• Solo Traveller

The Great Himalayan Expedition-5

Trek day 3 : Dudhu Dogh - Laanga Thach (3320 m)

An extreme end reached with respect to food and sleep, the energy levels started to drop initially. The happy me turned out into a cribbing me. Why did i have to come on this trek, i was happy in my own shell. Until you don't venture out, you never know what the world holds for you.

Skipping PT and breakfast was never a choice. Those were the only ways to keep myself wide awake throughout the trek until i reached the next base camp. I stuck onto my basics of having minimal amount of kichdi and skip tea. I filled my bottle and packed my bag to ascend the mountains again without thinking more about the trail saving myself from over exhaustion of the mind. I feel a clear empty mind is more accepting than having pre-notions about a place which you have never been to.

A 3-4 hour trek was on cards for the day. Today’s steep trail ascends up in a zigzag way through Mondru Dogh (2910) (Dogh means a heaps of rocks and rock cliffs) and Phanai Dogh (3325m), then to Laangha Thach. It’s a steep walk up through forest of Silver Fir, Bhujpattar, Oak and Chestnut and the toughest day of the trek. From Phanai Dogh the route ascends on to a moderate grassy slope and then onto a tricky horizontal traverse above the tree line to the hillside of the hump to Laangha Thach. Laangha Thach (A balcony) is known as courtyard of the mountain pastures where shepherds sit and watch over their herds of sheep.

The group was split into 3 where the ones who started to feel uneasy due to the height were put in the front followed by others. Chalo chalo chalo.... and we started to ascend another 3000m for the day. The treeline thinned out and most of the trail was out in open pastures and meadows. The climb was constant, with varying degrees of incline. We stopped for break after close to 2 hours of climbing. Panting for my breath,i took a little more time to recover and start again. All my friends were far gone while i went at my own pace looking around and capturing pictures.

The land was damp and a little slippery, looks like it had rained the previous night letting the greenery come alive.

The sun disappeared and we had to make our way quick to the base camp as trekking amidst rain is dangerous. I cribbed all the way unable to see the where we were headed towards only asking how much more time. I guess by the end of 3 hours 30 mins, we reached the base camp. A beautiful location set up amidst the lush green lands.

Our unwelcomed guest was finally here. It started pouring even before the tents were allocated. There was one big tent which was the kitchen / play area tent. Ran in for shelter as we warmed ourselves to the freshly cooked food.

The best memory of this camp is the amazing Pakodas / onion fritters which my mother and another lady prepared. We were so tired of the aloo-roti and our taste buds were in for a treat. Imagine cooking at 9000m for 30 odd people in the cold. i guess even the worst food would taste the best at this point of time!! hey i didn't mean to say the pakodas were bad. I shall post a picture of what was remaining in the plate below!!

A big pan of hot oil bubbled as these delicious onions coated in batter went in. We sent the youngest member of our tent to refill the plate for us! 1 plate per tent was the initial word in order to accommodate the food for everyone. We were such bhukkads that we went twice for a refill and left the cooks with none to eat!! a cup of soup + pakodas = the evening was set!

The rain stopped and we ventured out to check the campsite and most importantly to wash our plates. Washing our utensils was becoming a task day by day as the coldness started to creep in and i could no more stay without the gloves especially as the dusk fell.

Bored of sitting in the tent, i went to be a part of the activities today and we had adventure sports. the not so happy was a short hike to reach that place. meh. I was already tired and really again? I still went! Being inactive is not a good choice though; these activities help you get accustomed to the campsite. They are fun although energy draining.

A cup of warm tea, 4 layers of clothes with a muffler and a pair of gloves, a whole different landscape, chills down my spine, i spent the evening in solace until dinner was served. No shower day3. All i needed was a good night's cozy sleep.

End of Day7 .

Destination Laangha tach.


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