Sar Pass trek 2014 (attempted trek report) ;)

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#1 Jun 18th, 2014, 13:45
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Sar Pass 2014.. Group SP20, reporting 20.05.14.
Planning: -
After contemplating and discussing (my mother was to accompany me for the trek) we finally decided to book out places for the trek. But as with all good things, they don’t last too long.. The dates we preferred were full. Thankfully YHAI national office managed to get our bookings done for the batch that we wanted.
Now that it was sure that we would be going, we started talking to people and getting information of the things that would be required. YHAI gives a brief idea but the nitty gritties are actually obtained from people who have done many treks before. Indiamike was another place where information was freely available.
So the list began
1. hunter shoes and 3 pair sport socks (we bought woolen socks for 100 bucks in from the house at the base camp, Kasol and they were life savers later on at the higher camps after you finish your trek for the day)
3. goggles and sun screen,
4. thermals, woolens and cold cream (small box). Keep dry cotton balls available that you can plug your ears with. Helps in the extreme cold conditions.
5. 3 t-shirts (preferably one full) and jeans/ tracks. (We did buy a pair of track pant (the light cold variety) from the local Kasol Market and that was a buy that I would always be thankfu for. Light pant, water resistant, dries up quickly and keeps you warm!! It also helped me avoid the extra heavy weight of carrying along a jeans pant)
6. paper rolls and paper soap strips/ hand sanitizer.
7. hand gloves (woolen) (pick up the snow gloves (leather or similar water resistant material) as your woolens would get wet in rains or in snow and render themselves useless later, we picked those from the local kasol market for Rs. 120 a pair)
8. band aids (they do come handy later) and ORS powder satchets (another must have, plan for 1 satchet atleast per walking day)
9. rain coats that can cover your bags as well (barsatis are available in Kasol, good for bags and upper body but your tracks/ jeans may get wet through them) Don't sweat over the larger raincoats if you dont get them, the barsatis are decent alternatives and available locally. Prefer the ones that can be tied up at front leaving your hands free.
10. dry fruits and other calorie rich but light weight eatables. Light meal additives like pickle, chatnis do help making your food more interesting. Carry if you can..
11. sun cap (YHAI does give you one over there so not required actually)
12. boric powder (helps keep the feet dry and avoid blisters)
13. 1 litre water bottle, tiffin box, spoon, glass (plate to use at base camp). (A useful addition that we got later were BUTTER PAPERS to line your tiffin box for the actual trek as the water higher up is icy cold and you really don't feel like washing out the food remnants, forget the oil lining the tiffin. Just throwing the butter papers in the dustbin pits helps big time)
14. Torch with extra batteries (we didnt need the extra batteries, but better to carry some), your cameras with extra batteries if you can. (One additional point to remember is that the batteries drain out in the cold, so its always better to keep the cameras close to your body or atleast remove the batteries at night otherwise and keep them close to your body)
14. the last bit of information that was really helpful was carry bags (not to carry stuff, but to put your feet with socks into before pulling up your shoes. It helps during the snow walk as the snow doesn’t melt to become water and wet your socks through them).
Obviously we did carry our toothbrushes and shared tooth pastes. But at a couple of places putting the cold water in the oral cavities to wash away the toothpaste was a pain and then we either used mouth wash or decided that one day's bad mouth odour is something that my neighbour should live up with!!

ETA - w.r.t point 4 - cotton balls in ears is apparently not a great idea. It hampers the acclimatization.
Last edited by snotty; Oct 28th, 2017 at 12:03.. Reason: point 4 update in ETA
#2 Jun 18th, 2014, 14:08
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#2
Please carry on...

We're all ears>>>
#3 Jun 18th, 2014, 15:00
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#3
Thanks Prakaant..

Reaching: -
Destination Kasol. Options were buses from Chandigarh or even Delhi to Kullu. You get down at a stop before Kullu – stop is Bhuntar at the bus stop and then get a bus for Manikaran- Barshaini. We had reached around 5 am, the first bus was at 6 am, 30 kms of hill roads and about an hour later you are at Kasol.
I did meet a couple of my trekmates on the bus from Chandigarh, young nice guys from Mumbai. As we did have an hour or so before the first bus, we decided to continue our walking practice. Crossed the Beas from the Bhuntar Bus stop side (lovely bridge), enjoying the morning cool (at time cold) breeze, we decided to walk upto the sangam of Beas and Parvati river. Some beautiful houses on the way and a few ladies doing there morning walks later we came to the sangam. The Sangam is nice, the first view of the varied natural beauties that were awaiting us in the Himalayas.. (Sorry no photos). By the time we went back another couple of trekmates had joined the bus and so 6 of us moved on to our base camp at 6 am..
Do inform the bus driver/ conductor to drop you at YHAI camp, which is actually just before Kasol village actually starts.

The Destination..
You step out of the bus and the beautiful Base Camp at the Parvati river-side is right there welcoming you!! You feel fresh already!!

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#4 Jun 18th, 2014, 17:31
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#4
continuing further

Day 1: - Reporting Day

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We reached there by 7 15 am and breezing through the formalities were straight away greeted by steaming idlis and sambar for breakfast.. (mouth watering up again ).
Ok let me get away from the idlis for the moment and back to the formalities. For those who have registered online (we had done it offline through YHAI national office) you need to carry two photographs with you and submit them at the time of reporting.

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Back on track now .. after the heavy breakfast, we were watching the hustle bustle around us, the earlier batches returned in a big flock from the morning exercises (which we got to know later). We were the first to report from out batch. So all the other people around were acquainted with the routine, hurrying towards the charging points, greeting each other, all in all seeming happy..
The snow clad Pin Parvati peak seen from the base camp is majestic!! It reflects the various moods of the parvati valley - cloudy, brightly illuminated by the sun light, blue and serene in the evenings or hidden completely during the rains or hailstorm.

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More later
#5 Jun 19th, 2014, 08:12
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Waiting for more snotty.
#6 Jun 19th, 2014, 16:26
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Thanks GP..

Back to Day 1 reporting..

We asked the Camp Leader about the options that we had to move about as we had time on our hands and we were directed to hot water springs across a rather rickety iron bridge across the river parvati. We were taking in each and every sight that was being offered to us - the Hebrew sign boards and the israeli delicacies being advertised, the river roaring along the roadside, woolens for sale. At the crossroads in the Kasol village proper, we took the left turn for the iron bridge!!

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The Iron bridge sways to your tunes (actually your footsteps) and it can be thrilling and scary at the same time!! Get down to the riverside on the other bank and you get your STEAMING hot water springs. You dare not put your hand in it (a finger for a fraction of a second is just what you can manage).

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Ice cold water in the Parvati and boiling hot sulphur rock driven springs were allowed to mix in a riverside cement tank which allowed some bathing to occur, which was impossible in either by itself.
Just trying to explore some more we went along the riverbank towards a particular café that was being marked on all the rocks.

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Cool refreshing mountain spring was piped out to quench the thirst.

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As we went further and further away, we started encountering small houses, local people moving about with their rations on their backs and also some other foreigners and Indians mentioning some party at the cafe.. After walking for a couple of kms we came across the banner below and then realization stuck about the nature of the party.

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We decided to turn back.
A parting view of the river and the mountain peaks..

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Evening spent with some local purchasing and the camp fire (figurative) which was interrupted by frequent rains and hailstorms. We were informed about the next morning schedule and bundled off in our respective tents with our sleeping slip and pair of blankets. By now we had more companions from SP20, who would soon become close friends over days to come.
#7 Jun 20th, 2014, 16:28
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Day 2: Acclimatization walk and orientation.

The day began at 5 30 am. Whistles to wake up SP19 and SP20. Get freshened up, put on your shoes and fall in line with remarks from the Field Director and Camp Leaders – this is the laziest batch that we have seen, pata nahi inse hoga kya aise hi chalta raha to.. It increased the speed of the slow movers.. SP 20 was together for the first time!!

And then we were led to what could only have been a trailer to hell (we realized later that it actually was to help us on the way to heavenly pleasures that we were to encounter later). A jog for a kilometer and then you meet Laxmi Sir on the ground.. The next hour you are at his mercy – Exercise time.. Start with rotations of each individual body part, stretching, jumping, breathing exercises, static muscle building, duck walks, frog jumps, pushups amongst others. You are just hoping for the next exercise to be your last one and then Laxmi Sir would call out for another one!! Punishments were handed out to the ones who tried to skip a few rotations.. (usually light hearted). Finally after an hour or so there is the welcome call to line up. The instructors introduce themselves and leave after giving a few more instructions for the rest of the day. Jog back to the camp.

The next schedule (obviously after the breakfast, we wouldn’t move an inch without that) was the see off for SP18 which was leaving for the higher camps (trek proper).

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rest shortly..
#8 Jun 20th, 2014, 17:09
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Immediately after that we line up and leave for our acclimatization walk. (around 2-3 kms in the mountain). I shouldn’t forget to mention that our backs were loaded with sack filled with 2 blankets and a full water bottle for the acclimatization.

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A beautiful temple, himalayan houses and a school in the vicinity is the short resting point and then the walk begins..

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#9 Jun 20th, 2014, 17:50
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by snotty View Post Day 2: Acclimatization walk and orientation.

The day began at 5 30 am. Whistles to wake up SP19 and SP20. Get freshened up, put on your shoes and fall in line with remarks from the Field Director and Camp Leaders – this is the laziest batch that we have seen, pata nahi inse hoga kya aise hi chalta raha to.. It increased the speed of the slow movers.. SP 20 was together for the first time!!

And then we were led to what could only have been a trailer to hell (we realized later that it actually was to help us on the way to heavenly pleasures that we were to encounter later). A jog for a kilometer and then you meet Laxmi Sir on the ground.. The next hour you are at his mercy – Exercise time.. Start with rotations of each individual body part, stretching, jumping, breathing exercises, static muscle building, duck walks, frog jumps, pushups amongst others. You are just hoping for the next exercise to be your last one and then Laxmi Sir would call out for another one!! Punishments were handed out to the ones who tried to skip a few rotations.. (usually light hearted). Finally after an hour or so there is the welcome call to line up. The instructors introduce themselves and leave after giving a few more instructions for the rest of the day. Jog back to the camp.

The next schedule (obviously after the breakfast, we wouldn’t move an inch without that) was the see off for SP18 which was leaving for the higher camps (trek proper).

Attachment 58598

rest shortly..
can you name camp leaders and field director ? when I did this trek, one camp leader, his name was chirag or chintan. he was funny and energetic. he was in base and higher camp as well. we enjoyed a good camp fire and jokes with him.
#10 Jun 20th, 2014, 19:12
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trekky here is the snap of the fd and camp leaders at the base camp..

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We also had Aditya as a camp leader at base camp and he was with us at Biskeri camp as well.

Grahan Camp Leader's snap.. They were 2 of them. This is the snap of one..

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We had a Mr Chauhan at Ratapani, if i recollect correctly, Jignesh at Nagaru and Mr Kulkarni at Bandhakthatch.

Do not recollect a chirag or chintan right now..
#11 Jun 21st, 2014, 12:59
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A narrow, at times tricky path covered by the fallen foliage in the shades of the green trees and the cool breeze really make it a walk to enjoy.

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The roaring parvati river gives you company all along so do a couple of dogs also who accompany you, playing and jumping on each other, unbothered that a small nudge from them and you may tumble down a bit.

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But it seems they were aware of that and none of us tumbled anywhere.

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At the top (a small sitting area) all of us introduced our selves, helped ourselves to the litchi juice that we mixed up over there (Rajendra Thakur, our acclimatization instructor had ensured that the bottles were brought up) and then had our group officials chosen. The names in the group had started to sound familiar now.

We were back at the base camp for our lunch by 1 pm. Orientation at 3 30 pm to let everyone understand about youth hostel. The evening was SP20’s turn to organize the campfire and boy did the group members sweat it out to make it BIG!!
#12 Jun 21st, 2014, 13:17
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by snotty View Post trekky here is the snap of the fd and camp leaders at the base camp..

Attachment 58606

We also had Aditya as a camp leader at base camp and he was with us at Biskeri camp as well.

Grahan Camp Leader's snap.. They were 2 of them. This is the snap of one..

Attachment 58607

We had a Mr Chauhan at Ratapani, if i recollect correctly, Jignesh at Nagaru and Mr Kulkarni at Bandhakthatch.

Do not recollect a chirag or chintan right now..
aditya bhatt ? a short fat fellow ? if he is, he is a master photographer.
#13 Jun 21st, 2014, 16:43
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#13
I dont know his surname trekky, but a bit short and bit stout would fit him. He was doing his engineering in BITS and was a gem of a person (had fun with him..)

Moving on to the SP20 campfire..

We had our anchor Dnyanal settle in all the batches and then move on to have an evening to remember..

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A couple of Camp leaders from the higher camps had their send offs done (after magnificent completion of their duties) and the certificate distribution of the batch which had returned after successful completion of the trek.. (the noise they made was humongous)

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We had a couple of dances, a guitar performance, a marwadi marriage song, patriotic as well as gujrati songs amongst others!!

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It was a night that SP20 rocked!! .

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Bournvita was followed by a very good night’s sleep. We knew what was awaiting us the next morning!!
Last edited by snotty; Jun 21st, 2014 at 19:08..
#14 Jun 21st, 2014, 17:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snotty View Post I dont know his surname trekky, but a bit short and bit stout would fit him. He was doing his engineering in BITS and was a gem of a person (had fun with him..)

Moving on to the SP20 campfire..

We had our anchor Dnyanal settle in all the batches and then move on to have an evening to remember..

Attachment 58635

A couple of Camp leaders from the higher camps had their send offs done (after magnificent completion of their duties) and the certificate distribution of the batch which had returned after successful completion of the trek.. (the noise they made was humongous)

Attachment 58636

We had a couple of dances, a guitar performance, a marwadi marriage song, patriotic as well as gujrati songs amongst others!!

Attachment 58637

Attachment 58638

It was a night that SP20 rocked!! .

Attachment 58639

Bournvita was followed by a very good night’s sleep. We knew what awaiting us the next morning!!
this is another Aditya. Bournvita in night and bed (?) tea in morning
#15 Jun 21st, 2014, 20:04
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#15
Nice wiating for more
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