Bali Pass Trek Highlights
Someone, somewhere in the Himalayas is witnessing this view right now.
Or is about to spot the galaxy just outside their tents.
This could be you, standing right there, staring in awe at the beautiful mess nature surrounds you with up in the mountains. Nothing beats the views you get in the wilderness.
I am sure the minute you mention Bali Pass Trek to anyone their first reaction would be “What on earth is Bali Pass? Where is it? We’ve never heard of it. Why don’t you go on a well-known trek like xyz etc.?” This was the reaction all trekkers in our batch had received, and thankfully they ignored what people had to say and were brave enough to venture into unexplored territory.
What I knew about Bali Pass was that it is a difficult trek, the descent from the pass is quite steep and dangerous and that there is a steep ridgeline you need to walk on. I’d never stepped on a ridgeline before, so I was happy to head here. But Oh-My-God, the ridgeline was just one of tiny aspects of the trek, there were so many other wonders on the trek we fell in love with. Bali Pass is such a badass trek and it absolutely blew our freakin brains off.
Here are all the reasons that make this trek super badass.
1. A lake in the middle of nowhere- Ruinsara Tal:
Imagine walking for hours in lush green meadows, crossing over rivers, being surrounded by mountains on all sides, and stumbling across a beautiful lake. And camping right next to it. We were all giddy the minute we reached the campsite, we didn’t even have the patience to stretch our tired muscles, all we wanted to do was to explore the surroundings, sit by the lake, watch the sunset and take loads of pictures. Very few Himalayan treks allow you to camp next to a lake, and that made this campsite even more special.
2. Acclimatization walk to heavenland:
Even our acclimatization walks took us to heaven and back. None of us wanted to walk further after reaching Ruinsara Tal and we kept trying to convince our trek leaders that we were all well acclimatized for this trek, but they knew better and took us for a walk anyway. And the minute we walked further up, we didn’t want to come back down. It was a walk in the clouds. It seemed like a place dreams are made of. So, we sat there awhile and took it all in.
3. The ridgeline and all the glory of walking on the edge of life:
One of the exciting aspects of the trek is walking on the ridgeline en-route to the base camp. I had always associated ridgelines to peaks, but now I know that you don’t necessarily just walk on ridges on top of high peaks. As glorious as it is, it is also the one place where your effort as a team counts. Ridgelines can be dangerous, as you have a few hundred meters drop on both sides, so you need to walk in a single file, watching each other’s step and moving forward as one unit.
You’ll also have to walk on the ridgeline before reaching the pass, we didn’t get clear weather, otherwise we would have also had a chance to see all the peaks surrounding us from the pass.
But no complaints there, we loved what we got to see.
4. The challenge of Bali Pass:
I call this trek badass for a reason, not just because of the badass views you get, but also the hardcore challenges you gotta face. Crossing over Bali pass was one of the scariest and also the most scenic day of the trek. We weren’t blessed with good weather the day we had to ascend the pass, but we were all brave and headed out anyway. We were greeted with snow first thing in the morning, which just made everything even more challenging. We could see huge crevasses just 1 km away from us but thankfully there were none on the route we were walking on. It was 5 AM, and we kept hoping the sun would come up any moment and warm us up. But again, expecting perfection up in the mountains is kinda unfair. You get what you get, and you have to deal with it.
The ascend is easier, it should take you about 2 hours to reach the pass. But, what’s super scary is the descend, it’s extremely steep, and if there is fog, you can barely see the route you need to take to get down from the pass. The minute our trek leaders led the way and found the best route to descend given the fog, we all shook our heads in disbelief. But we did descend, and safely too, there was no turning back. The challenging weather, the altitude, and the steepness made it feel like a big achievement. You’ll come back with your heart tightly clenched inside your fists, feeling stronger and braver than ever. This trek will make you work hard, only brave hearts get to cross the pass. So, a hifive to all the trekkers who’ve done this trek. Bravo!
5. The super scenic descend to lower Damini:
After crossing the pass, it’s descend all the way, for about 4500 feet. But the route is extremely scenic. If the ground is snow covered, getting down is super easy because you can just glissade on snow on a few patches. However, if there is no snow, you’ll have to walk all the way and this is a walk you are bound to enjoy. We were walking above the clouds at this point, and although we were exhausted from walking, the views lifted our spirits.
People who've been walking for 10 hours don't usually look this this ;)
6. Hot springs and Yamunotri temple:
On our last day of the trek, we went all the way to Yamunotri and immersed our sore muscles in the hot springs there. That for us was the perfect way to end the trek. Funnily enough, the water is said to be hot enough to cook rice and potatoes, that is what the locals told us, and one of the hot tubs actually did have super hot water, so a word of caution. One of our religious Finish trekker was super delighted to be able to visit the Yamunotri temple too. So, there is something for everyone there.
Yamunotri is quite a sacred place in Hinduism, so I dug some information out for the religious or curious knuckleheads out there. In Hindu mythology, Yamuna was the daughter of the God of Sun ‘Surya’ and Yamunotri temple is dedicated to her. Believers from all over country trek for a day to visit the temple and bathe in the river. It is believed that bathing in the river kinda washes away all your sins and secures your place in heaven.
7. And lastly, the doses of beauty you get along the way makes it a worthy trek.
Mesmerizing view of the Swargrohini Peak
The world is filled with endless beauty, be brave enough to walk on the wild side and uncover something new. Virgin treks are way more exciting than well discovered and sort of civilized treks. You’ll have the mountains all to yourself and for a few days, you’ll enjoy the music the wilderness offers that very few would have heard before you.
Cheers to all those who live for the love for the mountains. Cheers to Bali Pass Trek.