Prashanth has been a regular trekker with Indiahikes. He writes in this blog post, about his trek to Rupin Pass, which he still considers as one of his top treks.
A trek is always difficult. Well, not the trek exactly, but the process of convincing people around you, especially immediate family and friends. Family recollects the Everest adventure where 15-20 people perished . Friends recollect the time and money you spent with them in the pub and offer, “man you can get entertained as much with us, why the trek?”
“No bath,” said my mother. “I will miss you,” said my son. “No toilet,” reminded my wife. “Why marry if you are in love with mountains,” asked my relatives. “No leave,” said my boss (he never moves out of office). “You are mad,” offered my sister. If trekking was a democracy, I would have lost 99 : 1. Thank god it is not.
There are people like me around! They are fellow trekkers! What differentiates this species from the former? They love adventure. They love the risk. They love accomplishing. They love the mountains.They love negotiating boulders, pebbles and snow better than cars, two wheelers and smoke. They love life for the moment, and are not bothered about the future or past. Some of these people are around me and I am like them.
When Rupin Pass came up, I hit Google and said… what the heck! It is not even close to Everest base camp! When I shared these thoughts with two friends whom I invited to join, one of them reminded me he had not even thought about that and other reminded me of the struggle we had to face something 1000 ft lower in an year before trek. We decided to give it a go.
“Edge of the seat Hollywood thriller,” said the Indiahikes website. Who cares, we are more in tune with Bollywood tearjerkers and tummy-twister (Dabangg type dances). With a combination of adventurous optimism and previous experience pessimism (my friend had ditched his entire backpack to reach the destination), we set out on a cheerful note from the camp leader, who said, “all will be well.” True to his statement, all was well! Well, the “was” because when it is “is,” we are, are actually toiling our way up.
So, when the first tea break came on the first day, I was happy to be there! “I can…” I boasted to my friends (including new acquaintances), only to get a response “…so have we!” That was then I realized… never boast in front of a trekker.
Day two was a place they called hanging village Jhaka. We set up a cricket match there, with the local kids. What’s the point playing with kids and defeating them shared few, with their 2 cents of thoughts (as they called it). Well, our cent was different from the concept of kids rupees. They defeated us black and blue. Local conditions and expertise we learnt should never be challenged. That was the precursor to our next few days.
We camped the next night, overlooking a spectacular waterfall. Only 10 seconds of interest said a Bollywood director who was trekking with us. We felt disappointed that night. Next day, early morning we started and we reached the top of the waterfall. The last one to reach was the Bollywood director, he exclaimed “10 seconds of visual is worth of a 10 hour climb.” From that moment he stopped comparing an actual mountain climb with a movie mountain climb.
Next day was the actual pass climb. We did climb… or shall I say, we were hauled up by able porters? Hours in snowfall, with a slip taking you down below making your climb last 20 minutes just a rehearsal. We climbed up and over Rupin Pass.
Guys who had done the Everest base camp said, “This was a different challenge”. We felt we had our time and money’s worth. Looking back, Was this one of the best treks? Yes it was. Still is.