Monday, July 7, 2014

Ruinsara Taal

Since we were very tired because a long hike yesterday, we decided to start a little later than usual for the next destination. As I mentioned, the initial plan was to do the Bali pass after crossing the DDK, but because we were running short of rations and fuel, we decided to head towards Ruinsara Taal and then further to Seem/Sankri and out.

As we started our day, I was feeling little low on energy. I wished that the terrain would be easy for walking today, but it turned out to be totally opposite. All the trails on the ridges were totally washed out and the whole area was in the middle of a landslide. Right from the start today, we had to negotiate moraine and lose stones and boulders on the way. 

We were crossing multiple ridges and the connection between one ridge to another was totally broken and that left us to deal with some very dangerous route on the trek. I think, the porters were more tired than us today. 

We rested for sometime , had the lunch and then the march started on the boulders but the walk on the boulders, which themselves were left by receding glaciers was not totally difficult. On the basin of of the glacier, surprisingly the walk was easier. We also saw a herd of Bharals (mountain goat), jumping and crossing the glacier. After we left the boulder zone, finally we got to see some grassy patches.


 Some of the meadows were absolutely lovely and they were completely awash with wild flowers. After a while, we crossed the regular campsite of Kiyarkoti, which I believe also serves as the base camp of expeditions to Swargarohini. Green valleys, interspersed with snow and huge snow clad peaks all around, it was a site beyond words. We also saw a lot of signs which indicated that brown bears had been foraging. Balwant told us that this was an area infested with Brown Bears, and a siting is very common. The guide also showed us the Bali pass from some where after Kiyarkoti, it indeed looked like a tough climb from this side. We were walking along the Ruinsara Gad for a while. The river was as raging as the Sian Gad we had seen earlier. Ruinsara Gad was to be our companion till before Selma, where it meets another mighty river, the Supin. We had to walk a lot again today before we reached the campsite at Ruinsara Taal. It started drizzling as we approached the campsite. This is one of the most beautiful regions I have seen. There was a scent of wild flowers and pine trees in the air and I suddenly felt a lot of energy. 

There was a trekkers hut built by the forest department which was supposed to be our camp for the night. It was another beautiful campsite amidst greenery and mountains. 

Today's altitude was 3600 mts and all of us were now relaxed as we came down below 4000 meters. The evening was spent relaxing in the small room. We were all happy that we were below the snow line and were seeing a lot of green. It started to thunder and rain heavily in the evening, but it stopped after a while. I thought, timing wise, we crossed the passed just in time, otherwise it would have added to more troubles for us. This was known to be brown bear territory and everybody was very cautions while attending the natures call. Our porters too were happy to be below snow line and they went around in the forest to look for some herbs/medicinal plants.

It was overall a very happy mood in the camp.

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