“I used to trek a lot in my younger days. Then life suddenly handed me a lot of responsibilities and I got so occupied with them that for 15 years I didn’t get a chance to trek.
Covid brought with it a kind of change that I would have never thought of bringing in my life.
I had lost regular touch with keeping myself fit and so I got back into fitness and the moment I became regular with it I thought of getting back to trekking.
More than me, my wife really wanted me to take a break from years of constant burden of responsibilities. It was quite clear in my head that if I am taking a break I would go for a trek.
Who knew the Hampta Pass trek would be waiting for me with a roller coaster ride.
Our team had quite an uncertain beginning with cloud bursts happening in parts of Himachal.
When we started our trek towards Jobra on Day 2, after reaching the river crossing point we were told that we’ll have to return back to the first campsite and the chances to move further on this trek is just 1%.
Ansil's Hampta Pass trek batch
The long wait of 15 years had built up a lot of emotions within me and tears started rolling down my eyes hearing that news.
With a heavy heart we descended toward Manali. All I was praying at each step was for that 1% luck to play in our favour.
What happened in the next few moments will be etched in my memories for the rest of my life.
Ayushi, our trek leader, came up to me, smiled and told me, “Ansil, we are doing this trek.”
A trek that was 99% cancelled was saved by 1% luck. Or I would rather say that Team Indiahikes made sure they turn the tables in our favour. They arranged zip lines for crossing the rivers, made sure the safety is top notch even when the weather was ferocious.
It was easy for them to cancel that batch and send us down, but they took the tougher path of pulling this off without compromising on the Indiahikes experience.
Ayushi, Ravi, Polu Ji, Diju, Narendra and all other IH staff members are real heroes to me.
The struggle was not over yet.
Continuing the trek meant trekking for another 6 hours to reach Jobra. As a team, decided to go with this trek.
This decision made us bond on a very different level altogether. We covered the distance of 11 hours for the day within 5 hours.
It wasn’t easy but we made some tough choices. None of us stopped on the way to take any photos or videos, we were ready to trek in the dark using our night lamps and took hardly one or two breaks in between.
Seeing our efforts, the weather gods were kind to us for the rest of the trek.
All 17 of us finished the trek.
For us, the memories weren’t made at the highest point on Hampta Pass, they were made the moment we all decided to complete the trek together as a team and trekked all day to reach Jobra.
Ansil along with his trek mates and Indiahikes team
I went on a trek after 15 years of break and I came back with one of the biggest learnings of my life. You’re too small in front of the mountains, so be grateful for whatever moments you get to spend with them.
Similarly in life, there’s no reason for me to worry too much or stress about things for a long time when there’s so much that’s out of my control.”
- Ansil Pappachan, Indiahikes Trekker | Hampta Pass Trek