jeudi 17 octobre 2013

Trek at Bada Bhangal: Part 1: Kothi Khor (2300m) - Thamsar Pass (4800m) - Bada Bhangal (3000m) // English version

//Good, nice, cute, pure English version below//

You thought to get ride of me, sending me in India for one year exchange??(Epic) Fail! I'm still alive and also have some stories to tell! Because you read this article in English I suppose this time we will speak about Himalaya instead of Alpes.

With the ''Sports and Adventure'' Club of IIT Kanpur, we went for a one week trek in Himachal Pradesh, near the Nepal border. We will face two pass, one at 4800m high and the other at 4200m high.

As all Indian story, it begins with a long long travel by train and then a long long travel by bus. Nothing so interesting, instead that I met my fellows for the first time. I'm the only ''Gora'' (white people), Bakchot!
In the bus


After a  too long journey on heveanly cahotic roads, we finally reach our departure place: Kohti Khor. From there, we follow the bottom of a valley until the shepherd's hamlet of Palachak. We onyl meet few local people that go down the valley with their caravan and some ''Elvis Presley''/punk goat with fancy hair styles.

Kothi Khor
Elvis is alive

At the villlage's entrance we meet... this:
Welcoming committee
 Call the animal protection! But after some discussion with the shepherds, they tell us that it isn't a strange ritual to avoid foreigners, but only a way to get ride of crows. They were too many so they killed one to make ''an example'' and use it as sarecrow... and it works! And when you know how a crow can spoil your whole dinner, you prefer if they stay far from your plate...

We spent the evening near the stream and the night in a small hut for travelling people. Altitude make some people crazy.


We spent the night squezzed one against another, as a recently married couple, we have to wake up earlyearly and walk in until our campment at 4200m high.

Shepherd awakening
First we go up in the valley, with nice views on the stream but small slopes. We crosse some waterfall, what amaze some of my fellows (I think because waterfall are very rare in Ganga plain)

Vue sur le fond de vallée, on vient de loin!
The ground becomes more and more steep. Clouds are coming on us, everything is withe. Only the path guide us, but suddenly we reach the first (and more or less only one) snows.

A porter explains to Himanshu the rest of the way

Crack on the snow
Lonely trekker ( and late! :p )
We finally reahc the camp. This time we will have to build the tent and put warm clothes. We can fill the lack of oxygen. I also meet some new friends when I rmove my ''mountain convers'', shoes bought only 2 dollars and shitty as hell (Some pamphlet about them will come later ).

Awake before the sunrise, departure at first sunlights. We have to reach the Thamsar Pass before noon to avoid being trapped by the bad weather. The slopes is at the steepest, the progress is hard and I'm know appreciate to get up at 5h30 everyday for one month to get conditionned.

The landscape is more and more rocky as we rise.

 We can see the summit! Only few more effort! Hourra, we are on the top, we're ont the top, we're... at 1h30 of the top. Probably one of the more beautiful hill syndrome of my life.

Hill syndrome: Syndrome found in mountain environnements, in which you thnk you will reach the top on the next hill but you discover with a non hidden joy that the top is one hill farther, higher, *******er that the one you just climb.

Hopefully, we can have some rest, fill our bottles and eat some aloo paratha near a small lake. We also meet a young sheep that the guide capture. He will take care of it until Bada Bhangal.

We rise 100 more meters in rocks and finally reach the Pass (the good one). Choked shouts of joy, difficult laughs, shortened dances of victory: yes, we are at 4800m, that beats.

Imanshu and Ajeet at top

Winners on the top (and an ice axe)
The wind chase us from the top and we begin a long and endless descent until the last camp before Bada Bhangal. Small walk on a glacier, some learn to ski, others to make sled (againt their will).

View on the  Pass (on the right ),still rocky
View on the camp
 I finally reach the camp. The height gave me some headache and I go to sleep. Some pills later, I'm going better and  finally join my fellows.

Other people are at the camp: whites! (a bunch of them). Nevertheless, after some problem with their guide (such an ass...), we won't have any contcat with them, even if they often star at me, probably asking themself what a white man is doing in the middle of all these indian boys.

The ''non meeting'' feels me quiet strange. The way the ''tourists'' where travelling in such a remote place (nothing to do with the Annapurna trek for exemple) surprise me. I was expecting to find some rough bearded man, closer to bear than human, wearing almost all their stuff by their own with only one or two porter, not people with small cutte 40 liters bags and 12 horses to wear their stuff. Moreover, we met two other trekking women (20L bags, 8 porters) that take a dangerous goat path just to avoid saying me ''hello'' :s. But I loove trekking women, stop running away from me! In conclusion, I was expecting to find something more ''warm'' in this kind of place and was quiet disappointed on this way.

Good dinner with my friends, good night and the next day small (but painful, because of the stony road and this ****y shoes) walk to Bada Bhangal. We camp near the village school, some play football with the kids, the chief speak with us.

I leave you in picture and see you soon for the second part of the trek, full of unforeseen, of sweat and great moments.

View on Shiva's (or Vishnu) homr on the right (snow)
Sameer,happy to carry his big backpack
Bada Bhangal in the bottom of the valley

Bada Bhangal

Village school

// Good English version//

It was a nice trek!

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