“All the birds have flown up and gone
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by
We never tire of looking at each other-
Only the Mountain and I”
PS: pictures are not necessarily in order of the events. Do not miss the video at the end of the blog!
It was June of 2015, when the snow was yet to melt from, I had been wanting to start my own travel company, as much as I was in a rush to do so, I wanted to create something different. Try and test before I take the plunge, fail, struggle, get hurt, lose confidence, its all a part of the game called life.
It was the first time I was organising a trek, which means people pay me and I arrange everything. Nimmat Thakur, an ace mountaineer from Rumsu which is very close to Manali was my operations CEO and I was banking on him, without any doubts.
We were six including me, four young boys, all with some trekking experience, and a friend of mine – a forty something lady whose physical stamina could not have been challenged by the toughest. We reached Manali later than we thought, and hence we all just kept getting late, the traffic, the preparations. Nevertheless we made it to Dhundi, the starting point of the trek and started our trek to the base camp of Beas Kund. We were taking it totally easy, we all were extremely excited. However as bad luck had to strike, something went terribly wrong.
Since this was an organised trek, porters along with horses were required to carry our tents, sleeping bags and food, we were all carrying only our stuff. Nimmat had organised for horses whose owner decided to ditch us after we climbed for an hour which meant we didn’t have food, tents and sleeping bags, it was already 6pm!
Nimmat did not know how to break this bad news to us as this meant we had to go back to where we started, and the moment he did, obviously we all were extremely disappointed, “what will happen now?” we all went completely blank. Since all customers are not the same, the lady didn’t take it too well, she reacted with anger which left all of us shut and handicapped to think of solution. She was right as a customer, she had paid for a service which she wasn’t receiving, but when you are outdoors you literally do not have a control over circumstances, how do you explain that to a customer? The boys were in a situation they didn’t want to be in, and I? I was feeling completely screwed, torn into three, like I could just kill myself, jump in the river or just jump of the cliff or just vanish in thin air.
The lady decided to go back to Manali, all of us made an attempt to calm her, we failed, the boys just told Nimmat to go and drop her safely there as there wasn’t a choice, it was dark. The rest of us decided to camp the night at Dhundi. Prashant was very clear from the beginning that he has to make it to the summit, by hook or by crook, his confidence gave me some confidence too and amidst all this stress and tension, all I could see in my mind was Beas Kund, the Kund that I had seen images of, the source of the holy Beas River.
I was scared to sleep alone in the tent, not because of anything but the cold.
I survived the night and woke up to this at 4:45 am!
The next morning was bright and clear at Dhundi, with fresh hopes and the clean and pure mountain air, mountains never betray, at least I like to believe so. However again to our bad luck we didn’t get the horses! So what do we do now? with only one and a half days left to a three day trek?
I was angry now, really angry, at everything not at anyone. I asked Nimmat, who I trusted that if we could do this in a day, since he had seen me trekking before and knew my speed and with 100% confidence he said “aap toh kar loge”, Prashant backed my decision and the others supported it too. So we had our breakfast, packed our lunch and took of at 7:30 am, towards Beas Kund! in the name of lord!
We crossed streams, meadows and reached Bakarthach, which is also a base camp for mountaineers studying at ABVIMAS (Atal Bihari Vajpai Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports). We reached this place in 3 hours from when we started and we had two more hours to go, the weather was bright and clear and I was walking along the mountains, I love love love mountains. We made it to the summit at 12pm sharp, covering a distance of 8kms in less than 5 hours. The morrains that came our way towards the last stretch was tricky, and that were I was thanking god for having Nimmat, someone who knew mountains.
Spent an hour at the summit, had some hot tea which we were carrying and made it back to our base camp at Dhuni by 4:30pm, so it all worked, yaaeee! We were all so so so happy. 16 kms in the mountains in 9 hours.
A three day trek which we all happily and healthily completed in a day! Euphoric!
My learning from this trek, energy! always and always pull the energy that connects with your energy, you will know!
We really need to teach people that outdoors is not luxury, if you are willing to be adventuress then you have to break inhibitions and forget about security and luxury.
It was the most memorable trek of my life! And those four fellow trekkers Inshank, Nitin, Prashant and Saurabh now come in the list of some of my closest budds 🙂
And something that will never die, my love affair with the mountains <3
DAY 3: Headed back to come back again !
Watch it here, a really fun video compiled by Ishank Ahuja