Browsing through your Facebook news feed, you come across your friend’s pictures who had just got back from a trek in the Himalayas. His stunning images from the trek make you green-eyed, but they also fill you with an inspiration to step into the world of trekking.
As soon as you make a resilient decision to go on a trek this year, the moment of self-doubt creeps in.
“I have never been on a trek before. Where do I begin?”
“Should I start with an easy trek?”
“Nah! An easy trek won’t let me brag about anything to my friends.”
“And I work out. I sure should be fine.”
“But one whole week in the mountains?” The skepticism deepens.
“Hmmm… If only there was a short Himalayan trek with a features of a higher grade trek.”
You do your thorough research on the internet about all the Himalayan treks when you stumble on Bhrigu Lake Trek on Bikat’s website. You read about the trek and realize how suitably it fits your bill.
Yes! You have a winner.
Bhrigu Lake, it is.
You sign up for the trek, pack your rucksack, and travel to Manali which is the base for the trek.
Day 1 of the trek starts from Gulaba
You take your baby steps into the lush green meadows right from the start and you are already in awe of the views around. As you progress forward, you are welcome by the wide grasslands. And as you look back, the mountains behind you get bigger and bigger.
It’s a nice and warm day. The sun is shining over the wide grasslands. You can hear the birds chirping in the trees. You notice the golden tinge on the leaves of Pine trees around. There is a colorful carpet of tiny flowers. You fall head over heels in love with the trails.
It’s almost 4 in the evening and you have reached an altitude of about 10,000 ft. The group decides to set a camp beside a running water stream. The views of Dhauladhar Ranges from the campsite are magnanimous. You can see snow-clad Seven Sisters and Hanuman Tibba right in front of your eyes. There is a profuse vegetation of rhododendrons around the campsite.
The trek leader and the guide teaches you how to pitch a tent. You haven’t done that before. Obviously, you are excited. You feel great pitching a tent all by yourself.
The trek leader also teaches you how to use a sleeping bag. Again, you are excited because you have not done this before either.
After a small session of tea and maggi, the trek leader tells everyone about the phenomenon of Acute Mountain Sickness and then takes everyone out for acclimatization walk. You realize the importance of acclimatization walk since you are going to climb up to an altitude of 14,100 ft next day which is a big deal. Why, you ask? When you climb to such an high altitude from lower terrains, you need some time to get accustomed to lower oxygen levels at such heights.
Soon the dinner time approaches. No lavish dinner. Yet you have a feeling of contentment and gratitude. It is the value of little things you realize only when you are in the middle of nowhere.
You retire to the tent. There is no cushioned mattress. Yet you are fast asleep on the hard ground.
New day. New beginnings. New challenges.
You wake up around 5 in the morning without the assistance of alarm. You rush to the toilet tent remembering how-to-use-toilet-tent lecture from the last night. With views of mother nature around, you gotta say it is a Majestic Loo.
After the breakfast, you prepare yourself for the journey forth. The trek leader informs you about the tons of snow you are going to experience later in the day. Also, he does not forget to mention the snow climbing checklist
The Snow Climbing Checklist
You do as your trek leader guides and begin your journey for the day.
You walk from your campsite towards Rola Khuli. Along the way, you see wild horses galloping in the meadows. You can notice snow patches on the trail.
The leader informs you about the biggest challenge of this trek: Ascending and descending down the snow.
The first phase of challenge appears. Traverse a gigantic mountain slope covered with snow to get to the other side.
It is easier said than done. But these notes may come in handy.
This is an important lesson that you are going to follow till the point you reach the summit.
An hour and a half of walking and climbing on the snow from Rola Khuli, you reach to an altitude of 13,500 ft.
You are still nowhere the lake. Sage Bhrigu did not choose an easy place to meditate.
There is still a steep snowy climb between you and the lake. You look at the climb, brace yourself, and raid the mountain. One and a half hour of a climb, you reach the altitude of 14,000 ft. Yet you see no lake.
You look at your guide with a frustrated look. He tells you the lake is just down the hill. Once again, you keep your calm, brace yourself and descend down the hill.
Half an hour of descending, you finally reach the culmination point.
You see the Bhrigu Lake in all its frozen glory. You look at the terrific views around. Why Sage Bhrigu came all the way up here to meditate here it all makes sense to you now. You take a panoramic swipe of the whole Kullu Valley.
You take a deep breath. There is an emotion of accomplishment and ecstasy.
Take a fine moment to seep in the experience and celebrate your success. Because you did something brilliant.
You reached the height of 14,1000 ft in just two days. Had it been any other trek, a difficult one, you would have taken at least 5 days to get to such high altitude.
And, you achieved all this on your first trek. It sure is a celebration.
Sitting beside the lake, you forget all the shortcoming and challenges you faced as an amateur trekker. All you remember is your reward. You remember all the stories you are going to tell to your friends back in the city. There is that smile on your face.
You pat yourself on the back. And prepare to descend down to the base camp.