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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.
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 GivingBefore 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.