A Trek in the Himalayas

While, I’ve done 25+ treks in the Sahyadris, this was my first trekking trip to the Himalayas. Our group included Nazir, Kuldeep, Jude and me.

  • Plan: BOM → DED → Purola  → Sankhri  → Taluka  → Seema  → Har Ki Dun  → Seema/Taluka  → Sankhri   Purola  → DED  → BOM
  • Dates: 21st April through 26th April
  • We didn’t join an organized trekking group. Our goal was to trek on our own without help from porters, guides or ponies, cook our own food, and carry our own sleeping system.
  • Bought stuff from Decathalon
    • 70+10 liter Symbium back-pack
    • Woolen socks
    • Gloves – silk liners + fleece ones
    • 0 degree sleeping bag
    • Fleece Neck warmer, Fleece Cap, Fleece pants and a Fleece pullover.
  • Stuff to go in the backpack – see photo: https://goo.gl/photos/27zWv5hXJXDiTHUQ6
  • Got a special trail mix made with (250 gms x 4 packets)- Roasted almonds, Roasted walnuts, Peanuts, Cranberries, Raisins (red), Roasted Oats and Chocolate chips.
  • Apart from Trail mix, the food items we were carrying were –
    • Ready to eat packets of – Paneer, Choley, Rice, various soups
    • Thepla, Cream cheese and bagels, Water crackers and cheddar cheese
    • Tea prep material
    • Gud (Jaggery)
  • Kuldeep got us a direct Jet Airways flight from BOM to DED
  • We got our backpacks cling-wrapped at the airport
  • Had arranged for a mini-bus to come pick us up. Surinder Rana, who’s the brother of Bachan Rana, had come to pick us up along with Vijay, the cook. Both were quite affable chaps. We  took a liking to them immediately (the two chaps on the left) – https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMwY7yGdV9oSNNubVn-xNUMDRAxT1HXECuS6PA9gmOFCU8iPMZQrYyIR9CoxI39ug/photo/AF1QipOt3WuMhp5Sl0d2X-Un6Fgbzwgfa_uL_TfwlvfI?key=T3gwT2NMRWJ1djc5MldjNXRTY25jV1hVaUJ6bm13
  • Day 1, we drove down from Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport to Purola. We had to pick up a couple from the famous Doon school enroute to our destination.
  • The ride was fairly uneventful, with us in high energy – we shared tales of Mahabharata, Ramayana, Shravan kumar, Pandavas, Rivers – Rupin, Supin & Tons, and some stupid jokes.
  • Enroute to Purola, we stopped at Kempty Falls (it was a trickle at this time of the year) for some masala soda and gobi parathas.
  • Time: Dehradun Jolly Grant airport to Purola – 6 hours
  • 21st night, we ate at a cheap restaurant, and stayed the night over at an even cheaper place – Shubham Palace. It’s a palace for namesake only The rooms were cramped, no toiletries, and even no drinking water provided. Avoid staying at this place, if you can.
  • 21st night, we repacked our stuff – to balance out the weight amongst the group. Threw away a lot of redundant stuff within the group into a duffel bag.
  • 22nd at 6am, our bus came to pick us up for Sankhari.
  • On the route to Sankhari, we entered the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary. Paid Rs. 1000 towards person, tent and some other god-knows-what charges.
  • From Sankhari, we purchased some Ponchos. Only if we knew, they’re good for one time use only.
  • Got off the bus, and boarded a Jeep which would take us to Taluka – the starting point for our trek.
  • For some part of the journey we sat on the roof of the Jeep and it was quite an experience.
  • Distance: Sankhri to Taluka – 12 kms
  • Reached Taluka at around ~10 am.
  • Had breakfast of Veggie Parathas, Pickle and Tea at Thakur Bhojanalaya. We liked it so much, we even got some packed for our trek.
  • Started trek at 11 am from Taluka.
  • Each of us carrying 12 Kgs of stuff in our backpacks – sleeping tents, sleeping bags, mattress, food, cooking vessels, warm clothes and other misc stuff.
  • For the duration of our trek we were accompanied by the beautiful, gushing and the very cool river – Supin.
  • The trek was about 11 kms. It rained twice during our trek. Oh yes, the ponchos came in handy, but mine tore when I tried to wear it during the second rain.
  • The first time it rained, we had crackers and cheddar cheese.
  • The second time we had some tea, biscuits and just hung around waiting for it to stop.
  • The villagers are needy for medicine. Specially the painkillers and fever medicines. These areas are so remote, that they don’t have access to even the basic stuff that we take for granted.
  • End of day 1, we camped at a meadow spot just a few minutes away from the campsites of Indiahikes and that Bachan fellow. Our place was near a power station building building of some sorts.
  • Distance: Taluka to camping spot – 12.5 kms, just a 1.5 km shy of Seema.
  • At the campsite on day 1, Kuldeep cooked us some tomato basil soup, followed by rice, choley, and paneer. The warmth of food feels nice when you’re at a place that’s 8 degree cold, and the winds are blowing crazy. Thanks to Kuldeep for carrying a Primus, Kerosene (which Surinder Rana had got for us), and other paraphernalia for cooking us a decent meal.
  • It rained that night, and the winds were blowing cold. We slept at 10.30 pm. The clouds were in, so the stars weren’t visible.
  • The following morning, we woke up at around 6. The temperature recorded was 6 degrees.
  • Kuldeep got some tea going.
  • Along with Tea, we had Bagels and cream cheese for breakfast. How cool is that!
  • A couple of rounds of tea, eating breakfast, laying your clothes to dry in the sun, washing utensils, packing up our stuff, taking a dump, brushing our teeth – and before we knew, it was 10 am. When sunlight hits your campsite, it makes all the difference weather wise. The day started cold, but felt very nice as soon as sunlight came in.
  • So we started day 2 trek at 10.30 am.
  • We crossed the Seema village by 11.00 am, and got on to the bridge to cross the Supin river.
  • On the way to Seema, we saw the Osla village nestled high on the other side of the valley, in the mountains.
  • The trek from the bridge onwards is a steep one ascending into the mountains further.
  • Trekking along, we were eating our trail mix, filling up our water bottles from the river streams. The water is quite good to drink- none of us fell sick :)
  •  At around 12.30 pm, I started feeling queasy in my stomach. It could’ve been altitude sickness, or just plain exhaustion. I had taken a few rest stops along the way, but at 12.30 pm, I just gave up. There was about 10 kms of trek ahead of us, including a 400 meter climb along a ridge – Kalkatiyadhar. Also, we had to decide whether to continue or just return back. Hard choices. If we decided to continue, we would have to trek about 10 kms in the nest 3 hours. Very hard – considering our energy levels, specially mine, and the weight of our backpacks.
  • I rested for about 15 minutes, and then we decided to head back :(
  • On the way back, we could see the Seema village from up above the mountain.
  • As we retraced our way back, we missed the path to Seema village, and ended up in Osla.
  • Total distance trekked on day 2: 7.3 kms
  • Nazir and Jude found us a shelter in Osla. A cute little house, which doubled up as a site for Gio adventures.We decided to spend the night in Osla.
  • We had our lunch, rotis with some local veggie. Then we had our tea at around 6 pm.
  • The village has no electricity.
  • Luckily, this place had a western toilet. Small joys of life.
  • Kuldeep and I decided to head back to Taluka the following morning. We would have our bags carried by a pony, and then trek down as fast as we can so as to reach Taluka by 11 am.
  • Nazir decided to continue his trek to Har Ki Dun the following morning.
  • After a sumptuous dinner of Rajma Chawal, we repacked our bags. Left back all the food packets – clearly we had been packing for the apocalypse :) Too much food.
  • We slept at 9.30 pm.
  • Woke up at 5 pm, on day 3. Got ready by 6 am.
  • Had a quick breakfast of plain parathas.
  • Jude, Kuldeep and I started our descent down to Taluka at 6.20 am.
  • Almost ran down, passing by our camp site, and all the places we had crossed on day-2.
  • By 11 am, we reached Taluka.
  • Distance from Osla to Taluka: 13.4 kms
  • Negotiated with the Jeep owner to drop us off to Mussoorrie.
  • We reached Mussoorie by 6.30 pm.
  • Enroute, we booked our flights to Mumbai, and a hotel in Mussoorie.
  • Spent the night in Mussoorie resting and recovering. Showered by after 3 days of living in the wild.
  • Had a stomach filling breakfast of Aloo parathas, Butter Toast and some tea/coffee in the morning.
  • Then packed up and took the flight back to Mumbai on day 4. Reached Mumbai at 5.40 pm.

 

See all pictures of our trek here

Here’s the checklist of items we took for the trek

 

 

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Author: anand

Currently CleverTap. Founder & ex-CTO - burrp. A techie and an entrepreneur at heart. Have worked in US, China and India.

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