“Everything in life starts off as an idea” – Movie Inception.
Planting idea in other’s head is the concept of the movie Inception. Same way when we plan for Himalaya trekking, we google and google plants the idea of the destination in our head.
All Himalayan backpackers blog says Roopkund trek is a must do trek in the Himalaya. Everyone says various mystery stories on their blog. Hundreds of blog talk about the skeletons underlying peacefully under the lake, at 15600 ft.
“Mysteries”, “Skeleton”, “Stories”, “Frozen Lake” and “The Himalaya”, do I need anything more to finalize the destination. Just booked my trek with Bikat Adventures.
Preparation / Pre-Planning
- SHOES: First preparation was buying shoes and using it for 1 month before the trek. Have seen people struggling with new shoes in the trek, because of size mismatch, damages, etc.I chose Quechua FORCLAZ 100, it is good.
- TRAVEL: Next was my journey plan, I read the trail plans and starting point in BIKAT portal. Mail Bikat help desk for connectivity from Delhi airport, they replied with bus/Jeep timing and Connectivity details. I booked the air & bus ticket to the assembly point.
- SHOPPING: I went through the packing list sent from Bikat. I prepared my own checklist form it. I started shopping a week before the trek, but as usual, I was shopping until before the trek starts. Been to the Decathlon, 4 times in that week.
- RACK SUCK PACK: Couple of days before the trek I got 50L rucksack from my friend. I went to couple back-bag packing blogs and youtube tutorials and packed my Rack suck. I crossed my checklist and packed the bag.
- FITNESS: Weekly I hit the gym for 3 or 4 days. To my regular strengthening exercise, I added running and cycling as well for couple weeks. I walked to the office, which adds another 5 km of walking. And I didn’t use lifts in the tech park for those two weeks.
Journey to the Mystery Lake.
DAY 1 - Reaching LOHAJUNG.
Everyone reached the guest house early in the evening.
Our trek lead, Praveen received us and shown our rooms in the guest house. We refreshed and been to the dining room for team and trek intro. Everyone introduced themselves and briefly described their trekking experience. We were 9 in number with different age group from 18 to 40 and beginner to intermediate trekkers.
Our trek lead, Praveen & our guide, Than Singh, briefed us the trek details, trail information, Do’s and Don’ts and back-packing tutorials. Then, we did a little last minute shopping, had our dinner and been early to bed for an early start.
DAY 2: LOHAJUNG – DIDINA VILLAGE – TOLPANI / 11kms / 9500fts
With a prayer, we nine trekkers started our journey, in search of mystery. “Hara Hara Mahadev”, that’s was the energy for the team throughout the trek.
Trek started with decent until a bridge near kulling village and a steep climb until Tolpani. We had our lunch near Didina village, we walked through Rhododendron trees and camped in silver oak tree forest.
Himalayan stories, Rhododendron, small huts and traffic free atmosphere those kept us busy throughout our second day.
DAY 3: Tolpani – Ali Bugyal – Bedni Bugyal / 7kms / 11500ft
Trek started with a steep climb of 2 km, followed by 2 km of gradual ascent to reach the “Bugyal” (meadows). Then comes the marvelous view of Nanda Gunti and Trishul, this gave us the energy for the entire day.
As the two mountains places hide and seek in the clouds, our photographer went crazy capturing it in the frame.
With short energy breaks team reached Ali bugyal for the lunch. After the lunch break team started marching towards the Bendi bugyal.
Nanda ghunti, Trishul, photos, and the sun kept us moving towards Bendi campsite.
In the campsite, we learnt to pitch the tent.
DAY 4: BEDNI BUGYAL – PATAR NACHAUNI / 4kms/ 12800ft
We started the day with Yoga. Trek was short and we reached campsite before lunch.
As the day 3, Nanda gunti and Trishul kept our team busy with the cameras.
I should say climate was very bad and unpredictable. It was sunny when we reach the campsite, Windy when we pitch the tent, rainy after lunch and snowfall completed the day, but the team was enjoying the unpredictable climate change. Everyone stayed in the canteen tent post lunch, we had tutorials on mountaineering tools and played cards for the rest of the days.
DAY 5: PATAR NACHAUNI – KALUA VINAYAK - BHAGWABASA / 4 km / 14200ft
Trek was not long, but steep climb until Kalua Vinayak made us tried. But the panoramic view from Kalua Vinayak energized us for the rest of the trek.
The team had a refreshment and started the gradual descent to Bhagwabasa. Non-stop fresh snowfall kept us fresh for the rest of the day.
Stories of Bedni, Roopkund, and mysteries were the time-pass for the day.
DAY 6: BHAGWABASA – Roopkund – BEDNI BUGYAL/ 16 km / 14200ft
On the day of the summit, we started early morning 4 AM, since snow will start melting after sunrise. It will be slippery to walk in the melting snow. It was almost 4 km steep climb, but the unseen mystery kept us motivated.
We reached the Roopkund by 7, and the feeling can’t explain in the words. In that happiness and satisfaction, we all forgot the pain of past 5 days. We were jumping around the lake and clicking pics.
We reached Bhagwabasa by 9 AM, started marching towards the bendni buygal, with happiness and satisfaction team reached Bendi by the evening tea time.
DAY 7: BEDNI BUGYAL - Ghairoli Patal – Wan – Lohajung / 16 km / 14200ft
As like as other days, we started the trek with the prayer. We planned to reach Neel Ganga for the lunch with a short break in Ghairoli Patal.
We reached Neel Ganga as planned. As the lead says “Real trekker will dip”, 6 trekkers dipped to prove it.
Then there were 40 mins of uphill to reach Wan.
Thereafter had a cab to drop us in Lohajung guest house. Finally, everyone got the mobile network to update WhatsApp DP and status.
DAY 8: Lohajung - Boring life
With a lot of memories, we started back to home.
Not the destination, Not the summit, Not the Mystery… It’s the journey of 8 days with the team, that will never fade from my memories.
- Don’t sleep in the daytime. It will affect the body acclimatizing and give respiratory problems.
- Don’t cover the ears completely in the high altitude, this will increase the time for acclimatization.
- Don’t take a tablet without trek lead/guide knowledge.
- Don’t carry anything in hands while trekking.
- No slippers/sandals while trekking.
- No shorts, cover yourself completely.
- Don’t litter throughout the trek.
- Drink more water, you tend to lose more water as your body acclimatizes to altitude.
- Clean the ground before leaving the campsite.
- Respect the local customs and tradition.
- Wash your face/hands/legs daily at least once.
- Keep the trekking pole on the mountainside, while trekking.
- Covering with the layers of cloth than one single strong layer is good.
- Keep wind jacket/rainwear, sun blocker, UV glass, gloves in the easy access pouch in the ruck-sack.
Bikat is a learning-based trekking company and following are the learnings in the Roopkund trek.
- How to use a sleeping bag, camping tent & toilet tent.
- Awareness of AMS(Acute Mountain Sickness).
- Mountaineering tools.
- How to pack a backpack.
If you are reading this, you are interested to know about Roopkund trek. Just don’t read, explore it and write on your own.
Push yourself, pack your back-pack, wear your trekking gear, you will feel better at the summit than my words and pictures.
As a trekker, we should always remember, “Respect the nature, nature respects you”. Happy back-packing…
Obviously, for the backpacking beginners, there will be a question, what do we do other than trekking for 8 complete days. Let the pictures answer that question.