Gods decided to descend on the earth as mountains. But the earth asked: “Why do you come in the form of mountains and not in your own form?”. And Vishnu answered: “The pleasure that exists in mountains is greater than that of animate beings, for they feel no heat, nor cold, nor pain, nor anger, nor fear, nor pleasure. We three Gods as mountains will reside in the earth for the benefit of the mankind.
In the beginning of this year, Sandeep and I had decided that this year we would do a scenic and moderate trek. One of Sandeep’s friends, Manoj, a beginner to trekking, also wanted to join us this year. We decided on doing the scenic trek of Roopkund.
JP has been our regular trekking partner. When we spoke to JP about this trek, he could not resist the temptation of another Himalayan odyssey and without any hesitation he said he was joining us. Later Ajay and Rajeev, both from Delhi, also decided to join us. We decided to go in the first week of June itself. We knew that it was about couple of weeks early in the season, but it was only this time that worked for all of us together.
We started the initial exchange of mails on the itinerary, supplies etc. One day, during an evening discussion, JP suggested on extending the trek to include the crossing of Junargali Pass and trying for the Ronti Saddle. I was immediately ready for it.
Although I was keen on doing the trek till Roopkund, I felt there was something amiss and also, the idea of spending another week in the mountains caught me on. Sandeep however was sceptical. He said, he had asked Manoj to join us and it was the first trek for him. Although Roopkund itself is by no means an easy trek, he had chosen the trek because Manoj was a fit athlete. However doing anything beyond that – it was definitely not a good idea. At this point, we decided that we would extend the trek only if it was not very dangerous and people could return back from Roopkund itself if required. This worked for us. It meant taking that additional one or two porters extra if anyone had to return back from Roopkund. This also meant asking Rajeev, Ajay and Manoj. All of them were also ready for another few days of adventure.
Roopkund is a small, shallow lake set in the towering mountain ranges of Trishul (~23500 feet). The lake itself is at around 15500-16000 ~feet. Roopkund ( or Roop Kund or Rupkund or Rup Kund ) is known as a “mystery lake” because of a large number of human skeletons found in the lake. There are many theories on what a large number of people were doing at such altitudes, what befell them etc. The skeletons themselves are thought to be more than 600 years old.
For the trekkers, however, Roopkund has been a very popular destination. The trek is known to offer one of the best views of the majestic Trishul and Nandaghunti (~21200 feet) ranges.