Sunday, December 17, 2006

10-10-2006 [Riyali Thach (~3400m)– Kalihani Base Camp (~4000m)] ~4hrs

We woke up early around 6.00 today. Our destination was the base camp of “Kalihani pass”. Fortunately for us, the weather had not played truant till now. The night itself was clear and further towards the pass too, the weather looked clear.

The base camp was at around 4000m. Sandeep told me that we should do our best today. We would require a lot of strength. So remembering God, we started for the day at around 9. Today we first descended down towards a nullah. After crossing the small nullah, we had to ascend very steeply. . The climb was entirely above the tree line and Deo Tibba and Indrasan were behind us. The whole terrain was now very different. I still had a lot of breathing trouble as I continued to climb towards the campsite. Sandeep, on the other hand, seemed to have no trouble.

After reaching the base camp, Rinku prepared very good “Halwa” followed by tea. We also ate our packed lunch with tea. Then as usual we spent some time in exploring the campsite. This campsite was something we have never experienced before. Even during our earlier trek, when we had camped at the base of Kuari Pass, the feeling of isolation wasn’t so grand. Since we were above tree line, there were no signs of any vegetation. We got panoramic views of the massive Dhauladhar ranges. Deo Tibba, the holy mountain of Himachal, Indrakilla and Indrasan were all clearly visible. We clicked couple of photos but even at this time of early afternoon the cold was horrible and we decided to go inside to the warmth of our tents.

From the base, the starting point of Kalihani pass was visible. I asked this question so many times to myself “whether I will be able to do it or not”. There was no trail visible from our base camp. We just kept thinking about the route.

After sometime, we came to know that there is another couple from South Africa on the same trek. They reached the base camp after 2hr and we had good talk with them. They were very enthusiastic about trekking in Himalayas.

As the evening progressed the cold became worse. It also became very windy. Water used to freeze in minutes here. We had dinner at 6.30 pm and came back to our tent. Everybody was keeping his fingers crossed for good weather.


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