Posts for Adventures Category

From The Civilization To the Peaceful Mountains: Mount Rudugaira Expedition

Adventures, Mountaineering - Shubham Varshney - November 17, 2019

Mount Rudugaira Expedition

The air was as breezy as it could be, the falling sunshine having all the warmth that it could have, and the mountains are all laden with snow that they could be. That’s what the things I could easily capture while sitting atop on the Mountain called Rudugaira. And this is what I can able to get the most from my recent Mount Rudugaira Expedition.

Shubham at Mount Rudugaira

After the successful completion of Bali Pass Trek in May this year, our team of trekkers decided to push our limits furthermore to the title Mountaineers. So, we planned an expedition that can put us aside from the list of trekkers and can give us a thrill of mountaineering.

At First Thanks Giving

Before I move on to our story of this impeccable expedition, Summit on Mount Rudugaira, I would like to give a special thanks to Mayor of Agra – Mr Naveen Jain, Director of Rooprani Health Cares – Mr Abhinav Chaturvedi, and Founder of India Interactive – Mr Manu Dutt. They have supported us mentally and financially for the successful summit.

Also, there are many other supporters like our family members and closed ones. Their surmounting blessings and warm wishes made this expedition a really great one and the most amazing one. On behalf of the team, I would like to thank all those our well-wishers.

A Little about Mount Rudugaira

Mount Rudugaira is the IMF registered peak, altitude 5819 meters. This mountain is situated in the Rudu Valley of Uttrakhand near the Gangotri Peaks (first and second). Recently, IMF (Indian Mountaineering Foundation) opened this peak for the trekkers who want to upgrade themselves to Mountaineers. And for them, IMF gave it the name Mount Rudugaira Expedition.

mount rudugaira expedition

Basically, Mount Rudugaira is situated in Rudugaira valley. A stream known as Rudra Steam is flowing in that valley and coming from many glaciers and mountains. In Sanskrit, Gaira means born out of a mountain. There is a legend that states that Lord Shiva’s incarnation Rudra, took his avatar in that valley on this particular, Mount Rudugaira.

Not much but many people have successfully summited on the peak and now we as a team, Kamal Kant, Shubham Varshney, Nishid Dixit, and Nitin Sardana, counted as the summiteers of this peak. Under the directions of our trek leader, Suman Dey, founder and Trekker at Trek and Fly Himalayas.

trekking at mOunt Rudugaira

Mount Rudugaira is surrounded by many other great Himalayan peaks like Gangotri Peaks (both first and Second), Kedarkantha Peak, Mount Jogin and also a very famous pass, Auden’s Col. From the top of the mount Rudugaira one can have a mesmerizing view of all these (if you love to stare a glance at the sky-kissing Mountains).

Our Story of Mount Rudugaira Expedition

Having a dream to the life of a mountaineer and to see what Mother Nature has for us, we left from Agra ISBT to Dehradun ISBT, on the evening of this 18 September. By 4 AM the next morning, we reached Dehradun ISBT at freshened up for our next step on this expedition. This classic journey of ours started from the very moment when we left the Agra ISBT.

Each of us four discussed the stories about the mountains, trekking, and Nature in the bus, that we have stored quite safely somewhere in our minds. Then from Dehradun ISBT, somewhere around 6 AM, Mr. Suman Dey and his team picked us in a cab and left towards the Gangotri, our last point of civilization and the starting point of our expedition.

In the middle of that, we took a halt at Uttarkashi for the Lunch and the Rationing that we about to use in the days of our expedition.

Day 1 – Gangotri – 10000 feet (20 September)

Though we have reached the Gangotri on the night of 19 September, we have decided to stay in this beautiful city of River Ganga for a day. So, on this day we roamed and explored all the pin-points of this place like the very famous and one of the most religious Hindu temples, Gangotri Dham.

There was the main reason behind our stay in Gangotri and that was for Acclimatization. To start our expedition more energetically, it was very essential for us to acclimatize properly.

At first, in the morning we have visited the temple and took a holy dip in the icy waters of menacingly flowing, River Ganga. Then we have visited a very famous Ashram of a great saint, Swami Sudarananda. Devoted his life to Mother Nature. In the Ashram, there are some very nicely captured photographs. He has also written a book, Himalaya – through the lens of a Sadhu.

On the way to the Ashram, we have seen the falling of River Ganga in the Gauri Kund. Watching the river falling in that kund was really a heart pondering feeling for all of us. We sat there for some time and just heard that glorious voice created by the waters of the River.

Ganga in Gangotri

Note that I have not related the River Ganga to any superstitious beliefs and it really has a genuine reason. On the name of the religious connection of our rivers, we are just polluting them and I have discussed the whole issue in the post, Rivers in India are at Critical stage.

In the evening we have witnessed the Aarti in the Temple and by the time we reached our den, there came a twist. The weather started showing its colours that are counted as the nightmares of every trekker and mountaineer. There were some quick coming-going water droplets of rain. So, the weather in charge in the IMF advised us to have a stay for one day more in the Gangotri but just due to the lack of the days we took all the risk and decided to march in the very next morning. And called it a day.

Day 2 – From Gangotri to Nala Camp

I was crossing a three-tree lined bridge, over the Bhagirathi River, coming from the many glaciers. The clouds were at their full rage, without having a single breath they were continuously showering the heavy rain. Suman Sir, told me to cross the bridge and I covered the half and then I slipped my foot. Having shaken by Nitin Bhai, I woke up on the bed. Woof, which was a nightmare that came from our last discussion on the last night.

It was the 5’o clock ticking in the watch and I was clearly able to listen to the flowing voice of River Ganga. I moved out of the room, out of my curiosity just to check whether the weather was with us or against us. And the thing was Mountains showered all their blessings on us. We backed our belongings, had breakfast and left our last point of Civilization. The Mount Rudugaira Expedition is started from that point.

At starting, everything was easy and eye-soothing, we have enjoyed the taste of many Himalayan fruits and the most we encountered was the Himalayan berries. Around one hour later, we came at a point where we have to cross a bridge which was quite similar to that I have seen in my dream.

But having all the guts placed in one place, we crossed that bridge. After covering half the distance, we have moved up from the tree line and the path got more graveled and steeper. And tracing all the trails, somewhere around 4’o clock, we reached our first campsite, Nala Camp.

There we pitched our tents and extremely pressed by hunger, we cooked food. By all the grace of Goddess Annapurna, it was all delicious. Around our camps there were three other camps, two is Army which was on their Gangotri Peak 2 Expedition and the other one was of a lady who was on her Rudugaira Base Camp trek.

In the night, we all, army officers, we (whole team and the porters), and that lady assembled by the corner of the bonfire and placed different stories of the World. And sometime later, we got back to our camps for a peaceful sleep.

Day 03 – From Nala Camp to Base Camp (height 15000 feet)

That morning was the colder one because there was no sign of Sun. The only thing that covered the whole arena was the Clouds. We all got up, done all things which were meant to be done early morning. Some practiced their usual meditation and some just went to take a look at that place.

Later, we all left Nala Camp together and started covering the trails which led us to the Base Camp. First, the path was almost the 90 degrees and we have to cover that by 1 kilometer. After that, there comes a meadow which was as beautiful as heaven. Though I have not seen heaven they used to describe heaven like this.

Mount Rudugaira Expedition

At a point we all were taking a short rest, there we got to see some people who were descending towards the Nala Camp. It was a group of some disabled boys with their two 70 above mentors. We had a talk with them and literally, found them stuff for motivation. After that, we started covering the path in order to cover the rest of the distance.

That day, we walked over 4 kilometres and reached our second campsite, mount Rudugaira Base Camp. From that place, it was easier to cast a glance at some most recognizable peaks like Gangotri one and two (both). Mount Jogin, Kedarkantha, and many others. That place was giving a feeling and that was ‘never-to-leave’.

We pitched camps and done all the things for our eateries purposes. Despite all the coldness, we all were standing out of our camps and gazing upon the sky. That was really, remarkable. For the very first time, I saw the Galaxy, Milky Way from that close. It just stole my heart and breath both.

Mostly people halt at Base Camp for one more day, so that they could easy able acclimatize. And our trek leader, Mr. Suman Dey had a short meeting and asked us, “Are we all al-right? Should we remain at Base Camp for one more day or should start summit day the next morning?” We all were energized and can’t wait for one day to summit. So we decided to leave for Summit the next morning.

Day 04 The Summit Day – 19100 feet

To reach the summit point as earlier as we could, we all got up at midnight. So, with all the measures and needful things, we started our day by taking the Lord’s name. The clock was ticking at 3 AM and it was the full stars blooming night. There was slow snowfall and the path was much graveled. On this day we have to cover all the steepness that we have ever covered in our life. It was all a 65-degree walk to the top, the summit point.

By the time, Sun got up we were at the shoulder of Mount Rudugaira. And from there we could easily able to see the summit point. On our one side, there was a huge Gangotri peak glacier. On the other side, the crevasse in that was really giving us the Goosebumps. But setting the target, we slowly covered our path.

In the middle of there came a thought that why would we have chosen this? This thought must have come into our minds. Because there was almost no oxygen, we all were dead on our feet. The arena was literally the most daunting one. But when we reached at 5818 meters (the summit point), all our tiredness, fatigue, and negative thoughts were just blown away. That moment gave all the charge that we were going to need. And gave us all the things which we are looking for in our life.

This Mount Rudugaira Expedition gave all the motivation for our life and made us think that we can do anything in our lives. This expedition ends up by making us lusting mountaineers who are on a constant quest for a new experience and conquest.

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Bali Pass – A Trek For Real Adventurers

Adventures, Treks - Shubham Varshney - June 22, 2019

Bali Pass - A real Trek

What is an adventure? Some say, it is the risk of life and some say, it is that adrenaline rush in the stomach. If you ask me, I would preferably say that an adventure is more like peeping into life without escaping life. On a recent expedition, Bali Pass Trek, I got to understand that. And I have to say that, this whole 7-days journey gave me plenty of ADVENTURE. For the very first time in my life, I got to taste that and now it’s like ‘ab to Khoon mooh lag gaya’.

My journey of this adventure starts with a thought. This May, I have completed two years of my employee-life, so I decided to quit (just the same as other bloggers). And I did that, after giving all four-round thoughts, I took that part and started a career as a FULL-TIME TRAVEL BLOGGER.

Shubham Varshney

I call myself a traveler, so I have to take that chance of never giving the ‘stability’ or ‘stick-to-the-place’ part, to my life. Being a traveler you should be always thinking about the MORE. Being a traveler you should be always chasing that adrenaline rush. And being a traveler you should be having that curious mind.

So, in order to get into all the above things, I moved out my sail from my comfort zone and sailed it in the direction of the wind. The wind is taking me closer to my dreams. And there I was at the 17,000 (approx.) feet above from the sea, at Bali Pass.

After conquering Nag Tibba at 10,000 feet my legs are just unstoppable. Where usually people say that what is that mean, climbing to the peak of a mountain and descending to the land? For them I have an answer, It’s the best way to keep ourselves focused, stayed, meaningful, fit, and more importantly, motivated. It’s the best way to keep in touch with Mother Nature.

Amarnath Yatra

Then I moved towards much famed, one of the religious treks, Amarnath Yatra at 13000 feet above the sea level. Now, this time I have stretched those number at their best, 17000. Bali Pass Trek is one of those difficult treks of India. Because above 16000 feet, the alpine section gets started. The altitude of 16000 feet or below comes under moderate treks because there the trails are even, easy access to water, and no other dangerous things.

But if you go above it like the treks Bali Pass, Pin Parvati, Goechala, Kanamo, and Everest Base Camp, all these come under the difficult ones. Because all these are above 16000 and it is obvious that the trails there are uneasy, the temperature will be in minus, air will be thin, and in result more changes to get High Altitude sickness.

Above 16000 feet, tree level must be gone, weather can get change anytime in resulting the rain/snow, could be changes of crossing a chilled river or could be a walk over a glacier (like we have done at this Bali Pass). Though I have walked over snow-ed peaks over my visit to Munsiyari, having a glacier walk is none like these small walks.

Before moving on my 7-days Alpine Trek, Bali Pass. Let me clear this first.

What is a Mountain Pass?

Wikipedia Says “A mountain pass is a navigable route through a mountain range or over a ridge. Since many of the world’s mountain ranges have presented formidable barriers to travel, passes have played a key role in trade, war, and both human and animal migration throughout Earth’s history”.

And this Bali Pass is connecting Har Ki Dun Valley to the Yamunotri Valley. We entered from the Har Ki Dun and we came out in the Yamunotri. In the first 4-days, we gained a height of 4950 meters (16240 feet exactly) and then descended to Yamunotri.

Now that Mythical Journey of Bali Pass Begins

I would like to start this trek with a song, the song which I played in the cab while reaching Taluka from Dehradun. “Safar ka hi hoke Safar ka Raha”.

The Trekkers

My journey starts from Agra, on 28th May, I and my treks mates boarded a bus which took us to the Dehradun. The sun was not up, but we all were at Dehradun ISBT (Inter State Bus Terminal). Our pickup was at 7, so we had plenty of time to get over the lag of last night.

At the given time, our trek leader and the founder of Trek and Fly Himalayas, Mountaineer Suman Dey reached and he picked up. And we started marching towards the Sankri village. It took us 8 hours in reaching the Sankri, and we had breakfast in Mussoorie. And Lunch in Nainbagh. After that, we reached Sankri, the trekking Base Camp. Because treks like Har Ki Dun, Kalindikhal trek, Kedarkantha Trek, and many others start from this village.

Reaching Taluka from Dehradun ISBT

Along the way we have chased the Yamuna River, then Supin, then Rupin and at last Tons. The scenic beauty was overwhelmed by the peaks, Bandar Poonch, Kala Naag, and that epic Swargrohini.

A View
Click from a halt

From Dehradun to Sankri, the roads are more like a long serpent. But the thing came in focus after reaching Sankri and that was, we have to change our cab, which will take us to Taluka. From Sankri, Taluka is about 12 kilometers, but the road is really worth cherishable. On my appeal, the cab driver and my trek leader allowed me to sit over the roof of the cab and there I enjoyed my lone time.

Upon reaching Taluka, we pitched our camps, cooked food and took a great sleep to get over all the tiredness.

Day 01: Taluka – Seema

We got up early in the morning and searched for some good places to poop. We packed up everything and after having breakfast we embarked on our journey to the Bali Pass.

On the first day of the trek, we have to cover 14 kilometers on those mountainous roads. On this day, we encountered many trekkers, mountaineers, and tourists, who were trekking to many other valleys and treks but except us no other one to Bali Pass.

After some time we started chasing the Supin River and crossed many mountain streams by walking over many bridges. It took us 9 hours to reach our second camp site at Seema, though it was much time in covering 14 kilometers. But all those hours were worthy for the time being.

The valleys, the mountains, and those pebbled paths, literally provided a good sense of trekking. At some point in times, I glanced at the mountains and done some daydreaming. We talked about some worldly things and reached Seema.

Osla Village
Osla Village – Are you able to see that Heaven?

Just a kilometer before Seema, I have seen a beautiful village named, Osla. This village literally got my back and it seemed like a place in HEAVEN. By this time our phones were just a camera or nothing and we clicked some beautiful photographs.

As it was an alpine trek, so we pitched our camps (two sleeping and one Kitchen) aside the Supin River and cooked food. And we called it a day.

Day 02: Seema – Rainbasera

I have read somewhere that if you want to get into a place’s life then get up early in the morning, pick the camera and get the hell out of your den. So did I. The morning was very chilly, more preferably, I would like to call it freezy. We had breakfast, packed our things and starting moving towards our next camp site at Rainbasera, which something about 7 kilometers from Seema.

All Set!!!

At this day, we left the civilization and stepped into a new world. The World which is comprises of beautiful streams falling down from the mountains, tall pine trees, and mesmerizing meadows. This was the last day at which we have seen people because for the next 4 days, we haven’t seen a single person till descending to Yamunotri.

Set some acheivable goals while having leisure (like I am doing), go on a hunt of them. Get them, you will feel elevated. After those set MORE.#travelblogger #travelrnetworkTravelr Network

Posted by Shubham Varshney on Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Honestly, our real adventure starts from this day after crossing the Devashu Bugyal. Till this beautiful meadow, everything was easy and amazing but as it is a difficult trek, so the difficulty began after crossing this Bugyal.

Bridge in Between
Bridge in Between

Perhaps, we have crossed many bridges till this second day but at one point, there is a bridge which we have to traverse down in order to move further. And the amazing part of that bridge was, it was made up of three long-TREES, getting the thing? That was the real thrill and to the honesty for the very first time in my life, I felt an adrenaline rush into my veins.

Rainbasera – The Shelter

With the mountains’ blessings, we crossed it safely and reached our campsite, Rainbasera. A beautiful hut made up of concrete. We did all the processing, from pitching the camps to cooking, there we had Hot-Lunch.

Evening On The Rocks

In the evening, I sat over a huge rock and wrote my diary. The evening was the same as I dreamed off. There flowing, one of the largest tributaries of the Yamuna, Tons River, which was making a pleasant and at the same time fearful sound. At something about 10,000 feet above, we played cards (Lakdi, Kot Piece, and many more games).

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The arena was full-fledged with the great Himalayan peaks, providing us the vistas which we can never be able to forget. We bon-fired and had dinner and we all were advised to get into the sleep early because we were in the territory of wild animals. And no one likes notorious people or late-owls (The Jungle Rules). We called it a day.

Total Walk = 21 kilometers

Day 03 Rainbasera – Ruinsara

The Morning was very chilly, chillier than the earlier ones. At 9’o clock we started our trek from our last camp site, Rainbasera. After having done all the morning processing. We have gained much height, so the tree level started going down. And some patches of Glaciers starting coming into our sight. The trail became more adventurous and dangerous too. Walking on the trails which are beside the Ruinsara River, provided us all the things which we wanted in our lives.

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Morning At Rainbasera

We have chased the Tons River, we have crossed many water streams which are beautifully falling down from the mountains. In between the walk, we have taken some major halts, so that we could settle ourselves in the environment of low oxygen.

Main Thing Of This Day

Around 2 in the afternoon, we reached Ruinsara Tal. A beautiful lake in the lap of nature. After returning from the lake to our campsite, the next phase of adventure started. In order to reach the campsite, we have to cross a bridge, but our bad luck or good luck, the bridge was broken. So, we have to cross that river by foot.

That was the lifetime experience. The fiercely flowing waters of the river were very freezy and it was that freezy, that our legs got numb when we crossed it. But, literally, that was the amazing experience of my life. After that, we reached our campsite and pitched our tents. We arranged some wood for the bonfire so that we could get some warmth.

That whole evening, we spent in watching the clouds moving over the peaks Swargrohini and Bander Poonch. I have also made a timelapse of my glance at Bander Poonch. After that, we had a pleasant stay in our tents.

Total Walk – 27 Kilometers

Day 04 Ruinsara – Odari Base Camp

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We got up early and refreshed ourselves. After that, we did some meditation and stared at that flowing Ruinsara River. We had our breakfast and moved further. Now the tree line started vanishing. We traced a trail and after some time we found ourselves on the icy path. The oxygen level is very low there, so we got trouble in making the path smoothly.

Bander Poonch
Bander Poonch Peak glittering in the morning

Somewhat about 4 kilometers from the Ruinsara Camp Site, we reached Odari. In the mountains, especially in the Himalayas, the caves means Odar, which forms due to the Glaciers. Just after pitching the tents, it started snowing and then we enjoyed it very much. In the evening we melted snow for our drinking purpose, eating purpose and for everything. We halted there and set ourselves for the next big day.

Day 05 Odari – Bali Pass – Lower Dhamini

Mountain Photography
Nature Love

With the Lord’s name on our mouth, we started flowing our big day. The Pass Day. Having Swargrohini in the background, we have to trace a path on the glacier. All around the place, there were mountains which were covered in snow only. The sunshine was at its peak, so no worry of the weather. But we have to cross the Bali Pass before 11 AM, due to some mountainous reasons.

Shubham Traveler
Performing some kind of mountain Yoga

That Glacier Walk was the best walk of my life till now, I enjoyed it very much but at the same time I laughed at my decision (due to High Altitude Sickness).

Camel Ridge - Bali Pass
The Camel Ridge

We have crossed the Camel Ridge and that was a marvelous experience. After some time we were at the top of the Bali Pass, 16875 feet above from the sea level. There I recorded some messages for my loved ones and started descending.

It is the fact that, you can’t get any photograph or video of descending the Bali Pass. Because the descending is much more dangerous from ascending it. That was really a dreadful adventure. We have slide down the icy-mountains, walked in the white-wash and had conversation with the death almost three/four times.

All these were the kids, the main thing came after crossing the Upper Dhamini. There was a rocky mountain, standing at 90 degrees. And we descended it with all the courage left in our body. And then we reached Lower Dhamini our last campsite.

We stayed there, enjoyed our victory and rested there for the night. That was one of the beautiful nights of my life. The whole sky was glittering with the stars, big stars, the fire was giving me all the warmth that I needed. And I praised the Lord’s glory and thanked him for everything. That was the last day of this trek.

The End

Next morning after covering some distance, we all found ourselves in the midst of Civilization again. And we lowered down the valley through the Yamunotri. After that, we took the cab for Dehradun and there we were.

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