Diaries Magazine

Trek to Hampta Pass - III

Posted on the 08 October 2018 by C. Suresh
Nightmares? They were nothing compared to what that river crossing was really like. There you were, early in the morning, muscles still cold removing your shoes and socks preparing to step into the river. True, we had done one earlier in this trek, but it had been close to midday and the feet were hot from all the walking that had been done up to then. This, though...and it was a much longer crossing as well.
Holding hands as before, we stepped into the water and almost immediately people were rushing across to get to the other side out of the freezing cold of the waters. Devashis stumbled and would have fallen in but for being held by me on one side and Mudassar on the other. With the continuing drag of all the others, there was no time for him to extricate himself carefully so, as it became known later, he had severely bruised his toes.
Anyway, we were out of the river, after what seemed like eons, with both feet feeling more like blocks of ice suspended from the ankles. The guides set us to jumping around to restore circulation to the feet. If you have never felt the clawing pain of returning circulation to frozen extremities...
After that, whatever followed of that day's descent seemed like a breeze. We landed at Chatru, which seemed more like a fairground than a campsite, with the number of tents set up there. After all, it was motorable from Manali and, thus, it was not only trekkers who passed through it to visit Chandrataal.
Trek to Hampta Pass - III The drive to Chadrataal, I am afraid, was quite the most painful part of this trek to me. Not only were the roads terrible for the most part, as indeed I had experienced on my Ladakh trek, but after the trek sitting with minimal movement of the legs ended up with the muscles shrieking in pain. The worst cut of the lot was to end up at Chandrataal and find that the lake was half-an-hour's trek away. (Oh! Yes! It is all fine to do the trekking but when you think that the trekking is all done...)
Trek to Hampta Pass - III
The lake, though...Words are inadequate a lot of times in life and this is most certainly one of them. There was that pristine green lake visible from the Kanchenjunga View-Point II in the Goecha-La pass trek and then there was this one...For once, let me allow the pics to do the talking. (I am there in the pics to provide the contrast to all that beauty!)
Trek to Hampta Pass - III On the return journey, the ladies were asking everyone what they learned from the trek. Another of those idiosyncrasies of mine is that these questions leave me fazed. Everyone was replying eloquently to that question and I...I was like, "Is it possible to answer this one like a kindergarten kid saying, 'one ones are one, one twos are two' in reply to what she learnt in school that day?" Or, perhaps, I either do not learn as quickly as others do or am unable to just say things eloquently for the sake of saying them, either of which seems to make me less than the rest of humanity.
And then my dreaded turn came and I mumbled, "Life is what you make of it. So are treks."
That, at least, is what I live by...even if I did not specifically learn it from THIS trek!
Part-I Part-II
Photo Credits: Devashis and other co-trekkers.

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