Wednesday, December 30

Har ki Doon Trek Log

Less than a week was left of year 2015 and holidays were lined up. In search of a winter trek, I had Kauri pass and Har ki doon in my mind. A month ago Kiran and I had just been to to Hemkund Sahib and Valley of Flowers. Dalima was also willing to join us in our next trek. She needed an esacape from busy city life. Har ki doon is well known most one of most popular winter treks in Uttarkashi region. During same time YHAI had been taking many batches for Kedarkantha trek. Trek to Kedarkantha also stars from Sankri, Uttarakhand.

We started on Saturday night, 26 Dec for Dehradun. We couldn't find any any conveyance for Sankri from there so we moved to Rishikesh. We took a bus around 5 AM for Sankri. It was long ride of around 11 hours. Sun was about to set when we reached Sankri. It is a small and quiet place and accommodations were already full of trekkers in this season. After some search we were able to find a place to stay. Nearby, there was a small shop where we had dinner and chit chat with other trekker who were staying nearby. After some last time purchase, we also arranged for a jeep to Taluka from where we were to start our trek.

It was around 8 AM, when we reached Taluka. It was a cold morning. We started off after some light breakfast. Most of the trails goes along the river Rupin. The gentle sound of river all along the first day trek is very comforting and refreshing. The trail is also very beautiful. River is very approachable from most of the first day trail.

It was around 4 PM when we reached Osla village. It was a steep climb after crossing the bridge. The village was very picturesque. From the river bed it seems as if people have made nests in the mountains. All houses of same color and made of wood which mixes with background.

We haven't had anything to eat till now. Dalima's knee was giving her a tough time. Children of the village flocked around us asking different questions. I got some maggi and biscuits from a shop in the village. the local people seemed very helpful and nice. A man from village offered to prepare it for us while we talked to the children. There aren't many men in the village. Those with whom I talked, were very keen on having us as their guest. We had tents but we did need food. We decided to have dinner with the old man who prepared maggi for us and pitched our tent outside his home. There was another family insisting to stay in their home. It was cold out there and Dalima stayed with them. It was very peculiar to see how these houses are made of wood and housed a hearth made of mud in the room. Just above the hearth roof open to make room for smoke. There is a place to store wood and hay below the house. Dalima's knee problem had aggravated and she decided to take some rest next day. The house owner was happy to have her as guest. Children were very curious excited around her and constantly chatting.  We enquired about the logistics which we need to take and arrangements for food during the rest of the trek. We promised Dalima to be back as soon as we can.

On tuesday, We started off early in the morning and wrapping up our tents. Crossing Kalkatiyadhar campsite, we reached Har ki doon in afternoon.

It was a sunny day and there weren't much trees on the trail. The trail just before the Har ki doon was enchanting and covered with snow with beautiful little streams joining Tons river and trees around. Har ki doon valley is a big amphitheatre which lies in the valley of majestic Swargarohini peak. It is an inexplicable experience to see such a close view of Swargarohini peak. This trail is believed to be taken by Pandavas who attempted to go to heaven with their bodies. Kiran had some phaphda which we had with pickles. We took water and essential stuff in our daypack and went exploring towards Juandhar glacier in the valley. I couldn't take my eyes off from the Swargarohini peak and was immersed in the thoughts of how Pandavas who attempted to climb the peak in Mahabharata era. The first ascent of Swargarohini was done by team of NIM(Nehru Institute Of Mountaineering) instructors in 1990, Uttarkashi from where I once did my AMC.

We walked inside the valley until sun started to set.

We had to come back to pitch our tent to make arrangements of dinner and pitch our tents. We pitched our tents beside the forest rest house there and requested for dinner to the caretaker of the rest house. We watched the setting sun sitting on the big boulder near campsite. It was very cold and windy in the night. We spent most of the time in the kitchen before going to sleep. We talked about what lies further on the trail and treks in the area. I promised myself to cross the Borasu pass next time which lies further on the trail and take a diversion to Ruinsaira tal which is around 14 km from Osla village.

It was already 7 when we woke up next morning. We wrapped our tents and left at once after having tea. We started our retreat around 8. It was an easy descent and we walked on scout's pace. Dalima was eagerly waiting for us in the village where we had lunch around 11. After paying all the dues, we left for Taluka around 12. It was not long when we reached Taluka.

We still had two spare days left and we could've attempted for Kedarkantha trek as well. New year parties with friends in Delhi are also cool; we thought and left for Delhi next morning.

Here is the link to our shared album. 
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