gradual descent. Three girls in our group was relatively slow than others, which gave us some time for resting. The view of mountains from alpine meadow was superb. You can spend quality time here just watching them. I took my own time to reach to destination, Ali Bugyal.
Our tent was ready, as member from support staff of TTH was very active and energetic. At Ali Bugyal we don’t required acclimatization walk. Again we bring some woods for campfire. This was our last campfire. Sky was very clear, which gave us nice glimpse of stars. It was colder and windy than earlier day. I had my lunch near to fire. Briefing for next day done, it will be one of the easiest day of trek.
Day 4 – Patar Nachauni
First night in tent was not good for me. I was not able to sleep well. In the morning when I came out of tent, it was cold and more windy than night. We were quite relaxed as this will not be steep climb. But who know day 4 was one of toughest day of our trek. It was not because of walk, but it was due wind. It was only 7 km walk, but high flow wind made it disaster for us. It became even worse at Patar Nachauni (our campsite). At this point two small hotels cum shops are there. We had hot Maggi there. It was very difficult here to keep warm yourself. We had small acclimatization walk. There are few hut made by military, which are very useful for cooking and for sleep also. We had our lunch and dinner in this hut only. Next day will be toughest day. Actually next day trail was visible from campsite and which is very steep climbing. We go to the bed by preparing for next day challenge.
Day 5- Bhagwabasa
Night at Patar Nachauni was horrible. I was not able to sleep here also. Whole night our tent was shivering due to wind. Fewer hours of sleep and high altitude increasing my headache. Rather than this everything was fine. Many of us having same problem, so there were no reason for me to worry. Post breakfast we started our journey towards Bhagwabasa. It was only 4 km walk but we were gaining altitude up to 14117 ft. Automatically our walking speed gets reduced. After 2.5 hrs. we reached at kalu Vinayak temple. From here to campsite there was only gradual descent. But at this place I stared feeling some tiredness. We had good amount of rest here, took blessing from Lord Ganesha for our summit success. We reached campsite, Bhawabasa at the time of lunch. Due to back problem and some other issue it has been decided that kapil has to go down to Base village with one of trek leader, Rahul. So again our count gets reduced. But it is very important to take a decision about retreat just before summit day. Safety is very important than any personal milestone.
I’m also tired but in condition to do the summit. In the evening we help our support staff to bring little amount of water. I had done one mistake here. I drunk water which coming through ice. It was very cold, resulting cough. This made my condition bad. Next day will be summit day. We have to get up at 2 am and 3 am have to start trekking. Reach the summit before sunrise and get back to campsite as early as possible. With all excitement we get in the bed. This time I decided to sleep in the hut instead of tent.
Day 6-Summit day- Roopkund lake
This is the day for which I(we) did all hard work. I was not in perfect condition but full of energy. Our day has been started 1.45 am. We all were ready for departing. Today will be longest day of trek, 4 km summit trek, again back to Campsite then after lunch towards next campsite, Bedni Bugyal. So it will be around 15 km.
At the start it was gradual climb, but last part was toughest climb. We already being at 15000 ft. so climbing at this much altitude was not easy. We were very slow. In such situation correct guidance was very vital and our trek leaders did it perfectly. This time slowest person was leading the queue. I was the slowest person in the group, but Ankita consider herself slowest and lead the group. Ankita was the first person to reach on summit. I was completely exhausted when I reached summit. The happiness of making on summit was bigger than anything. Views from top was breathtaking .we were on the top of world. Some people moves towards Junargali, 300m more high. It was cold there, so decided to descend after spending quality time there. Coming back safely is as much important as summiting in Hiking.
For me it was become difficult to descent. I was very slow, but at last I was made it to camp. My situation was not good, I was shivering. So I decided to go the bed, which was not good idea. Few mates helped me to come out from this situation. Our trek leader told me to come out and sit in the sun. They gave me some hot drinks containing ginger. Slowly I’m feeling better. But next task was also tough. I have to make it to Bedni Bugyal, which is almost 7 to 8 km.
After lunch we started our return journey. This time I was first in queue. Slowly but steadily we were moving. But at one point I was feeling that I was slowing down others, so after Patar Nachauni I have decided to stay back. Now weather was completely changed, it was colder and some clouds hanging around. At some point it was snowing and visibility was very less. For last few hrs. I was in company with Amar Singh (Local guide) and Mangesh. Both were stayed with me all the time until Bedni Bugyal keeping all the patience’s. I was really thankful to both of them for same and for TTH also for taking care of me.
At last we reached Bedni Bugyal which was perfect campsite. I was feeling better as we were on less altitude. There has been great satisfaction for completing the trek. This was long day but worth of all hard work. We had great sleep at that night.
Day 7- Back to Lohajung
Last day we covered most of the distance of return journey. It was easy day for trekking. We took packed lunch with us. We had ample time with us, so some people had a bath in Neel Ganga. I don’t even imagine to doing that. In the afternoon we reached Wan village, last point of trek. From there we reached Lohajung guest house by vehicle.
In the night we had little celebration of success of trek.
Day 8 – back to Kathgodam, 210 km drive from Lohajung.
It was really awesome last week, which gave me lifetime memories, friends. I realizing that there was some changes happened to me, after the trek, which is eventually great thing.
I am really thankful to all my mates in treks, TTH and specially my trek leaders.
I’m looking forward to do such more Treks in Himalayas.