The second season of Roopkund and Rupin Pass began this week! Trekkers were greeted with crispy, clear skies for these treks – autumn is truly a good time to trek in Himalayas. Our Rupin Pass trekkers are going to trek from a new route instead of Dhaula and we are excited to hear about the drive from Chanshil Ghati to Bawta! The road to Chanshil Ghati opened in 2009, and the pass with its green slopes and vistas of Chanshil ranges are virgin Himalayas at their best!
The verdict is out: Pin Bhaba is a stunner!
Meanwhile, way on the north of Rupin Pass in the Pin Valley National Park, our founders were trekking to Pin Bhaba Pass. They returned just today and they can’t stop gushing about it! “Honestly, I went in with low expectations,” Arjun confesses. “However, once we entered the deep tranquil forests and then entered perfectly manicured Kashmir-like grasslands, I was sold. I couldn’t wait to see what else this trek could offer. It was mind-blowing!”
“It is a gem of a trek” Sandhya agrees. “It is so vast! The Bhaba river delta, the grasslands which remind you of Kashmir, the dense coniferous forests.. and then the pink mountains on Spiti side of the Pass! We will definitely put this trek on our Top 10 list.”
As for the difficulty, we’ve learnt that the trek is fairly challenging, almost akin to the difficulty level of Rupin Pass. “After crossing the pass the trek is very tricky with lots of rocks and boulders. Also, the last day, you cover 16 km! While the views are gorgeous on this stretch because you have entered Spiti Valley by now, it can be tiring. So it needs enough preparation!” says Arjun.
A big shout out to Tanmay Bain for exploring and documenting this accurately!
Another stunner – Bhrigu Lake
After Pin Bhaba our founders went trekking to Bhrigu Lake, exploring valleys and ridges around it. “The Bhrigu Lake is too much to handle! There are grasslands throughout the trek, and such vast and lovely ones! And the lake is such a beauty! If you’re in Manali and not doing this trek, you’ve missed out on a lot. Not only if you’re in Manali, it’s worth it travelling all the way even from South India for this three day trek,” says Arjun.
And guess what! They climbed up to the ridge above Hampta Pass, and could see the entire Hampta Pass trek, right from Chikha to the Pass itself. “We were stunned! We could see tiny yellow tents in the distance!” exclaims Sandhya. It will take them a while and several cups of chai to recount their stories over the next few days. And we love hearing stories!
Here are updates from the other treks we are running:
Moving on to our other treks, rains have been lashing Hampta Pass every other day. The trek, however remains at its beautiful and adventurous best. It has been drizzling in Valley of Flowers, Nag Tibba and Prashar Lake as well: but the trekkers are geared with ponchos. So the rain isn’t stopping them.
There was a landslide between Joshimath and Govind Ghat on 11th September. As it took time to clear, the 11th September batch of Valley of Flowers faced a fair delay in reaching the base camp, Govind Ghat.
As autumn ushers in and season for Valley of Flowers winds up, the flowering in the Valley has gone down considerably.
The September 10th weekend had a total of at least 8 different treks beginning across slopes of Himachal and Uttarakhand: Roopkund, Rupin Pass, Hampta Pass, Bhrigu Lake, Har Ki Dun, Deoriatal-Chandrashila, Nag Tibba and Prashar Lake.
Meanwhile, in Bangalore…
Our team took children from Head Start, Dommasandra out to Nandi One last weekend. “We had extremely good weather!” Suhas, who lead the team, says. “The vegetation had grown and the kids did their trek through the dense cover. There were so many colourful insects and the children loved seeing them. The summit climb was especially beautiful.”
After the vegetation cover, they saw mist hanging near the summit. “It was around 9.45 am,” Suhas recalls. “But there was so much mist, you couldn’t see the temple for few minutes. It just added a different quality to the trek.“
“The kids loved the trek!” Nirmala Hegde, their teacher, says. “We will definitely come on board for another trek in a month or so.”
On the Green Trails front, the first batch of Deoriatal brought down 24 kg of non-recyclable waste, 18.2 kg of recyclable waste. The mother-of-azure Bhrigu Lake trail also has trash on its slopes- trekkers brought down 10 kg of non-recyclable waste and 6 kg of recyclable waste. “This is a common pattern on all the slopes. The number of non-recyclable waste we bring down is much, much higher than the recyclable waste. People end up buying a lot of packaged snacks on trek which eventually ends up on the trek route,” said Lakshmi Selvakumaran, Green Trails Head.
Lakshmi lists down do’s and don’t of green trekking here.
Hampta clocks in the highest number with 47kg of non-recyclable waste and 39 kg of recyclable waste. Our Green Trails Crusader Nikshep was particularly moved by the commitment to Green Trails last week’s Hampta Pass batch showed! They did some outstanding work out there!
Our latest documented treks
Ajay from the content team along with our Trek leader Ankit Naithani and trekker Vishwas Krishnamurthy has brought out new treks for you to explore: Kolahoi Glacier trek and Banasura Hill trek. Click on the pictures below to take a look!