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Old 24th August 2008, 13:14   #1
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Default Once in a lifetime trip!! Trekking 96kms in 9 days to reach 13575ft.

Hi Friends!!

This is gonna be a different kind of travelogue from the usual road trips being posted here. No cars. No burning tires. No top speeds achieved. Only physical and mental strength and the pride of achieving the feat.

07 July:
As a part of an outbound training of my company i join a gang of 33 ppl whom i have never met before. By noon we come to know that our destination is Tata Steel Adventure foundation (TSAF) base camp @ RAVADA and we are enlightened of all the hurdles we should expect on our expedition. We leave for HNZM station at 7pm to catch the midnight shatabdi to Haridwar.
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08 July :
4am

Shatabdi is on time as usual. On the platform there was hardly any space to stand for 33 sleepy souls with luggage. Some of the ppl from down south were shocked to see so many ppl sleeping on the platform.. We somehow sneak out of the station without disturbing anybody's sleep. We start walking to a guest house nearby where some rooms were booked for us just to freshen ourselves before a 210km to Uttarkashi by bus.

5:30am

Some slept, some had tea, some went about with their daily routine, some took bath and did their prayers but all of us managed to reach the bus in time. Time management had already started.

The 210km ride in the bus starts by 6am. The bus wasn't even near average in terms of comfort. Everyone was moving around to make themselves comfortable but all in vain. We reach the outskirts of Haridwar and i see the driver struggling. He stops for a while and then starts moving again. After 2kms of driving at snail's pace he finally shuts off the engine and gets out to check whats wrong. Out of nowhere he announces this bus can't go as the engine is consuming engine oil so we would have to call another bus.
Adventure has already started and for a few panic had set in. With nothing to do till the replacement bus comes we guys start loitering around to explore the scenery.
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After 45minutes another bus comes. Most of us were just praying that this bus takes us safely to our destination without any hiccups. Finally after tranferring all our luggages we get going. Its already 7:30am and we are just on the outskirts of Haridwar, Raiwala to be precise.

5:30pm
After numerous stops for food, pee and by cops we reach Uttarkashi by 5:30 pm. The whole route was scenic with few good roads and mostly bad roads.
Once in a lifetime trip!! Trekking 96kms in 9 days to reach 13575ft.-dscn4930.jpg
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At Uttarkashi we are greeted by Mr. Sherpa from TSAF and he assures that all the members have all the required things for the next 10days. We were told that Uttarkashi is the last place where we could buy anything for the next 9days. At that moment most of us didn't take him that seriously but some of us tanked up with chewing gums, chocolates and few other accessories.

6:30pm
We reach Ravada base camp. It raining heavily and we gotta start moving with the luggage towards the camp which is around 400m from the motorable road.

We are soon greeted by the chief instructor and other instructors of TSAF.
Soon we come to know that we 33 guys have to stay in 3 tents and 1 tent for the girl. Within minutes all of us dump their luggages in their respective tents and start dinner with umbrella in one hand. After dinner we are informed about all the rules to be followed at the base camp.

Only one day over. 8 more to go. Hang on!! the trip has just started.

Last edited by kpzen : 24th August 2008 at 13:20.
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Old 24th August 2008, 13:25   #2
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Prajesh,

Amazing photos. This is a good preamble for a great travelogue.

I can't wait to read more about this trip. Keep it coming man.
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Old 24th August 2008, 13:55   #3
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seems its different and i'm lovin it.
keep it coming.
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Old 24th August 2008, 14:38   #4
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Nice pics and analogue of events that happened before start of trekking. Waiting for your travelogue of 96 kms trekking...
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Old 24th August 2008, 14:43   #5
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Wait - Let me get my popcorn. I already feel this is going to be one heck of an adventure.

Go on KP - we don't need long pauses in between please.
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Old 24th August 2008, 15:28   #6
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A few pics i missed out in the previous post.

Unloading the luggages and getting ready to go across Gangotri where the base camp is located.
Once in a lifetime trip!! Trekking 96kms in 9 days to reach 13575ft.-dscn4970.jpg

View inside the base camp.
Once in a lifetime trip!! Trekking 96kms in 9 days to reach 13575ft.-dscn4976.jpg
Once in a lifetime trip!! Trekking 96kms in 9 days to reach 13575ft.-dscn4968.jpg

Getting into the sleeping bag is more difficult than participating for a sack race.
Once in a lifetime trip!! Trekking 96kms in 9 days to reach 13575ft.-dsc01107.jpg
Once in a lifetime trip!! Trekking 96kms in 9 days to reach 13575ft.-dsc01106.jpg

Once in a lifetime trip!! Trekking 96kms in 9 days to reach 13575ft.-dsc01099.jpg

Part 2 coming up in some time.

Last edited by kpzen : 24th August 2008 at 15:31.
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Old 24th August 2008, 16:52   #7
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Amazing thread Kpgetz! Great pictures!
One question though.. what tires were you using?
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Old 24th August 2008, 17:00   #8
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09 July
5:15am

I wake up and get out of the tent to see the beautiful scenes around. Around the corner i see ppl standing in line with a bottle of water in front of three make shift toilets. lol. I start laughing at them but suddenly i realise that i too have to join that line...
I join that line and soon i see some frustrated faces and some trying to laugh on whats going on.. The toilet was a wooden cubical with no roof , a door without a latch and an inclined make shift indian pot. If its raining u need to hold an umbrella in one hand and with the other hand u need to hold the rope to keep the door closed. Now don't ask how do u do the rest....lol Adding to all that misery if u are unlucky there's a very good chance of a leech hovering around the pot...
While trying to cope with all these hurdles we hear a whistle. Everyone is like Whats that? Suddenly one guy shouts its 5:45am.First whistle for fall in. Damn!!!!
The instructor shouts: Come on Guys!! get a move on. Else u won't be given breakfast. I want u all ready in 15mins...lol

6:15am: all 34 of us manage to fall in and the instructors start going bonkers about the punctuality and time management. All of us literally were acting deaf to all this..
After they were done with the history of TSAF and Mrs Bachendri Pal who's the director of this foundation we were taken for a 5km jog uphill.

The 5km jog was fine for me but some ppl were not feeling too good. While going up all the lightweights were cruising and while coming down all the heavyweights were literally running courtesy no engine braking.

8:30am: We reach back to the base camp and all are ready to hog the breakfast after good morning workout.

8:40am: Breakfast: One boiled egg, chapati,soya bean curry and tea. Fantastic is term i should say for serving such high quality nutritious food in those conditions..
Having breakfast:
Once in a lifetime trip!! Trekking 96kms in 9 days to reach 13575ft.-dscn4978.jpg
Finishing the breakfast was too easy for us but no-one expected another challenge was coming up soon. We were told that each one of us have to wash the plate by going to the banks of the river...Haha So many amused faces i could see. Some had fun...Let the pics tell the story.
Once in a lifetime trip!! Trekking 96kms in 9 days to reach 13575ft.-dscn4979.jpg
Once in a lifetime trip!! Trekking 96kms in 9 days to reach 13575ft.-dscn4982.jpg
First leech attack. Oh boy!! It was just the beginning.
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After breakfast we 34 of us were divided into 4 groups for the remaining part of the trip.
Next up for us was the BREAKING THE ICE game. Its basically a game to know your mates better by passing a small pillow by calling each others name..

11:30- We have another game to play and its called WALKING TOGETHER game..
Eight members of each team can only play this game. (Two teams had nine members)
All eight of them have to stand on two wooden planks placed parallely and reach point A to B. Whichever team does it the fastest will be the winner.
I think the pics would explain the game better.
My team came first thanks to great coordination and all lightweights.
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After lunch we were comparatively free to do anything. So some plan for a group bath. lol. Bathing in such pure water was an amazing experience and feeling though...
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After bathing it was time to explore the nature and also for some photography.
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5:30pm
- We hear a whistle and we are told to fill up the sintex water tanks located near the tents for kitchen and toilet purposes. Human chain was the best way to do it.

Once in a lifetime trip!! Trekking 96kms in 9 days to reach 13575ft.-dscn4999.jpg
Once in a lifetime trip!! Trekking 96kms in 9 days to reach 13575ft.-dscn5000.jpg

The evening was quite and we had an early dinner by 8pm and all went off to sleep by 9pm.

End of Day 2.
15kms trek and rock climbing coming up!!!

Last edited by kpzen : 24th August 2008 at 17:06.
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Old 24th August 2008, 17:05   #9
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wow, this is going to be one interesting travelogue. have subscribed to it.

regards
tifosi.
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Old 24th August 2008, 17:41   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tifosikrishna View Post
wow, this is going to be one interesting travelogue. have subscribed to it.
You are a bit late. Many of us have already taken the subscription w/o charges.

KP nice pics & narration keep them flowing like river water.
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Old 24th August 2008, 19:34   #11
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hi kp seems like you have really had fun .....the pictures are also pretty candid and refreshikngly filled with greens , do keep the pictures coming ...
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Old 24th August 2008, 20:24   #12
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Great travelogue, KP! Perfectly illustrated with photos too!

Looks like you folks had loaaads of fun!

Keeping my eyes peeled for the next update
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Old 24th August 2008, 21:05   #13
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Wow, this is gonna be one heck of a tale.
Uttarkashi and Gangotri bring fond memories as I had been to the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering at Uttarkashi for basic training before a fortnight out in the Gharwal Himalayas for some basic peak scaling.
This was way back in '88.
But looks like the place remains the same.
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Old 24th August 2008, 21:43   #14
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Hi Kpzen.

Nice travelogue. Seems you guys and gals had great fun. Waiting for the next set of pctures.
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Old 24th August 2008, 22:29   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolg View Post
Hi Kpzen.

Nice travelogue. Seems you guys and gals had great fun. Waiting for the next set of pctures.
As per his posts and my understanding goes, they did not have gals in their group. If they had, then it wouldn't have been trekking.
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