Finally, the day has come and I am all set for leaving for Kuari Pass trek along with 5 friends. I have always been mesmerized by the scenic beauty of Himalayas. We left for Haridwar in the afternoon as we wanted to attend the Aarti at Ganges in the evening since we never had the chance to attend the Aarti. Haridwar is around 4-5 hours drive from Delhi. We reached Haridwar and were waiting keenly for the Aarti and finally the Aarti started. The Chants and the view gave us the much wanted peace before the trip. We arranged for our own stay as it was not a part of the itinerary that was provided by Wanderers. We stayed at a small hotel near the ghat.
Early in the morning we met the Wanderers Team at the meeting point who were already present there before our arrival. After introducing ourselves and quickly settling our bags in the tempo traveler along with other trekkers, we left for Joshimath. This was going to one of our longest drive which was around 8-9 hours. After travelling for around 2 hours we stopped to have breakfast, mid-way. One thing that I personally liked was about the guide Jai that he was constantly looking after us whether we were served with the breakfast properly or not. After having Breakfast we started again towards our destination. Since we were excited about the Trek, we started to ask questions about trek - how it will be? Challenges? and if we were well equipped or not? Even though all the details were shared with us earlier by Wanderes but you can understand about the enthusiasm and the anxiety. Jai shared his experience about the trek, the scenic view of Nanda Devi, Chitrakantha Peak, Chaukhamba, Oak and Rhododendron Forest, local life that we will experience on our way. He told us about the weather, that it keeps changing. As per the present weather conditions that he checked with one of the team member who was based at Joshimath it was going to snow heavily and it boosted our excitement to a different level. We were well informed about the equipments, what we should avoid doing on the Trek that might be dangerous for ourselves and the detailed course of trek that will be doing. The conversation was so interesting that the time passed so quickly that we stopped for Lunch. We had freshly prepared food in a Hotel and rested for 10-15 mins walking here and there, chit chatting with the Locals, capturing the beautiful mountains, the rivers. Finally we left again and reached Joshimath around 5 in the evening and the Wanderers team was there to welcome us. We checked in to our rooms and refreshed ourselves.
The view from the balcony was astonishing with the mountains and waterfall as the background. After that we all gathered at the roof where there was an arrangement of bonfire, music and snacks. The winds were blowing at a high speed and it was very cold and the bonfire started we all felt relaxed and enjoyed the music with freshly cooked Snacks followed by dinner. We went to sleep ear;y as we had to start early in the morning next day.
Next day we got ready by 6 am and had our breakfast and were ready to leave. Suddenly one of our friends found that he forgot his shoes and Trekking pole. But again the team helped us a lot. Within half an hour they got the shoes arranged for him and we left quickly towards the village Dhak the starting point of our Trek. I must tell you it was very cold. After a drive of around 1.5 hours we finally reached Dhak and started ascending on the Trek with the scenic view of mountains. In the mid way one of our friend started to have Altitude sickness and was not able to trek further. The team took care of him and 2 of the guides stayed with him and rest of us moved forward. After an hour we took a stop but in between Jai was in regular contact with the Guides looking after our friend as Wanderers team carry the First aid kit and all medicines along with them also. They were having Walkie-Talkies and finally Jai told us that our friend is now feeling ok and they have started moving further. By 4 in the evening we were at our base camp Chitrakantha. Our Tents were all set as the Wanderers team were already present there and after taking some rest and settling ourselves we were then served with piping hot lunch.
We sat watching the beautiful view of Mt Dronagiri and gathered some wood for bonfire. By the time we lit the fire it started snowing and as the time passed it gradually increased and we were under heavy snowfall. We all gathered at the dining area which was big tent for dinner and were guided what we need to do in the night as it was snowing.
Next day when we woke up the sky was clear and the sun was shining. We got ready and had our breakfast and as guided by our guides we did not over eat as it could create trouble on the way. We left around 8 in the morning for Tali top passing in and out through meadows, alpine forest making our way to the top. This was the view that we were waiting for. Mesmerizing to say the least. Finally around 1 pm having many stops in between we reached Tali top. We had the amazing view of Nana Devi, Dronagiri and Pangarchulla. We had our packed lunch which we were given while leaving the base camp. After Capturing all the beauty of the nature that we could, it was time for us to descend down to our base camp. We made our way through dense Alpine forest and reached to our base camp before the sunset. We were served with hot soup and we sat watching the sunset behind the Dronagiri capturing the moment with our eyes as well as camera.
The day was quiet without any snowfall and no winds blowing but suddenly as it started getting dark again the snowfall started with winds blowing very fast. Our guide told that as tomorrow the Trek will be difficult and will be on much high altitude it will on depend on the weather condition. We all were praying that the weather condition improves and all remains good so that we can make it to the base of pangarchulla summit.
We all gathered at the dining area which was big tent for dinner.
We all were woken up early in the morning by Jai to be ready as the weather conditions were good and it was going to be a long trek today. The Wanderers team wanted to make sure that we leave on time so that we could make it to the summit without any difficulties. We had our breakfast and were handed over with our food packs for lunch. We started ascending towards the Kauri top through alpine forest and snow filled patches. After a long trek which was steep in nature and with gushing winds and having stopped in between for lunch, accompanied by several other stops in the midway we finally made it to the Kauri Top and Pangarchulla summit. There was a slow snowfall but the phenomenal view of Nanda towering, took all the tiredness away. We rested for some time and took some pictures and made it our way back to our base camp.
We woke up around 7am and were ready by 8.00 am after having breakfast. We thanked the Wanderers team present there specially their chef Vicky who throughout our stay served with very good food and helpers too.
Finally we started descending and reached the point from where we started our trek. After that we took the cabs to Tapovan, which is a natural hot spring. I can’t describe the feeling as soon as we went in the pond of hot water we felt extremely relaxed. We spent an hour there and finally we left for Joshimath and after reaching Joshimath we again checked into our rooms and relaxed for a while. We had the bonfire, snacks, a couple of drinks and dinner and went to sleep.
Finally our Journey was coming to an end and after having breakfast erly in the morning we left for Hardiwar. We had our lunch in midway and reached Hardiwar. We thanked the Driver, our Guide Jai and the Wanderers team for making our trip so beautiful and memorable.