A romp in the snow: Rupin Pass Trek

by Kavya G N


Posted on 12th September, 2015


Pristine White Snow

Travelling has always been a joy.But it’s merrier and becomes one of the cherished moments when you do it with your friends.The first time I saw Himalayas it left me spellbound.I wanted to see more and made a secret promise that I would visit it often and hopefully soon.Around July,I found myself on the plane heading towards another adventure filled with apprehensions.The recent earthquake seemed to be damping our excitement and we crossed our fingers hoping for the best.As luck favored the trek indeed turned to be one hell of an experience.

Day 1 – Dhaula

After a day of tremulous bumpy ride we reached the base camp Dhaula. It’s a eye pleasing camp-site beside Rupin river amidst dense forest. All the weariness was forgotten and the only thing predominated was a sense of tranquility which one always feels when in Himalayas.By now my subconscious had already kicked in drawing a comparison between KGL and Rupin pass. This part of Himalayas was so different yet alluring. Once the greetings were exchanged with the fellow trekkers, we slipped into our sleeping bags all gearing up for the next day.

Rupin River
Rupin River


Day 2 – Dhaula to Seva

The trek got over even before before the day began.A pleasant walk alongside the Rupin river through the beautiful tiny remote villages we reached Seva.The day was spent lazily exploring with the camera. It ended with staring at beautiful sunset.

Alluring Himalayas
Alluring Views


Day 3 – Seva to Jiskun

It was a repeat of the previous day with a longer duration.We were slowly gaining altitude but the trek was easy enough so far. I was a little disappointed as nothing was challenging about the terrain(I was proved horribly wrong later!) but nonetheless enjoyed the nature. We reached Jiskun and this was by far the most beautiful home stay I have ever been to. We spent rest of the day roaming the village and getting a sneak peak into the lifestyle of the tough mountain life people led. The local noodles and momos along with a heavy dinner sent us to sleep in no time.

Beautiful Stream Himalayas
Nature!

Cute Kids in Jiskun
Cute little kids at Jiskun


Day 4 – Jiskun to Udaknal

This is the day when the trek starts getting better and surprises at each turn.The trek starts with a small climb which takes us to Jaka,the hanging village.From the distance when viewed the houses here seem to be hanging over the edge and hence it the name, the hanging village. After relishing over maggi (I guess this was the last time I ate maggi) we set off to our destination. We were greeted by slight showers as we passed through the damp pine forest and the air grew chilly as the wind began to blow. Walking over the snow bridges and through the forest of moderate terrain with rhododendrons in sight we reached the campsite set amidst the forests.

My first trek would not have been as memorable as it turned out to be if it was not with Indiahikes. It was one of our friend’s birthday and the kitchen staff baked him a wonderful cake.These guys go beyond the call of duty to make our trek not just comfortable and safe but memorable too.I am sure my friend will not forget this heartfelt gesture for years to come.

Cute Cake Decoration
I never knew you could use tomatoes and capsicums to decorate a cake!


Day 5 – Udaknal to Dhanras

Rupin pass is like a movie which starts slow and then when you are about to conclude it’s boring it punches you right in the stomach and you find yourself gripping by the edge of the seat. The greenery bid us goodbye and the snow-clad mountains started appearing. We trekked through the immense snow patches falling and enjoying all the way up to Dhanras. Dhanras/Lower Waterfall is a breathtaking campsite giving a majestic view of Rupin pass and Sangla valley. Being surrounded by huge snow-clad mountains away from the civilization transported us to a different world altogether.I experienced my first snowfall and got excited like a kid. The nights began to be unbearably cold and sent chill down the spine and I heard myself mumble – Brace yourself !!Winter is coming ( GOT reference)

Himalayas Trek Tents
As beautiful as it can get

Treking Shoes
Best shoes ever


Day 6 – Dhanras to Upper Waterfall

We were given micro spikes and I felt adventurous wearing them.The fresh snowfall made it difficult to get a firm grip and many fell in trying to gain balance.We started the climb slowly one behind the other with cautious optimism. The snow kept piling up as the altitude increased damping our pace. The harsh sun made it impossible to see anything with the naked eye. After our maiden snow trek that lasted for about four hours,we reached the Upper Waterfall. The Upper Waterfall is a beauty in its own regard.How wrong I was to think one needs colors to paint a pretty picture?! Snow spread out as far as your eyes could reach and the only color was white in its purest form.Yet the whole scenery was majestically beautiful commanding respect. The sun was harsh to spend rest of the day and we rested inside the tents gearing for the BIG DAY.

Himalayas Snow Capped
Overwhelmed!

Pristine White Snow
Pristine white...


Day 7 – Upper Waterfall to Rupin pass

Today was a significant day. We were about to trek Rupin pass and also trek 16 km in a stretch! I was feeling uneasy because of altitude and decided to skip breakfast. As the trek started with steep ascent leaving us breathless.After a quick rest we proceeded further.The air grew thinner and even a mere two steps seemed tiring.The accurate description I can think of Rupin pass is a right angle with lots of snow.The pass took about an hour to climb and it was foggy for anything to see. Finally at 15,350 ft, it literally felt at top of the world.

Rupin Pass Trek
Get Set Go!

Trekking Rest
Out of breath...

Although the toughest part was over, a good amount of trek was ahead of us.We dragged our tired bodies across the snow hoping to see the campsite soon.The stunt of gliding rapidly on the snow and covering a kilometer in less than a minute was enthralling.Innumerable descents followed by walk through the meadows (Ah!Greenery!!) bought us to serene campsite Ronti Gad.

Campsite Himalayas
Happiness is 15,350 ft.


Day 8 – Ronti Gad to Sangla

As we started out on the last day the similar feeling lingered.The delight of going back home mingled with the sadness of a great adventure coming to an end. We passed through the beautiful green landscapes yet again. The spectacular view of Kinnar Kailash stopped us in our tracks.It would take an effort to get used to the concrete jungle after being accustomed to spectacular nature for a week. This would be harder than the trek.

Kinnar Kailash
Picturesque Kinnar


Tips Here are a few helpful personal pointers for necessary precautions and risks:
  • Think prior if you can carry the backpack. The right attitude of a trek is to carry the backpack on your own but if you doubt your ability it is best you offload it since it might dampen your pace and enthusiasm.
  • Drink lots of water (water + ORS) as often as you can. Do not allow yourself to be dehydrated. A few sips every 10-15 minutes is helpful.
  • Do not compromise on the shoes. Those forclaz shoes are your knight in armor for the changing terrain. I almost kissed them once the trek was done.
  • Use the trek pole. No matter how fit you are trekking for 8 hours a day is tiring. Trek pole reduces your effort by 30%.
  • Lastly, this is not among the easy treks and prepare yourself for it.

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