To sum up the whole rupin pass trek in a single phrase I’ll call it a 5 star trek.When I arrived at Dhaula the tents were well set up and arranged, and food ready. The support team was really friendly and co ordinated with the cab driver all the way. That effort by Mr. Rajmohan was highly appreciated. Over the course of the evening there was a briefing about the trek, few routine questions. We set out the next day and from now we were headed by Gajji as you all know I guess. We headed to the camp at Sewa temple. There were a few sections which had a little steep climb, sometimes even a very narrow trail, there were times where we had to climb on all fours. The camp site along the temple was pristine. The next days walk drew us to a village called Jhaka.
The days walk was fine with a longish climb at the end. This was our longest day on the trail. On this day I would like to highlight 2 sections on which there had been a landslide in the recent past and the trail was completely wiped away. I really appreciated the way Gajji helped the team cross the whole section and he did it well. There were times when it had got scarily risky but he made it look easy and all of us negotiated it. The day ended and we huddled up in a room. The next day we walked to Saruwas thatch, the walk was pristine and finished well. Again here I’ll really really appreciate the work of Gajji and the cook Dashodh, the mule had misbehaved and ruined a lot of the ration, they actually went all the way back and got all the stuff back. I was really impressed by their dedication. The next day was short and ended early in Dhandheras thatch, this time of the year there was no snow at all. So i guess the walk was finished really short. The next day was the long climb to Rati-pheri we walked beyond the upper waterfall camp. Since there was no snow at all the climb didnt tax all that much.
Again here as well in a few sections I noticed that Gajji had the right precautions. To mention one instant, the snow bridge across the fall was melting as there was no snow to feed it, just as the thought barely crossed my mind about the thickness of the bridge, i got a doubt weather it would hold our load, at that very moment i noticed Gajji run across the bridge to judge its thickness and took his judgement from 2 to three different places where he could gauge the strength of the bridge (that act to be honest installed a lot of faith in me towards Gajji,he knew what he was doing) after that the walk to Rati pheri seemed fine, although the altitude had taken its toll and fatigue was creeping in. The camp at Rati pheri again the team worked very hard, the food was even provided to our tents cos most team mates were either too tired or sick even, the support team really took care of us. The next day we crossed the pass had some moments of celebration we walked down to Sangla kanda, we had lunch in Rontigad. As we reached Sangla kanda, within a couple of hours the weather turned bad and the skies opened up. It stayed that way for the whole of next day even. We walked to Sangla drenched in the rain. That ended our trek.
Absolutely fantastic support team, they work to the best of their abilities to keep the team together and safe. We were stranded in Sangla for a day due to landslide and Gajji there too was instrumental, I am really impressed by his services and would request you to take good care of the guy
I didnt have to carry my sleeping bag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man I felt that was a luxury to be honest. Although in my subsequent treks with Indiahikes just as a part of the trekker spirit I’d want to carry that.
Quality of food suuperr..
Scope for improvement
Equipment’s, especially the tents am not at all satisfied with them (high standards were set everywhere else). The tents were dripping during the rain besides it would also be a liability in case of snow fall, the design is such they will hold snow on the roof and hence buckle under their load. Sleeping bags i had no problem whatsoever but a couple of guys in rati pheri were complaining of feeling cold. The temp that night plummeted to around -5 deg outside the tent. (I was carrying a therm). The helmets were fine, the rope which we never used thankfully didnt impress me much either the sheath seemed worn off badly. I had a detailed discussion about this with Gaj ji and told him my concerns cos i’d think twice before putting my life on the line for such a rope. I also showed him the accesory chord I was carrying and other equipment like gloves and all, he was surprised at the quality of the products that I carried. I know a dealer here from whom you can source these equipments ( Quality will always come with a price) I personally buy my stuff from him. If you need it please let me know I will divulge the details.
Soft Skills of the guide atleast, for me I had no problem I blended in very well. This will come into the picture when your dealing with foreigners, other people from the major cities and peoplel from South India they may not be perfectly at ease speaking hindi. So improvement in spoken english will go a long way.
Most importantly I didnt come across anybody who had finished the guides course in any of the mountaineering institute. Since this was Rupin pass I didn’t worry too much about it. But if it was a Stok kangri or a Pin Parvarti even I would really push for that. I request you to encourage atleast a few guys in the more difficult treks to finish the guide course from any of the mountaineering institutes.