A dream which was seen with loads of difficulties and ifs and buts has been materialized. A dream which confronted all my beliefs so far in life, a dream which showed me the mirror on every step I took, and showed me the depth of my personality as I climbed every feet.
I climbed to Hampta Top, a place in Himalayas in the Pir Panjal range, at approximately 4500 meters height. This was the dream which made me work and juggle schedules for past 6 months and finally I made it. Himalayan hiking has lured me for past so many years; we climbed Triund Mountain in the dhauladhar range in 2013 but couldn’t complete the hike due to lack of time but that small hike made me search for more and more mountains to climb. Resultant is here after 3 years I was at Hampta.
We started climbing with a group of few absolutely unknown and few very well known people, by the time we finished the trek we got to know each and every one of us better, the unknown became friends and the known ones I understood them better.
The hike was of an easy terrain, lush green meadows and tall coniferous trees. Every day we hiked for approximately 5-6 hours and rested the rest of days in the cozy tents.
The mountain people, our guides and cooks and helping staff were the amazing people I have met so far, they also walked the same distance, sometimes way more than what we walked as most of us needed assistance on some routes, so they ferried up and down. But the subtle smile on their faces never left them, whatever we asked for was provided without grumbling and sometimes things were provided even without being asked for.
On day 3 when we attempted to summit, bad weather confronted us on our way, it rained heavily we were walking in the middle of clouds couldn’t see beyond 3 feet, and finally when the slits started hitting us we had to retreat. When we reached the camp site completely drenched in our clothes as well as mind, as hope for summiting had left each one of our thoughts, the dining tent had a pot of water boiling on the stove for dipping out hands into. What more can we ask for? All the 3 guides were as drenched as we were but were busy like a bee to help us get dried first. This is the endurance which the Himalayas have imparted to its people and I would love to imbibe in myself.
“The weather in Himalayas can change any time.” We were warned before starting out trek but I would not have believed if I had not experience it as much myself. Day 3 as we retreated to the camp at 10:30 I saw 3 mountain peaks across the valley completely covered with snow, and after an hour when the sun shown bright 2 of the 3 peaks were bare without any snow. Amazing!!!! Just amazing!!!!!!
The mountain has humbled me beyond my expectations; it gave me time and space as much as I needed. I started to realize value of simple things, like a toilet, it’s a privilege which we have. My soul has taken a dip in the serenity of the landscape. The chirping of birds, the mules foraging freely, the cattle roaming freely all were a picture perfect sights. The vultures taking a peak at the newborn kid of a sheep, how my heart silently worried for the kid, but at the same time admired the Himalayan Griffon Vulture’s huge size and majestic flight. Saw some rare birds on our trail, a cuckoo sat proudly on a bare birch tree and cuckooed for us.
We experienced scorching sun and super cold winds at the same time, the nights were chilling and one day in morning as I opened the tent zip I was greeted by snow at my door step, the night temperatures had dropped sub-zero but the combination of thermal wears and the sleeping bag had kept me warm.
It’s been nearly a month that I am back from the mountains but whenever I close my eyes I can see those majestic, lush green mountains loaded with flowers, you know those perfect flowers which we learn to draw as a kid, a flower of 5 petals, yes that’s the one is there on the grass everywhere in the mountain. Flowers of white, yellow, pink, purple and blue greeted us on every step. Here in my town if I am able to grow even one flower on one of my potted plants I am usually thrilled and excited by that beauty and work towards protecting that flower for as long as I can, but there in the mountain mother Nature had thrown those amazingly beautiful flowers on every step of mine. What more can you ask for in life?
As days kept me enthused with the flowers and very tall trees, nights fascinated me with the number of stars I could see in the sky. I and my son laid down the grass daily to figure out constellations in the sky, which would be the thing I would rate at the top of my entire experience of the hike. Simple joys of life.
After 5 days of rambling on the mountain I returned reluctantly to the civilized world as how much ever you like it, can’t live there forever.
Even though I have come back here the serenity of the mountain has also come back with me, whenever I want now I have this beautiful vacation spot in my mind, the memories of the hike, which I can visit just by closing my eyes.
I really feel that at least once everyone should experience Nature like this, with uncertainties, with unimaginable beauty, with difficulties and challenges but tremendous calming experience for sure……………
I have returned with a promise to explore more of the mountains in future, I feel the more mountains I will explore more of myself will be available to me………………….