The trails of Rupin Pass are notorious for their ever-changing beauty, but what does that mean? Here's a glimpse into our top ten #TrailTreasures that reveal themselves to you during this once-in-a-lifetime adventure:
1. Two homestays in rural Himalayan villages
The Rupin Pass trail winds itself up into two traditional Himalayan villages, Sewa and Jhaka, where you will stay, for a night each. Both offer a glimpse into true Himalayan village life that you will never find anywhere else. Take a walk through the local apple orchards and crop fields surrounding Sewa. In Jhaka, aptly named “the hanging village” for the way it seems to climb the mountain itself, take a moment to visit the people there. They will have stories passed down from their great-grandparents to share with you.
2. Traditional Shiv temple in the village of Sewa
Truly a sight to behold. This ancient Shiv temple opens every 12 years to welcome a local visiting God.
3. A raging, high-altitude waterfall
It’s not every day you get to stand at the foot of a thundering 100-meter waterfall at 3,500 meters from sea-level.
4. Blooming valleys of rhododendron flowers
Pink, white, purple- hundreds of thousands of these blooms cover the valley of Saruwas Thatch, welcoming you to your hard-earned camp for the night.
5. Snow. Lots of snow.
Your winter wonderland awaits. Have a snowball fight, build an epic snow fort or make a snow angel - all while learning the techniques behind snow craft - Arresting the fall, glissading, ascending & descending on snow and more.
6. The occasional pooja at the altar on the top of Rupin Pass
Several small altars and makeshift rock temples are perched atop the climb to Rupin Pass itself amongst fluttering prayer flags. Oftentimes, trek leaders and porters will take part in a pooja, giving thanks for safely reaching the pass, sharing pieces of coconut as prasad and placing colorful tikkas on each other’s foreheads.
7. Experiencing local tastes and culture
The villages you pass through are rich in unique agriculture. You will meet many shepherds and get lost in their herds of sheep (maybe even make a new friend). Sometimes, if you are lucky, you will be offered the chance to try a homemade lassi from fresh dahi made with cow’s milk or roasted Fiddlehead ferns as your sabzi at dinner.
8. Sightings of abandoned ruins along the trail
Use your imagination to decide what stories lie in these crumbled stones.
9. River crossings with pinewood bridges
Brave the raging river under your feet with the help of some sturdy pine.
10. Striking panoramic views of snow capped Himalayan peaks
This one, you just have to see for yourself.