In light of the Amarnath Yatra attack last week, we had tweaked the itinerary of the Tarsar Marsar trek. But the situation in Kashmir has drifted back to normalcy. So much so that we have decided to run all our batches of Tarsar Marsar. In fact, a batch is leaving today on the trek.
The batch that was on the Tarsar Marsar trek last week is back in Srinagar this morning. The trek went smooth and trekkers were fairly oblivious to the happenings in Anantnag as they were tucked away deep in the valley. They experienced good weather for most part of the trek. The cobolt blue Tarsar Lake stood out beautifully against the mossy green of its bank. Trekkers were lucky to see snow around Marsar. They ended the trek at Sumbal, headed to Manigam and then to Srinagar.
The Kashmir Great Lakes trekkers have come down to Srinagar as well. They experienced quite some rain and a lot of snow on their trek. There were sections where they had to slide down on snow and also cross several ice bridges. They had a ball, to say the least!
There has been no unusual activity in Srinagar this past week. Our Trek Leader Chaitan Sharma. who is the slope manager at Srinagar, says that regular vehicular traffic is moving through most parts of the city. But a few downtown areas of Srinagar are still under curfew.
Internet connection has not been restored yet. This means that you cannot use the humble whatsapp even if you have data on your phones. Although a few broadband connections are still functioning. Postpaid phone networks are working and can be reached.
I know most trekkers look forward to treks in Kashmir. Much like my colleagues. Chandrakanth, who heads the tech team at Indiahikes has registered himself for the Tarsar Marsar trek in August.
Let’s head to updates our other slopes.
You can also listen to the updates on our official podcast below.
Aiming for Pin Bhaba, Pin Parvati and Kanamo
Speaking of colleagues going on treks, our Ground Coordinator Vishnu will be attempting Pin Bhaba at the end of this month. The first batch of Pin Bhaba trek started out from Shimla early today morning.
Our first and only batch of Pin Parvati started today as well. The Pin glacier’s steep incline and hidden crevasses are just few of the many tricky parts on this trek. Our Trek Leader Dushyant is leading the batch of 10 trekkers. They reach Kaza this evening. One whole day will be used to get acclimatised at Kaza. Arjun Majumdar says, “You need atleast a day to acclimatise because you are reaching up to 20,000 ft.”
The Kanamo Peak trek is also starting today. This team is spending a day acclimatising at 14,000 ft. in Kibber. Our trek leader Karthik is leading them.
That’s three hardcore treks starting today! I am certain all our trekkers have been working hard on their fitness. We wish them all good luck!
Heavy rainfall on the Hampta Pass trek
Heading north, it has been raining heavily at Hampta Pass. Especially at the Balu ka Gera and Shea Goru. We aren’t one bit surprised by it. But the lovely flowers are surely a delight.
The snow is getting thinner by the day. Only a few snow patches of snow remain close to the pass.
Our Trek Leader Yash Choudhari who just returned from the trek says trekkers were thrilled at the river crossing experience. “You are in a dilemma because your mind is telling you to run back but you still want to cross the river,” he says. The cold water could make your legs numb with a stinging pain. But the human chain keeps everyone together.
Bhrigu Lake hidden under mist
Right beside the Hampta Pass trek, it has been misty and foggy on the Bhrigu Lake trek. Our slope manager Abhirup who is at Manali says, “We must always expect rainfall in this region.” Manali still remains cloudy and hasn’t experienced much rainfall yet.
Speaking of which, our trekker, Nirmalya Majumder, who went to Bhrigu Lake earlier in June made this video on the trek. It’s surprising to see how much snow there was less than a month ago and how green and misty the trek has become now.
Valley of Flowers experiencing continuous rainfall
Our Trek Leader Indrajit completed the trek with the first batch of Valley of Flowers two days ago. He told us that they experienced continuous rainfall. The rainfall was also accompanied with a lot of mist. It was hazy throughout the trek. The continuous rainfall was a bit taxing for our trekkers so that extra amount of fitness really helps.
But you still aren’t missing out on anything at the Valley of Flowers. If anything, you are fortunate to bear witness to the Himalayan Balsam flowers. These look like orchids but are far from the orchid family. They are a beautiful light pink and are invasive in nature. It has the ability to outgrow the native vegetation and cover the entire area. You will also be able to spot the blue poppy among the numerous flowers. These are hard to miss with the bright yellow pistil in the middle. Geraniums are quite spread out along the trail too.
Here are a few pictures we got from last week.
Unpredictable weather at Nag Tibba
The batch that went to Nag Tibba last weekend did not experience any rainfall. This week our Trek Leader Shravan says we are looking forward to a clear weather. But like you and I both know, the weather on the mountains always takes us by surprise. We are hoping for a clear sky to spot the Bandarpoonch peak, the Gangotri group of peaks and the the snow peaks of Changabang.
Shravan says all trekkers must carry their ponchos even if they don’t anticipate rain. Ask him what tips he will want to give trekkers for the monsoon season and he says a trek pole will come in handy. When it rains the trail becomes muddy and slippery. You tend to lose grip. A trek pole supports your ascent and descent.
All in all our monsoon treks are off to a good start.
Green Trails Update – We have started a Fellowship Programme
We have opened up an opportunity for the brightest minds to participate in a fellowship programme in the Himalayas. If you are passionate about the environment and want to be in involved in making a difference then this is your chance.
Speaking of bright minds, our Green Trails team was on its toes this summer experimenting with rainwater harvesting. We now have a rainwater harvesting system at Roopkund. The team has managed to collect 100 litres of rainwater in just 20 minutes of rain. Read more about it here.
Trek With Swathi: A Fun Warm Up Dance For Your Trek
Our Trek Leader Jude Rayen was in our Bangalore office last week and has got us tapping our feet with this new warm up dance. It has gone viral on all our treks. You could follow this video with Swathi and Jude to learn the steps. Warming up was never this much fun.
We’ll wrap up with that for today. Stay tuned for more updates next week!