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And the story of Sar Pass continues....

day 6 : date = day 5 + 1

I think it is 25.06.1999. This was the exact experience of us pilots at Bharath Thatch (or bada Thatch) camp in the morning. Ultimately we concluded in agreement upon one thing. Who cares?

As they had told us plain walk is over. It's climbing time.It's only 1000ft they said,you may be lucky to see a wild animal they said, mountain air is good for health they said. you don't get water for your daily visits at 12000ft they said. They did tell us 100 things. Hmmmm.

From bada Thatch to Ming Thatch it's only few kilometers and best part is you are climbing in thick wood taking your time to see the snow tipped peaks sneaking through the pine trees.

After sometime you get a plain ground at that height. As big as chinnaswamy. Again the rain gods are happy about us again and we get a nice shower. These Himalayan rains really chilling. If you are holding your rain sheet in a position, the fingers almost get fixed to that position. Good thing we didn't had storm or any lightning. (I imagine the seen and my hairs stand on their end,It will sure be a great experience).

Oh! No! what is this? we don't see some smile on Mr. Ibrahim from Vizag. We guess may be the last batch(s) didn't behave themselves, or Ibrahim is under some mountain sickness. (Mr Ibrahim is camp leader there).

These things really don't bother you at all. You don't have time for these things. As you feel the time you get is not at enough for the eyes, and other sensory excitements.

Appendix : If you are feeling chilled out,visit the last camp(it's ours always)to get some heat.It's chips and gin time.

day 7 : 26.06.1999.

Ming Thatch to Nagaru.
Nagaru is the highest camp in the track. and the most beautiful one.They say it's at 11000ft but I think it's higher than that. Ming Thatch is at the foot on one side of the mountain range which has Parvati valley on another side and Sar Pass on yet another.

It's climbing day.From 0900h till 1430h. Good heavens. First you climb through the forest, when you comeout of the along one corner of the trail on the edge of the mountain you see something spectacular that you never forget in your life.tempting ? isn't it? It's more than that my dear it's much more than that. You see superb skyscapes beneath those snowtipped peaks. The pattern is like this,Untill certain height trees grow as you go up you find shrubs the grassland, then rocky terrain ,then the snowline and then Heaven.

We took rest in a midway teastall. Those teaman and the local girls had come from Grahan which we left on the 2nd day. Noticeable fact is what we had covered in 3 days they did in first few hours. Shame on us.

Now it's time to meet Mr Jha the coolest person I have seen on mountains in the whole trail, our camp leader at Nagaru. He guided us through the peaks; Chanderkhani pass, the other yhai track; Bias valley,Rohtang Pass,The approx place of the Leh-Manali Road, Hanuman Tibba, Dev Tibba, Brahma-Vishnu-Maheshwar(trios), Ali Ratna, Rashol Jhat, Nagruni, Challal, To name a few.

Best part comes when India is winning a match and we have a transistor and hot delicious tomato soup in our hand. As we sat we well covered in wool the sheer excitement is magical. Let me quote my copilots say (even though it's just a humble attempt to describe the moment) "No King in the world might have had experienced what we are enjoying".

As we have an experienced trekker Mr.Wagh (ie who had been to Sar Pass in 1996 and had seen a different setting altogether), we are told about wind at night, that sometimes it becomes so strong that you have to keep the tent on the ground by all effort that you can put.Now the fun begins, One guy really got scared and as the night grew dark the wind started and it started to shake the tent, that guy left his sleeping bag and was holding the piller of the tent with all emotions. Wagh to him that wind is too slow and he can go to his bed oops! sorry, his bag.But he never left the pole. Poor fellow how can he sleep when tent is shivering like hell.

day 8 : 27.05.1999.

The day we have been waiting for a good amount of time has come.It's time to cross the Sar Pass, the highest track in our journey. We were supposed to start at 0430h since there is less snow we've got a relaxation in timing.We could start t 0500h.After you finish the morning work(mark me ,only paper is available) we got light sweet snacks,tiger biscuits,and a hpmc apple drink as our packed lunch instead of the usual pooripalya stuff.
The cooks over there bring the snow from about 2km distance and boil it and prepare our food.

We were a bit unlucky, we missed the sunrise,but it didn't flash to us then,We were so busy when we started crossing the SarPass.All the snow covered peaks are at your feet now ,hmmm,well you are at their feet in fact.

This year snowfall is very less we got only to slidings. Superb! is'nt it? It is, when you have walked for a few kms,it's 0900h in the morning, height is 13000ft,chilled wind is blowing at you and picturesque mountains and valleys around you.
In one day we climbed to 13800ft from 11000ft and came down to 9000ft.The halfway of the track is the Beskari Top. It's like a hurdle ;you have to climb it from one side and the ridge is just a few feet wide and as soon as you climb you start walking down, down to a most beautiful valley full of flowers. This valley so green and full of little flowers found only at that height,the most beautiful and the most romantic place.

Let me admit it I just fail to describe it. It's splendid,stupefying,stunning...etc etc. You will understand my struggle when you see the pictures. Now onwards it's just walk and walk and walk. I say walk beacuse all the trekking part is almost over. One thing is for sure,you can't help it appreciating the YHAI people for their perception for their selection of the campsites on such a beautiful spots and when you reach the camps it's a pity that you are there for just a night.
The Beskari is no exception; amidst thick forest there is a plain where you all the snowy peaks are tempting you, you find the your tents.

appendix : you know we have become stoic about the YHAI welcome banners. You are dead tired,you say to yourself this is too much, and where the hell is this camp.Then like oasis you find the YHAI welcome banner,hey great we are near the camps and you start again with a refresh only to find the camp is nowhere visible but you have been welcomed,you walk for another solid 15min. oh! no, where is the camp? It takes good 30-40min to reach the camp. But you get used to it that after a few days you say oh! it's only 30 more minutes when you see the banner.


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