Sar Pass Travelogue – 2

Part 1 is over here

The trek was for 6.5 days through all types of terrain. There were 6 camps to be covered, one for each day. 4.5 days of ascent and 2 days of descent. We had to go to a particular place called Unchdaar, from where the trek would start. The path to Unchdaar was to be covered on buses, and we had seen the previous batches going on top of the bus. We made up our minds that we will also be travelling on top of the bus.

So finally, after 3 days of being at the base camp, day 4 saw us gearing up for the actual trek. After getting the packed lunch, we flagged a bus and clambered on top and we were off. Travelling on top of the bus itself is an unique experience.

(A group on top…. of the bus 🙂 )

You need to make sure that you dont touch the electric wires. The rocks jutting out of the sides of the hills also pose problems. Most importantly, you need to protect yourself (lie down flat) when it passes thru tunnels (Ok, I was kidding with the last point 🙂 ). But when the bus goes near the edge of the road, it IS scary. You might even see your great grand parents waving to you 😀

The first camp is Guna Paani. The trek to Guna Paani (8000 feet) was good. It was roughly a 5 hour trek with 2 long breaks, i.e. tea and lunch. We had numerous other breaks though 🙂 We finally reached the camp at around 1430 hrs. In all the camps, you are served a welcome drink. After an hour its tea time and then soup. The food served in all the camps was good (Rotis, aloo, dal and kheer in the nights and upma and porridge in the mornings), esp if you consider the climate conditions. The weather at Guna Paani was very pleasant and cloudy. It was sad that we missed the star gazing activity at this camp, which is actually the high point here. But then the camp leader was very friendly and took us to an ancient tree under which it is told that, an ancient saint found out the formula for Chyavanprash.

(The chyavanprash tree. I guess twin trees, conjoined at the hip)

Dinner was followed by a camp fire (a sole candle in a tent, with a bunch of enthu buggers around it). We were blissfully asleep 🙂

(Snake lily, as we called them. Is that the original name??)

Alert (Might be gross for some): Except at the base camp, in all the other camps, the guys dont have loos. It was a total “Open University” course. The gals had loos (We started calling them wonderloos later), but according to them, it was horrible. So if you are a stickler for cleanliness, well, God help you. We had taken a lot of wet wipes and tissue paper. And that saved us. The whole experience of getting up early in the morning to answer Nature’s call was bloody horrible. 😦 But then life and esp, the trek goes on. All of you might have seen movies where somebody  in a palace/ big house shouts out to an (possible) intruder, “Halt, who goes there?”. We must have uttered that dialogue many times too. Ofcourse, in an entirely different context 😀

The second camp was Fual Paani (9500 feet). The path to this camp is bloody steep. This was the toughest camp, if you consider the inclined condition of the tents. The tents were at an inclination of some 25 degrees. The camp leader wasnt very friendly (not that he was a grouchy baadu, but he was close, very close). Zirmi (11000 feet) is the next camp.

(View of the snow capped peaks from Zirmi)

Nothing much to say about this camp. We hadnt walked on snow (except for a small patch enroute to Zirmi. Correct me if I am wrong, guys) yet and all of us were pretty much disappointed. So we were eager for the next camp which is Tila Lotni.

Tila Lotni (12500 feet) is the fourth camp and the last camp on the way up to Sar pass. On the way to the camp, we were greeted with frequent patches of snow. It was play time as we waited for others and ambushed them with snow and ice, much to the chagrin of the trek leader, Mr. Shivam (nice guy, but a bit bossy). At the end of the trek, we were greeted by a huge patch of snow and ice, where we had to take a right and walk thru grass lands. But around 10 of us, became enthu and decided to walk across the snow.

(That snow patch I was decribing in the previous para)

That initial enthu turned to despair as we found out that we had to walk thru terrains which had a 60-70 degrees (approx) inclination. In the end, we reached TIla Lotni.

Tila Lotni was damn bloody cold. I am not exaggerating as I had around 4 layers of clothing and was still feeling cold. In this camp, everything was shifted one hour in advance, coz we needed to get up early in the morning to reach sar pass. We slept by around 2100 hrs for 2 reasons. One, we needed to get up early to start on time. Two, we needed to get up very early for you know why!!!! 😀

(A view of the surrounding peaks from Tila Lotni. The time: 0300 hrs)

The rest will be covered in the next post.

Continue reading the Travelogue here

10 Responses to “Sar Pass Travelogue – 2”
  1. J says:

    cool one dude….
    not tat he is a grouchy baadu but close–weightu!!!
    wished the post to be longer ….
    and abt the wonder__ 🙂 really….add one more “thank gaad its u!” 😉

    Gans: Wanted to split the trek into 2 parts. “Thank Gaad its you” deserves a place in the “1000 most relieved persons” in the World (and am referring to both the persons) 😉

  2. J says:

    🙂 :):) shit (oops..)man am laughin aloud at office

  3. Punarvasu says:

    am LOL for the ‘Halt, who goes there’ 😀

    Gans: hmmm… avaa avaa kashtam avaa avaalukku!!!! 😀

  4. Prima says:

    4.5 days of ascent and 2 days of descent – Did you slide downhill for the descent?? 😉 Considering that you’re lazy I wont be surprised if you had done that!! 😉

    Rocks sliding off the hills? How come one never hit you? 😉 😀 Btw.. are you sure you were on top of the bus?? Or were you watching a James Bond movie inside the bus on your IPOD oops sorry VPOD 😉 😀 😀 😀 😀 Let me guess.. I think its the latter.. 😀 😉

    Can’t stop laughing!! 😀 😀

    Gans: Sliding downhill?? That happened a lot, that YHAI would have done better to announce a competition!!!! 😀

  5. Avinash says:

    “..So if you are a stickler for cleanliness, well, God help you.”
    ganz .. knowing how particlular you are about cleanliness.. am sure you must have joined the “wonderloo” Q..!! 🙂 And chi… dont think he would have even changed his clothes the whole trip..did he?? 🙂

    And top of the bus ride .. Am sure you must have knocked some one down !! 🙂

    Finally .. There is still no mention about the iraninan chicks!!

    Waiting for the next part..
    Peace.. 🙂

    Gans: Wonderloo…. naaah…. heard it was horrible!!!! and me has become very very relaxed abt cleanliness!! and Israeli chicks…. will download their pics and post 😛

  6. Maddy says:

    missed the star gazing activity – busy with a different gazing activity?? [;)] [:P]

    You can still have the star gazing activity on ShantiPark terrace.. [:D][:D]

    Gans: That is called “Bird watching” 😛

  7. Aparna says:

    Lol.. I’ve never had so much fun reading up a trek diary. Downright funny. 🙂 So if you are a stickler for cleanliness, well, God help you. Precisely the reason why I give the treaks a miss..
    Good one bud

    Gans: Thank U Thank U. 🙂 I was a stickler for cleanliness…, but all gone.

  8. Karthick boj says:

    So had tough time for morning tasks…. 🙂

    oru thirantha velli pull velli kalgathala padichitta…kool 🙂

    Coming to the trek part ,it wuld hav been truly heavenly trip for u ppl…..i and nash really missed it….

    keep rocking 🙂

    cheers 🙂

    Gans: Yep, the nxt time U are in India, oru trip poadaroam… @least local barukku 😀

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  1. […] July 7, 2008 by gansense Part 1 and part 2 is over here and here […]

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