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Push Ups at Roopkund

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going". This was the first thing that came to my mind when I was  preparing to do those push-ups beside the Majestic "Roopkund Lake" also known as the "Skeleton Lake" Roopkund is an amazing journey in the lap of nature it offers you a glimpse of  dense forests,  beautiful  bugyals, majestic snow-capped peaks and rocky patches of barren lands..

“The Roopkund Trek will be one of the best treks that I will be doing’’, I understood it the moment I reached Lohajung – The base camp. I need to pen down the journey henceforth and let my thoughts out with the best sorcery of words while my mind is still wandering in the Himalayas.

Ali Bugyal

Push Ups at Roopkund

Summer of 2017 we decided to head towards the mighty Himalayas. The planning for the same had begun nearly 6 months prior to the commencement of the trip with all sorts of booking done in order to get maximum discounts in every possible way.

The destination was selected to be the Roopkund lake, a frozen lake home to hundreds of skeleton remains of man and beast in the higher reaches of the Himalayas (5029 m above sea level). With the mention of skeletons, one gets a scary feeling, but this place is far from it.The total trek requires 6 days on foot. Being our first high altitude trek we had decided to go with experienced people hence booked our trip with Bikat adventures.The lake is not just a trekker's paradise but a sacred place for the locals since, the "Nanda Devi Rajjat" which takes place every 12 years crosses this lake too and people stop here to worship.

Before Didna Village

Push Ups at Roopkund

DAY 1

Haldwani to Lohajung

Haldwani is a small and beautiful town located in the enchanting district of Nainital, Uttrakhand. We were a group of 4 trekkers. We boarded the bus from Anand Vihar bus terminal at 10:30 pm and reached around 5.00 in the morning.

Bikat adventures arranged to pick up vehicles from Haldwani Bus station to Lohajung, the expense to be shared among trekkers. The road trip from Haldwani to Lohajung defined the surreal beauty of Uttrakhand, untouched by urban manifestation. One after another, we could not take our eyes off the breathtaking view. Mountains on one side and the other side dominating the picturesque view of a flowing river, we gasped every encounter with nature.The 8 to 9 hours of an ongoing journey was just the appetizer being served before the main course.We crossed some beautiful places like Bhimtal, Almora, Kausani and stopped at several places, like the very famous Kainchi Dham.

Kainchi Dham

Push Ups at Roopkund

En Route Lohajung

Push Ups at Roopkund

We reached Lohajung at around 5.30 pm to be greeted by Mr. Praveen Dahiya– our trek leader. After registration and other formalities, we had some time to explore the place. The view of the mountains, fog kissing us and light breeze whispering slowly froze the moment.The room was spacious, comfortable and the meal was just amazing. After few sessions of instructions and introductions, we moved to our rooms and ended our Day 1. It’s only Day 1 and I have so much more to share.cool

Day 2

Lohajung to Tolpaani(Camp Site 1)

This was our first day of the trek, we woke up at around 5:30 am and got our morning tea at 6:00. We had our shower(no shower after this till we returnedwink), packed our bags and were ready for breakfast in no time. After breakfast, we gathered details of the trek from our leader and geared up for our impeccable journey

We started from Lohajung at around 8:00 am. The journey was of about 11 km's and supposedly took around 6-7 hrs. The route was slightly difficult, but when you see the trees and the river flowing, nothing felt impossible. We stopped for our lunch at Didna village and resumed our journey to the first campsite.

 

En route Tolpaani

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

With our experienced trek leader

Push Ups at Roopkund

We reached campsite by 3:00 pm and were welcomed by some light rain showers.the tents were set up by our experienced team before our arrival., we kept our bags in the dining tents where we were supposed to have our breakfast, lunch, etc. for the whole trip. We did some stretching exercises with our trek leader. These exercises are an important part of the trek since  these prevent muscles cramps. After the rain stopped we went for some sight seeing and enjoyed a game of Frisbee courtesy out trek leader.

our camps at tolpaani

Push Ups at Roopkund

After rain at Tolpaani

Push Ups at Roopkund

We were introduced to our tents and sleeping bags that we were gonna sleep in. Our trek leader explained how to pack our sleeping bags every morning, the most difficult thing you'll do in the whole trek,tongue-out. The night sky was full of stars and it was amazingly soothing after our very long Day1 . We were in our tents by 9  and dozed off quite quickly after all some rest was definitely required for the  Adventures to come.

Day 3 

Tolpaani to Bedni Bugyal via Ali Bugyal

We were all up at 5:30 am to an amazingly clear blue sky amidst the lush green forest, I still remember the goose bumps we got when we saw that view. Our breakfast was ready by 7:00, but before that, we had a small yoga session and some breathing exercises. We were ready for our second day of a trek to Bedni Bugyal via Ali Bugyal.

It was a beautiful forest trail and an easy climb of around 5 km to Ali Bugyal, Asia’s largest and most gorgeous meadows. We stopped midway and joined some children for a game of cricket(almost at 10000 feet). We bid farewell to our cricket partners and continued our journey to Ali Bugyal.

 

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

The forest trail started ending and nature started unveiling its big surprise for us, the velvet like meadows, I swear I haven't seen such as vast and amazing Meadows as of Ali Bugyal. It felt like a carpet of grass had been laid with small flowers, fog sailing along and cloud being the partner in crime. We climbed to the top of Ali Bugyal, spent some time there in complete bliss before descending for next camp site – Bedni Bugyal.

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

It was an easy downhill and uphill trek across the vast meadows, it was breathtaking and appealing both at the same time. I realized that the perfect views in the postcards actually existed midst the Mighty Himalayas.Bedni Bugyal is a hidden wonder of the world spread in acres of meadows. Fresh Breeze was blowing when we reached Bedni which was so pure and pristine that we forgot all our tiredness and played cricket for around 2hrs that day at 11000ft.

 

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

Day 4

Bedni Bugyal to Patar Nauchani

The morning was really cold, you can't even think of washing your face. We saw magnificent views of Trishul, Chaukhamba, Neelkanth and other peaks in the morning.The climb to Patar Nachauni was a comparatively easy climb of just 4 km.

 

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

Patar Nachauni welcomed us with a foggy and a windy day. the locals said that winds are so strong that you have to sometimes hold our tents. But we were lucky enough not to experience strong winds that day, but it was cold even though the sun was shining brightly up in the sky.The oxygen thinning was catching up with us, in order to avoid AMS, we were staying hydrated and drinking at least 5 liters of water each day. A trick suggested by our trek leader.

 Patar Nachauni was a beautiful campsite with lots to explore, there were stone huts made by local people down the meadows.The night was cold and you cannot sleep until you don’t have a very good sleeping bag and tent.

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

Day 5

Patar Nachauni to Bhagwabhasa

Now comes the hard part of the trek, the oxygen is thin and you need to do steep ascend. The trail was amazing, but you need to catch your breath after every 5-10 mins of walking. The sun was also shining real hard on all of us which was making the climb really hard. We reached the Kelva Vinayak temple after 2 hours of tiring ascend and the weather started changing again with some fog and winds. We had some tea here and continued our journey to Bhagwabhasa.

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

The Ghoda Lotani point is the last point for the meadows after which you will just see the barren lands and the rocks. But, the view still remained a scintillating one with the fog playing hide and seek. After Kalu Vinayak, you will get the clear view of the climb which you have to do the next day.

I must say that we had an amazing kitchen staff throughout our trek, and they all prepared delicious food throughout our trek.We had an early dinner that day since we needed to get up early for the summit, to avoid the rush of other trekkers. After the fulfilling meal, the blanket of fog enveloped the tents and we went fast asleep.

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

Day 6

Bhagwabhasa to Roopkund to Bedni Bugyal

We woke up at 2:00 AM and had some tea and biscuits before we start our trek to Roopkund and Junargali. We started at 3:00 AM with half moon shining on the mighty Trishul and other peaks it was just a magnificent view.

We had some other trekkers who joined us early in the morning. All of us were carrying our torches since the route was all rocky and you need to have good light in order to move. We had some difficulty since there were some patches which had slippery ice.

 

Push Ups at Roopkund

Finally, we reached Roopkund at 5:30 AM after a dangerous and steep ascend, but the job was half done. we had to reach Junargali which was another 20 minutes of steep climb much more dangerous than the one we had just completed, so were told to put on our mini spikes

We reached Junargali and this was the moment of pride for all of us we congratulated each other for achieving what we were dreaming of past 6 months., I could not take my eyes off it  I could not hold my joy and emotions, I was spellbound and speechless.

 We climbed down after satisfying our eyes with the sight of the Mighty Trishul peak and the surrounding. We reached Roopkund in no time since we had a small slide ride back to it.

Now was the moment which was at the back of my mind for 6 months and I have been keeping myself fit for so long to do Push Ups at the Roopkund lake some 15000 feet above sea level.

It wasn't just me but my friend Rahul also did those Push Ups. It was a moment of joy for both of us. We left Roopkund after about 30 minutes and returned to Bhagwabhasa

We returned to Bhagwabhasa by 9:30 AM and after having our breakfast left for Bedni Bugyal where we were supposed to camp for the last time. We reached Bedni Bugyal in the afternoon and followed the heaviest downpour of our trek. Luckily, all of us reached the campsite in time and no one was stuck in that downpour. It continued for around 2- 3 hrs and the weather started to clear after that.

It was our last day at Bedni Bugyal and what nature gave us back as a gift was some amazing views during the sunset.It was really a remarkable moment for all of us.

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

We returned to Bhagwabhasa by 9:30 AM and after having our breakfast left for Bedni Bugyal where we were supposed to camp for the last time. We reached Bedni Bugyal by 2:30 in the afternoon and followed the heaviest downpour of our trek. Luckily, all of us reached the campsite in time and no one was stuck in that downpour. it continued for around 2- 3 hrs and the weather started to clear after that.

It was our last day at Bedni Bugyal and what nature gave us back as a gift was some amazing views during the sunset.It was really a remarkable moment for all of us.

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

Push Ups at Roopkund

Last Day

Bedni Bugyal to Wan to Lohajung

Finally, the day had arrived when we have to bid farewell to the marvelous Peaks, meadows, and jungle. It was our last day of the trek and were suppose to return to Wan a small village and then take a ride back to Lohajung.

It was a very steep descent which we have to do and we followed most of the shortcuts and reached Neelganga river in no time.

We were to have our lunch here and then continue with our journey to Wan.

Push Ups at Roopkund

We reached Wan and took a Sumo ride back to our Guest house at Lohajung. Seeing the roads and vehicles after 5 days was also an amazing experience.

We were happy that we would be going back to the comfort of our beds, but at the same time were unhappy since we were leaving such a beautiful place. So it was kind of mixed emotions for each one of us.

We reached Lohajung in the evening and everyone was happy to successfully complete the trek. We bid farewell to the members of bikat adventures.

We left at 8:00 AM the next day for Haldwani with our trek leader who had to board the train from Kathgodam. We bid him farewell at Kathgodam and left for Haldwani.

Lastly, for all my fellow trekkers, I loved every bit of your companionship. Cheers to life.

"Good Byes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I'll miss you. Until we meet again.wink"

I would like to thank all who have helped me in writing this blog. It would have been nothing without all the help.

Push Ups at Roopkund

Rachit Joshi

I'm a traveler of both time and space Read more

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