This is a continuation from the article Trekking through the Himalayas – Story VII
Pepped up with perkiness, we rested on the mountain peak. But the guide hurried up to get on with our journey ahead despite of waiting for the others to reach. We already were briefed that in case if we were unable to cross ‘Chander Ghani’ pass by evening for any reason, we were asked to return back to the camp and resume our journey the next day. Keeping those words in mind, we undoubtedly took our belongings and followed him.
We were then, at an altitude of 12000ft above the sea level where temperature was close to 0 degrees with pinching cold. It was, for us, simply trivial as we got in habitude with the environment. Sweaters and boots too played their roles pretty well. An array of mountains along with folds on and off was seen. Shrubs of knee length covered the entire area. Sky was fairly clear and sunny. It was ravishing to see people moving in and out in a row between the mountain folds. Distantly, the ground soil was loose and danky due to snowfall. We headed on vigorously for about 40 min ahead and reached our first resting area of the day by 8.30 and sat over the stones for recess. My gusto forced me to deny the pinching cold.
Spending half an hour of time there we planned to moved on. But, by then, a hard hitting news was awaiting for us; our ‘Chaiwalas’ and canine friends will not be our accompanists any more in our forth journey. We had scanty water and some food packs collected from camp pantry and no provisions of any other kind would be available in places ahead. We resumed by climbing a flat slanting hill which had grown high to a peak on the other side. Twining it, we reached an area resembling a balcony, overhung above the depth from which we could see the traces of our campment far below and our co travellers moving like ants, struggling the battle to climb up. Our guide, from there, pointing towards left said that ‘Chander Ghani Pass’ was over there. We could see else anything other than cloudy fog blindfolding surroundings. Relished by the beauty in the heights we spent a little time there capturing pictures.
Without wasting much time we carried on. A little ahead, we saw a divergence of path which would meet at a certain extent. One was a rocky climb while the other a deep and woody. I undoubtedly opted the former. Those who opted the second path were found paled up of fright as it was a wretched thin passage with dreadfuls all the way. Going little ahead was a mountain and beside it’s foot, we passed over and reached other side. There, we remained awestruck to see another huge one raising head above proudly and crowned with clouds. The terribly steep mountain beared no trees or too many shrubs, but of course was very rocky. It was too eerie climb, for we leaned forward strictly. A small reclining would drop one down to the arcane depths. In the absence of a confined path we trudged up through the mountain side without speaking to each other.
It seemed like an endless walking as it was almost one and a half hours since we have started from the resting place. We moved in a zigzag direction to lessen the strain. I was afraid; how long more to reach the peak, then, the precedent trekkers were found disappearing one by one. Their high volume screeching voices hinted that they’ve reached the flat ground. Stirred up with spirit to reach up fast I hastily trudged on. As I reached the top , I was awestruck to see the picturesqueness of snow clad grounds and mountains, snow! snow! and only snow all around. The scenic beauty explained the reason of transcendence of the early reachers. I jumped over the snow, rolled on and slid till my excitement ceased down. No doubt, these snow covered surroundings was snap shot for sure. Not all snow covered slopes were safe for sliding. We had another beautiful scene that a stream was frozen up to ice in flowing mode itself. After the declination of spirit of joy I felt like hunger stroke. There was ‘khichdi’ cheese, butter and an orange in the lunch pack. We sat back and enjoyed the lunch with whiteness 360 degree around as backdrop!!!
Continued in Trekking through the Himalayas – Story IX