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Old 25th November 2015, 14:34   #31
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Default Re: On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!

Day 08

We had been sleeping in a typical ladkhi house made of sand and was freezing cold inside. We had a wood fired heater but the amount of wood available is scarce and porters go kms together in search of them to get us warmth. Their lives and the profession is indeed demanding and challenging. They had fired up the heater and was keeping the room warm for an hour or so. But, soon enough the warmth gave up to the super might Himalayan winds and temperatures were unbearable. The agony the pain the cold was more, as we rose in the morning things got easier as there was a full fledged kitchen fired up to cook for many camps around and the heat was restored to our bodies easily and after a long time we did have the luxury of a toilet finally! Things were better certainly but the temperatures were still dropping.

I come out and I see a few hikers going to a nearby village for the morning warm up

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4728.jpg

The sun was out, it was so soothing to finally see it shine bright

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4730.jpg

The clouds started the foul play and we did need to hurry up

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4731.jpg
This was the room where we slept, the heater was fired and we were in for breakfast, our teas and breads were kept on the heater to keep em warm
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4733.jpg

Every one was out and getting ready, few were still lined up try calling up a few numbers
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4734.jpg

Well, I have to say, this was the most scenic loo I have witnessed till date
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4736.jpg

We come back to the frozen water fall, we had gained quick pace to cover up the distances
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4776.jpg

The scenes were totally different and it never felt the same

Attachment 1443105

The water was half frozen and half flowy the scenes were completely different on the return leg
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4739.jpg

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4793.jpg
Yamzor trying to steal a few puffs while the rest of the group was catching us up

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4814.jpg
The other groups guide waving me off
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4817.jpg

The sun was almost down and we retired for the day
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4836.jpg

Also, remember there was a lady with the broken hand? There was a lot of calls made and few of them tried with the army if they could air lift her. But they did not barge, she was very brave and determined. It was really nice to see her spirits high even after the mishap. The lady along with a couple of other trek members and a porter moved at dawn and started the return leg. They wanted to reach the start point in 2 days and there was a vehicle there at end of 2nd day to pick them up. So, as to get her the required medical aid in leh city.

Day 09

So we start off yet again, I will save the cold bitten sourness and pains at the bay and start off with journey, as usual with the yummy breakfast! But 4 members and porter less our troop got smaller.
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4838.jpg
We were off, we were walking under the shadows of the magnificent mountains
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4878.jpg
there was sun right in front of us and we were chasing it, it took hours to finally get out out of the shadow of the mountains
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4884.jpg

There are all the forms of it out there
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4888.jpg
We covered a good ground and at a terrific pace. In ages we got time to relax at our camp, where we could bask in the sun for hours and get some leisure time for ourselves
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4891.jpg
The shadows are happy too
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4893.jpg
There was no stream of water here few days back (yes it is the same base where we had camped on the way the nerak) and now you see
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4898.jpg
Everyone just dumped their luggage, even the backpacks were demanding rest now
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4909.jpg
few carried on, to camp at a further distance
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4988.jpg
Well, the streams which did not exist few days back were plating around with the reflections of the mountains

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_4992.jpg

Day 10

Well, the previous day was very relaxing and our bodies got a little room to stretch. By the way it was still cold, even though the previous day had sun, it meant more ice was melted and more water was available to freeze, added to it the temperatures dropped lower as the wind carried out the lower temperatures as the ice was melting!! (Confusing ain't it) This meant there will be a good chadar formed (Sheet of ice if you have forgotten it by now) and we could pick up the pace like the previous day and cover more ground.

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5007.jpg

We woke up to another sunshine and this could be the last day on chadar if we trek at good pace and there were 2 other groups who confirmed they will be reaching the starting point and had sent porters ahead of them to make a call and get the vehicles in by evening (Porters travel at speeds which are faster than the BSNL internet in India).

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5018.jpg

We came across this and the flow was a little lesser than prior

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5033.jpg

A little play around with the trapped bubbles

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5059.jpg

The surroundings were getting harsher

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5061.jpg

The chadar was very well formed and there was no fear of thin sheet of ice, we could have sprints and runs on these acres of lands, oops I mean river

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5074.jpg

After a while when I see this, a hilly fort like structure I realize we are close to the starting point, at the mid of first day we had reached here

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5097.jpg

We were exhausted and we were almost there, but it was a half day trek ahead, we decided to reach the starting point instead of camping mid way and have some leisure time at the start point

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5129.jpg
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Old 25th November 2015, 15:35   #32
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Default Re: On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!

We caught up with the pace and we were having a bit of struggle to keep up with our stamina, the sun was coming down at a good pace

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5139.jpg

One of our porters, he had amazing stories to tell us, he knew very little of hindi and he was old by the age, he was 49 and he had the humblest of natures one can imagine. A part of the convo with him

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5156.jpg
His smile was enough, to take the tiredness off.


He : "Aapka, juuta kaam aaega, aap ke yahan?"(Will your rain boots be helpful in your place)
Me : "Nahi wahan kuch kaam ka nahi hai"(Nope! None at all.)
He : "Kya aap mujhe de sakte hain"(Can you give it to me.)
Me : "No No, yeh to kharab ho gaye, aapko naye dilaoonga"(These are spoilt, I'll buy new ones)
He : "nahi ye hii buss hai."(these are enough they will serve the purpose)
Me : "nahi, aapko naya bhi dilaoonga"(Keep this, I'll get you new ones also)
He : "dekhenge"(Well see)

He then accepted this and was more than happy to have em. Added to it when I offered him money to go buy new ones he did not accept it.

The nature had created some artistic impressions out there

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5160.jpg

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5175.jpg

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5178.jpg

The sun was almost down, the other batch people were already taking their buses to rush back to leh. We had retired for the day and it was the longest stretch which we had covered, we retired and the camps were set

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5194.jpg

We had a huge camp fie, the songs the celebrations were long, there were other batch of people who had just arrived and we were out there telling the our stories to them and giving a few tips to them.

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5196.jpg

The tales were told and slowly the night with it's treacherous temperatures were again upon us, the stars set in for a brilliant show yet again, which was a daily affair. But, you could never get enough of it.

A song of fire and ice perhaps,
On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5203.jpg
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Old 25th November 2015, 15:39   #33
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Default Re: On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
Well great, answers all my questions.

I have seen the notice that was issued by the authorities, also true that many arrangements had to be cancelled which had costed the organizers and porters a lot of money and effort. But thankfully, the issue was taken up in top priority, villages were evacuated and trekking routes were closed. Not a single life was lost and there was no major damage to property as well, but sadly the ecology has been disturbed.
Well, there is a new highway being constructed, right next to the trek route, which will be function through out the year. It will indeed be a boon to army and the villagers. There are again 2 sides of the story, good or bad is very tough to be determined in situations and the standard of life people have there. Added to it few people say the chadar might not be formed due to the movements of vehicles down the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chandrda View Post
Brilliant Brilliant Photos and Love the Tag Lines for each photos

Looks like you had a wonderful time on this trip and a dream fulfilled.

Regards
Thank you. I did

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Originally Posted by maker_of_things View Post
@bhansali_hardik,

Great write up. It's been almost two years since I've started my job, and I've been itching for a trek!

Your travelogue was the spark I needed to ignite that fire.

Great experience, really!
Thanks! I hope the steps needed to fuel your fire and we get to read great stories of it soon.
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Old 25th November 2015, 17:21   #34
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Default Re: On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!

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Originally Posted by bhansali_hardik View Post
Well, there is a new highway being constructed, right next to the trek route, which will be function through out the year. It will indeed be a boon to army and the villagers. There are again 2 sides of the story, good or bad is very tough to be determined in situations and the standard of life people have there. Added to it few people say the chadar might not be formed due to the movements of vehicles down the line.
Yes I know, this was one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to do Chadar this year itself. But even the alternate trek was beautiful and we had to walk over frozen ice sheets for 3 days plus other days we hiked through scintillating villages so that was quite an experience. Definitely once in a lifetime experience !
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Old 1st December 2015, 15:50   #35
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Default Re: On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!

Great adventure Hardik! Your writeup explains the amount of resolve needed by a person to undertake such a trek. Hats Off to you brother. And salute to the lady with the fractured arm as well. What determination to go through with the trek carrying a broken limb.
Beautiful pictures too.
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Old 1st December 2015, 22:32   #36
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Originally Posted by //M View Post
Yes I know, this was one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to do Chadar this year itself. But even the alternate trek was beautiful and we had to walk over frozen ice sheets for 3 days plus other days we hiked through scintillating villages so that was quite an experience. Definitely once in a lifetime experience !
Yes, very true. I'm sure your experience would be worth taking up too. Every lil trail there is!





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Originally Posted by pduttaghy View Post
Great adventure Hardik! Your writeup explains the amount of resolve needed by a person to undertake such a trek. Hats Off to you brother. And salute to the lady with the fractured arm as well. What determination to go through with the trek carrying a broken limb.
Beautiful pictures too.
Thanks a lot. It really gets down to mind games at times and when someone like me, from Bangalore goes to the most extreme temperatures it indeed was very challenging to convince the mind more than the body.
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Old 17th December 2015, 09:42   #37
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Default Re: On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!

Excellent narration bhansali_hardik. The way you have ensured to mention the intricate details of the trek, made us believe as if we were actually doing the trek.
Needless to say, mind blowing snaps. I guess the camera manuals must be mentioning that the camera would be operate better, if you visit such places.
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Old 17th December 2015, 17:57   #38
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Man! What a travelogue! After finishing reading it, i felt a little cold & all around me looked white for a while. I went for a hot coffee to feel warm before writing this appreciation note to you!
Nicely narratted matching the brilliance of the pictures, mesmerizing. I have read the travelogues around Leh on roads with cars & treks on mountains. Now i see the other side of it! And Hardik, i will call this "the real Adventure"! Great to see you lived a dream.
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Old 19th December 2015, 19:37   #39
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Originally Posted by Inner Voice View Post
Excellent narration bhansali_hardik. The way you have ensured to mention the intricate details of the trek, made us believe as if we were actually doing the trek.
Needless to say, mind blowing snaps. I guess the camera manuals must be mentioning that the camera would be operate better, if you visit such places.
I'm glad you could enjoy the pics and the log.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Raaj* View Post
Man! What a travelogue! After finishing reading it, i felt a little cold & all around me looked white for a while. I went for a hot coffee to feel warm before writing this appreciation note to you!
Nicely narratted matching the brilliance of the pictures, mesmerizing. I have read the travelogues around Leh on roads with cars & treks on mountains. Now i see the other side of it! And Hardik, i will call this "the real Adventure"! Great to see you lived a dream.
Warmth is indeed the best thing on earth, I'm happy that I could take you through it with my effort. Thank you
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Old 20th December 2015, 15:19   #40
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Day 11

It was the end, almost the end, end of all the winter bitterness. We wake up at the camp laze around the sun, not doing the morning duties in the open. we knew there was hotel, hot water, heater, warm cozy beds, thick blankets, hot sulemanis waiting back at leh. We just laze around and take a stroll. Pack up for the last time and go up the hillock.

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5243.jpg

The last accessible road, which might go all the way to nerak soon.

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5245.jpg

We have to go towards nimmu.

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5267.jpg

The Sun is strong and the chadar still being well formed for the next batches to come.

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5280.jpg

As we stroll and take a walk, our buses were late due to BRO working on the stretch and we come across this!!

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5306.jpg

Finally we take the bus and go back to all we were craving for days.

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5312.jpg

As we get down at the leh hotel, we find this put up and everyone sad.

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_20150117_145711.jpg

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_20150117_145717.jpg

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_20150117_145728.jpg

It was really heart breaking to see this happen, one of my own colleague was out there for trek and she had decided to take the second batch and she was called back! I met her and it was really sad to see state of the porters and the organisers. Needless to say the travellers were sad and angry too! They wanted the money back and there was a lot of havoc, how ever the little money what organisers make were already used to stock up the supplies for winter treks and there was no way they could manage to give all the money back. They however had an alternate plans put up

We went to our initial hotel which we had booked and did not take the one which our organiser provided us, it had the winter problem and there was no running water, whereas the hotel we had booked was planned and made cleverly to have running water even in -16 temp. They are one of the few hotels in leh to have this, we went there and after a showers and a nap we all had celebrations going long till the night.

Day 12

We were in a dilemma, the pangong dilemma! Should we risk the changla in such conditions or not? We had already ringed the driver previous night for the pangong trip. But, even he advised to take a call next day. We were warned by few of the trekkers along in the trek, they had tried changla a few years back and there was an ugly weather where they were held back for good 20 hours on the other side and could not make it o leh.

We did not have the luxury of time, next day we had to catch a flight back to our cities, if we missed the flight there was no way out, as the prices had sky rocketed and there were no seats available. (Remember there are angry tourists who could not do the chadar? Many of them decided to go back and not do the alternate treks)

How ever the weather looked good in the morning and the sky was clear

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5317.jpg

We decided to go for it! And the driver was very positive about it too..

There was glorious sunshine along hot aaloo paranthe

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5322.jpg

A pee break at zingral

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5335.jpg

There was the mighty chang la in front of us to be scaled

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5354.jpg

The roads were all snowy

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5364.jpg

curvy

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5367.jpg

and then we negotiate to the changla

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5426.jpg
The might one basking in the glory of sun

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5433.jpg

oops, this wasn't for the faint hearted ones certainly

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5449.jpg

The first glimpse of it, totally blown away!

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5545.jpg

It was showing it's mightiness as we approached it

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5550.jpg

A little portion was already freezing

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5565.jpg

you can see it creeping through and capturing the rest of it

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5585.jpg

the mightiness

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5652.jpg

We could barely stay for 15minutes in the out, the winds were super strong and of course cold, we just took a few snaps and got into the car to get to leh on time.

the convoys, always a magnificent sight

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5678.jpg

We head back leh and do a little shopping around in the market and get back to our hotel for our final packing.

Day 13
We bid a goodbye to our hotel and the hosts

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5712.jpg

I take my flight to delhi and it was officially over.

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_5718.jpg

I was going away from the place, a place where going in this time, people called me nuts, they called me mad, I called myself mad and yet I was heartbroken and wanted to cringe in pain to leave it. Leaving you with a parting shot, a shot, a miracle, a flawless art put up by nature, a spectacular sight for which all the pain was worth....

On a sheet of Ice - Chadar!-img_20150114_143556.jpg
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