Tuesday, November 17

Roopkund Trek Log

One of my friend asked me if I had any plans for Dussehara vacations. For one day leave, we were getting 4 days in our hand. He was planning for Roopkund trek as much as it can be done in two days which we would left with after taking out the travel time from Delhi. A day before, he got little sick and there were three of us for the trek. Kiran was from Bombay and Silva was from Brazil. We hadn't met before. Kiran was full of enthusiasm and wanted to complete this trek at any cost. I was supportive of this opinion and we chalked out our trek plan to make it possible. Silva had done a trek to Tungnath with Kiran and my friend Akshay few week back.

We left on Wednesday evening; the cab picked me up around 10:30 in night. After a whole night and day drive, next day we reached village Wan around 5 p.m. To make most of our lost time, we needed to cover some of trek that day. In few minutes, after arranging for our driver's accomodation; we left for the trek. We did get few advices for not leaving for trek at such time, but we went on.

Out morales were pretty boost up. Calling ourselves bad mofos; we went past the wan village down to the bridge on river Neelganga. By then it was completely dark. Holding our torches, we started to climb. Our aim was to reach Bedini around 11 in night. Even though, we were advised against it in the village, we thought that it is better to utilize this time in trek than to stay. It was around 10 p.m.; when we reached first camping site Gharoli Patal. Bedini was still 3 km. We had still enough juice left to reach Bedini that night. But after staying few mins for tea there; we decided to camp there only. It was very cold and windy.

A view from Bedini Bugyal
Next morning around 6, we left for Bhojbasa after having maggi for breakfast. We were happy that stopping at Gharoli Patal, previous night didn't cost us much time when we reached Bedini. After half an hour of admiring the beauty of vast meadows, and few clicks; we left for our next stop.

On the way to Patharnachuni
It was around 2 PM when we reached Patharnachuni where we had our lunch. Soon after, we left for our final stop, Bhojbasa. One the steep ascent to Kalu Vinayak, Silva was walking a bit slow. After few wait and move ahead; Kiran and me discussed if he could walk with Silva and I'll come back to carry the bag from Bhojbasa. I tried walking fast and reached Bojbasa early where I left the bag and rushed back towards Kalu Vinayak. Kiran and Silva were resting at Kalu Vinayak, which they had already climbed. Silva was feeling better now and didn't let me carry his bag. We came back from Kalu Vinayak together.

We all managed to reach Bhojbasa well before evening. Silva was having some headaches, I suggested him to have more tea and drink as much water as he can. We did a little walk around the campsite for acclimatization and had tea. We pitched our tents inside the forest hut. Although a lot colder, it was less windy than Bedini here.

Beyond Junargali
Next morning after having tea, we left for Roopkund around 6. We packed our tents and left our bag there in the hut. It was very cold and windy on the way. Some ice started to appear inside water bottle. After one and a half hour walk, we reached Roopkund. Silva was little behind. It was his first experince of such altitude and cold. There was some firewood left from previous fire; which I lit and warmed ourselves while waiting for Silva. Some dry sticks dry grass was around which I collected. When Silva was about to reach Roopkund; we left for Junargali. After few minutes of climb, we reached Junargali. Silva still was behind Roopkund. He would stop after few steps to catch a breath. It was windy was clear in Junargali with magnificent view of Mt. Trisul(7120m) and Nandaghunti(6309m).

Jorawar Gali Pass
A thought came to my mind for going ahead from there to Homkund. The door like structure with bell hanging by it looked very inviting. We didn't have that much time. We needed to move back as soon as we can if wanted to make it back to Wan village by night. After few minutes, Silva was in Roopkund. I asked Silva if really wanted to climb up to Junargali to which he said Yes. We waited for him there. Collecting litter there left by previous trekkers, we waited there on the stairs towards Shila Samudra.

After about an hour or so stay at Junargali, we started our way back to Bhojbasa. It was already 12 when we left there. After some tea and noodles, we left Bhojbasa around noon. There was another group of three people who was also on had similar plans as us. There also wanted to go back to Wan on that day itself. I was planning to go via Ali Bugyal; but it seemed, that it was too late for that. When we reached Pattahrnachuni in an hour or so, Silva was walking good. We decied against taking Ali Bugyal route, we needed at least 2-3 more hours than our usual. It was now sunset time when we reached Gharoli Patal. After taking a lot of shortcuts on descents; my legs were tired. I was exhausted and had very less control on my legs. It was now dark when I reached Neelganga bridge. I was out of water and thirsty till that time. I waited with other group for Kiran and Silva. After few mins they arrived. Silva had got blisters in his foot. We started our last patch of trek to Wan village. When we reached the village from Neelganga bridge, it seemed that we lost our way which we took before. After asking for directions and wasting around 2 hours, we managed to reach roadside around 9:30 p.m. where our cab driver was waiting for us.

We took little more than two trek days for this trek from Wan village to Roopkund. In retrospect, I think that if we had one more day, one day stay at Ali Bugyal would have been perfect finishing of the trek while coming back.