Monday, July 7, 2014

Uttarkashi to Jhala

Some of us wanted to visit Gangorti before reaching to Jhala. However, we still had quite some work to finish in the morning and the trip was not fitting in, so we decided to drop the Gangotri plan. I was a little sad at this as I wanted to visit the Gangotri shrine. I have trekked in Uttarakhand for many years now but have never come here during this time of the year ( mid June ). The day light starts around 4.30 AM in the morning and there is a still a good amount of day light till about 7.30pm in the evening, I felt it was a perfect month and time to trek because of the longer days.
We had a very nice breakfast and decided to visit the Kashi Vishawanath temple. By the time we reached hotel, the porters had already boarded the jeeps. We started for Jhala around 10AM. I called up home for the final time as I thought there might not be cell phone connectivity beyond Uttarkashi.
There is a diversion to Jhala, before Harsil on the Gangotri route. But the bridge which connects the village of Jhala was broken and we had to go on till Harsil. Before this, we had nice lunch near Jhala. We had to walk about 5 to 6 km from this point. 

The regular campsite is inside a school in Jhala, but we camped in the village on the banks of Bhagirathi. The noise of the flowing river was very high but much more soothing than the noisy traffic which we face in Bangalore. 

In the evening, we went for a small walk along the river. Later on Sandeep decided to go and speak to some of the porters. Actually when we saw the the porters initially, we realized they were not much experienced and looked quite young. We were a little worried at this, because for a trek like this one needs real hardy and experienced porters (at least a few of them).
When Sandeep spoke to couple of them, we realized they didn’t have proper gear for the trek and they were unaware of the challenges of the trek. As a group, we had very heated discussion with the Balwant on this issue. It was only after his multiple assurances that everything would turn out to be fine, that we decided to go ahead. In fact, one person amongst the porters (Suresh) was actually an experienced climber and had led multiple successful expeditions to Satopanth, Kamet, Mukut and so on. That was very assuring for us.

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