We are super excited about the trek handbook we have made for our trekkers! Roopkund is our oldest trek. We have been running this trek for years and we have a wealth of information about the trail. We decided to distill the information in a handbook to make the trek a much more intimate experience for our trekkers.
Says our founder, Arjun Majumdar: “In India, somehow we do not have the habit of carrying a handbook, a guide, or a map on a trek. We leave everything to the trekking organisation.
We go on a trek almost blindly, being led from one camp to another. I didn’t like this.
There is lot of fun in going through a trek guide, seeing a map of the trail, in knowing a bit more. I have always visualised trekking to be a big adventure. A sense of self discovery adds to this adventure.
The Roopkund Handbook is the first in the series of ready trek reckoners that we hope will add to the adventure of a trek. I loved how it shaped up. Take a look. Download it now. ”
Since this is the first time we are having a handbook like this, I would love to know what you think.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts!
Since we are already talking about Roopkund, let me tell you what is happening on the Roopkund trek.
Updates from our Himalayan slopes
It is raining heavily in Lohajung as I write this. However, our Roopkund season is off to a good start despite the weather changing like a chameleon. Most of our batches see good weather during the day and face afternoon showers.
The Roopkund lake is frozen over. Only the rim is discernible in the crater of the mountain. None of the batches so far have attempted Junargali as the snow conditions make the climb very tricky. Our mountain staff did a recce of the route and here is the picture they sent.
Coming to Bedni Bugyal, our trekkers did an extensive clean up of the campsite. The first batch of the season collected about five sacks estimating around 80 kg.
Coming down to lower camps, here is our rainwater harvesting setup at Ghairoli. Water is often a difficult resource to manage up on mountains. Last year this time, our staff struggled to get water at camps like Pathar Nachauni and Bhagwabasa. It is wonderful to see this go swimmingly well this time.
Our base Lohajung, meanwhile, has been a centre of a lot of Green Trails activity. Our Green Trails interns have made a paper-mache plastic stationery holder with the collected waste. They have even made a lamp out of plastic bottles. The paper mache stationary holder was given as an award to the Green Getter of our first batch.
Here is what our trekkers have to say about their Roopkund experience:
“Roopkund was my first Himalayan trek. I was bit nervous when I registered for this trek as it’s a high altitude trek of 15k +. When I reached Lohajung camp, many trekkers were first-timers as well. But our Trek Leader Anand was very calm. Along with guides Hiraji and Surinder, he took very good care of our batch. With their help and guidance, we reached every camp on time. It’s very important in this region to follow schedule as weather changes drastically in every 15 minutes. With Indiahikes policy to check Oxymeter and pulse readings thrice a day we were always assured that body was coping well with high altitude. Food and stay arrangements at each camp was brilliant. We also reached summit successfully and safely and got beautiful views of Roopkund lake. Thanks Indiahikes team for making it a memorable trek.” – Shailesh Dhekne, May 2017 batch
Rupin Pass is also seeing sporadic afternoon showers, hail and occasional snowfall. Unlike last year at this time, the snowline starts from Lower Waterfall campsite as opposed to Rati Pheri. There is a lot of snow at the Pass- which our technical team cuts to make steps for our trekkers.
The news we get from this slope is not as detailed as Roopkund slope. The trail goes through extremely remote regions and connectivity is difficult to come by. However, our team is managing communications the old fashioned way. While the main office can contact staff at Jiskun, the communication from Jiskun to Dhaula is through letters sent through mule men.
However, at a place like this, who needs connectivity?
Here is what our trekkers had to say about Rupin Pass:
“The trek was amazing! It was life-changing because the trek as a whole gave me different perspective. The guides and the Trek Leader were really friendly and nice. The food was unexpectedly good. Health was a very serious subject and not taken lightly (regular oxymeter readings) which was reassuring. The Trek Leader and guides were very approachable and helpful therefore I felt safer and happier. My friend celebrated his birthday on the trek and I had asked the Trek Leader if he could arrange something at all to celebrate this and to my surprise we had a cake in Jiskun! I never would’ve thought this possible. That’s when I realised just how caring and responsive the staff was. I will totally do another trek with IH and recommend it to others.” – Shivani Vartak, May 2017 batch
Kuari Pass and Pangarchulla
The last batch of Kuari Pass has come down today. Pangarchulla will see one more batch before this slope winds up. The staff will then move on to Himachal Pradesh to the Hampta Pass, Buran Ghati and Bhrigu Lake slopes.
This trail is now lush green and seeing an onslaught of wildflowers bloom on its meadows. Only Pangarchulla summit has snow now.
Here is what our trekkers has to say about Kuari Pass:
“I loved every moment of it. I think everyone in our batch had more than once expressed gratitude for the professionalism, maturity, courteousness and the awesomeness of the support staff. To add, it has been a pleasant surprise to see such a large group of people gel and bond so well over a period of just 4 days. You professionalism, your attention to detail, the way you feed us (OMG!) and the singular mission to be a truly green trek.” – Arun Nambiar, May 2017 batch
To keep the pristine nature of this slope intact, our Green Trails interns Aditi and Masoom got the work done at Kharchi village certified by Sarpanch. I had spoken about how they did a clean up of Kharchi village last time. They have also managed to workout a waste management solution. The waste would be collected in sacks regularly, which will be collected on the way down by any of the groups coming down. They will be disposed at Joshimath Nagar Palika. This arrangement has been done with the Guide Association. This arrangement has been agreed upon by all parties involved and have been put down in a paper. We are looking forward to a much cleaner village the next time we come on this slope.
Stay tuned to our website for more updates!