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Old 24th May 2010, 20:28   #16
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The premise is set. Must have been a welcome change from Rajasthan summers to the welcoming showers. Now glued to your trekkalogue. What's the fare now from chandigarh to manali by the volvo bus?
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Old 24th May 2010, 21:03   #17
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Please Hurry ... the wait is unbearable.
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:02   #18
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Default Babeli Base Camp (4000ft). Day-1

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsar56 View Post
Nice start to the travelogue Deky.
It would be great if you can share the details of the stuff you carried along for the trek. (YHAI guidelines.)

waiting for more pictures of the beautiful Himalayas.
I carried a bit extra as I had a few extra days in Kullu and Manali plus I had to cater for travelling too. As far as the kit required just for the 11 days of trekking I will cover that as the log progresses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
The premise is set. Must have been a welcome change from Rajasthan summers to the welcoming showers. Now glued to your trekkalogue. What's the fare now from chandigarh to manali by the volvo bus?
It was indeed, within a matter of 24 hrs I was from 42 degrees down to 15 degrees of temperature.

CONTD

Next day was bright and sunny. The city sounds were muffled by the sound of Beas flowing right next to my hotel. It was wonderfull waking up to such amazing sceneries.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04151.jpg

Kullu being the district capital is a pretty crowded place. Luckily it doesnt get much of tourists as Manali, being so close to it and at considerably higher altitude takes them all. Still Kullu, like a typical over grown hill station gets its shares of traffic jams. Specially with the heavy overnight downpours there were still a lot of waterlogged streets.

This is what happens when a 4- wheeler, to avoid traffic jams uses a bridge meant only for 2-3 wheelers.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04155.jpg

Obviously it gets stuck.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04156.jpg

But after some pushing and jostling and positioning of stones in strategic locations, the van is lifted and it moves ahead. All in a days work for the locals. Guess thats not the first time a 4 wheeler has used this bridge.

Another interesting thing I noticed was this fire engine/truck/ jeep. Now I think Mahindra can claim to have made the smallest fire tender in the world. But my question is, where do they store the water?
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04154.jpg

Anyway, soon it was time to check out and report to Babeli base camp. As mentioned earlier Babeli is only 7 kms away from Kullu on Manali highway. So after 45 minutes and Rs 100/- in an auto I was at Babeli, ready to report for my trek.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04196.jpg

I was checked in at the reception and was allotted a tent. I was also told that my group SK-12 has only 5 persons hence our group will be merged with SK-11. Group SK-11 had reported yesterday and today was their second day at the camp. That it turn meant that I will be finishing my trek a day earlier i.e on 14-05-10 instead of 15-05-10, thus would have to spend an extra day in Manali as I had already booked my return tickets for the 16-05-10. Well, so much for planning and booking tickets in advance!!!

I found my tent amongst 18 other tents and made my self as comfortable as I could. Well I better not complain about having no mattresses or no pillows as I will be living like this or maybe in worst conditions as the trek progressed. Thank God for small mercies, here atleast the floor was more or less leveled.

The tent area looked more like a dhobhi ghat. Later I was told that this was due to the rains that had created havoc. The rain water had completely deluged the tents and all the blankets and personnel clothing's had got wet. For those who spent the previous night here, apparently it was a nightmare for them, moving from one tent to another trying to find some dry place.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04197.jpg

Soon lunch was served and I was issued my 2 blankets for use at base camp, an inner sheet, to be used inside the sleeping bags at higher camps and a rucksack, that I would be carrying on the trek.

After Lunch we had the orientation walk. It was a 5 kms walk uphill to the nearest village. We had to carry our rucksacs with 2 blankets in it. The idea was to give a feel of what will be instore during the trek. Some huffed and puffed but slowly and steadily all managed to reach there.

At the village we were asked to introduce ourselves. This is where I realised that we were a total of 23 in our group. The age group varied from 15 yrs to 60 years.16 boys and 7 girls constituted the group.

I think it will be apt here to introduce the group members here as I feel without all of them this trek would not have been half as enjoyable as it turned out to be. So 3 cheers for the SK-11 group.

From L-R- Venkatesh, Milind & Ram from Nagpur
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Ashish from nagpur
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From L-R: Ganacharya and More from Mumbai
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Vivek- Group leader
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From L-R: Anirudh from Bangalore and Dhiraj
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Management Darshana from Ahemdadbad ( there were 2 Darshana's, she was with IIM hence, the name Management
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Navneeth from Bangalore
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Divya from Seattle
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Bharath from Bangalore, the youngest in our group
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Madhav Uncle from Bangalore
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Amruthavarshini from Bangalore
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From L-R: Microbiologist Darshana from Ahemdabad ( she was a micro-biologist) and Sujata Aunty
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Hari from Bangalore: Our Environment Leader
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From L-R: Kalpesh, Jaisel and Patel Aunty all from Ahemdabad
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Vaishali
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Patel Uncle from Ahemdabad, probably the eldest in the group.
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After all the introductions were over we had to choose a group leader, a co-group leader and an environment leader. Basically Grp leader is incharge of the group, he check in and check out the grp at various camps, makes sure that the group is in order and all are following the rules of YHAI during treks. The Co-Grp leader takes charge if the Grp leader isnt around and the environment leader makes sure that the group isnt littering and also picks up any waste along the treks route and deposits them at the next camp.

Vivek was chosen as the group leader ( I still dont know why we chose him..lol), Micro- biologist, Darshana was chosen the Co- grp leader and Hari as the environment leader.

After the introductions it was time to walk down to the base camp and meet the Field Director (FD) and get instructions from him about the camps code of conduct (elaborated in the next post)

After tea at 1600 hrs we had free time and what better thing to do than to sit by Beas which was flowing right opposite our camp site. In Babeli there are lot of operators organising river rafting. The rapids are not as high as what they are in Rishikesh but still it was exciting for most of the people doing it for the first time.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04183.jpg

The cost of rafting is in Between Rs1000/- to 2000/- depending on the length of the stretch you want to do. Obviously it is negotiable.

It was fun watching people raft, the expressions on their face as the dingy hit the rapids was priceless. There were a few local kids who had come for their daily bath. With their running noses and their carefree attitude they cared a damn about the world. The water was cold, really cold but for them it was fun, Watching them I wished I could turn into a kid and enjoy like they were!!!
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04172.jpg

Soon the sun was setting but Beas was still roaring and gushing with all its might.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04207.jpg

It was time to head back to the camp for dinner. Simple dinner of Dal, subzi, rice and roti was served. It was simple but yet tasty. After dinner it was time for camp fire, yet another YHAI tradition.

YHAI campfire doesnt have any fire, as lighting of fire is banned. Instead a few bulbs are lit and thats fire for you...it was strange yet it was funny, especially when you suppose to shout " fire fire...camp fire" as soon as the bulbs come on.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04212.jpg

Tonight's camp fire had 3 groups. SK-10, that was suppose to leave on the trek tomorrow, SK-11(our group), leaving day after and SK-4 that had returned to the base camp after 7 days of trekking.

Our group was supposed to be hosting the campfire and we had already chosen Divya as the MC. The programme started with distribution of certificates of completion to SK-4 participants, SK-4 telling us our experiences of their trek and then later on other participants joined in by show casing their talents in singing, dancing, mono acting, jokes and other shero-shayari. Milo was served and soon it was time for bed.

The lights went of at 2200hrs and soon we all were sleeping off to glory in our respective tents. No beds, no matresses, no pillows, hard sleeping surfaces actually turned out to be a non-issue as we all slept peacefully, only to be woken up for bed tea at 0500 hrs the next day.
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:15   #19
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Default Camp Code Of Conduct & Rules

There are codes of conduct for everything, and as usual some follow and some dont. Basically code of conduct is layed down for making things easier and to avoid untoward incidents during the trek. Its all a matter of common sense I think. Yet they are essential to be told so that we are reminded of them.

YHAI camp code of conduct was no different. Here are some points that were elaborated to us. Also some pointers have been taken from the YHAI trekkers hand book.

1. Do not get into tents in boots, leave them out
2. Use waste pits to throw the trash, do not leave them in the camp or around it
3. No burning of candles inside the tent
4. Do not make noise in the night and disturb others
5. Wash your mugs, plates immediately after using them
6. Do not pollute water of streams and rivers as it is used by people downstream for their daily needs
7. Do not walk over trees, pluck fruits, fell trees or walk over new plantations
8. Do not spoil local monuments and respect local customs and traditions.
9. Leave your tent and surrounding clean for the next group.
10. Use of alcohol and drugs is strictly prohibited.
11. Since these are environment freindly treks, there will be no burning of fire wood
12. Boys and girls will be given seperate tents to sleep in
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:28   #20
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Nice and very interesting.. i had also followed your trip across tibet.

Wonderful 5 STAR!

Abhi thoda jaldi jaldi post karo na.. many awaiting....
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:36   #21
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Damn, that is one awesome travelouge!! Keep it coming deky.
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:36   #22
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I think that Mahindra Fire Truck/Jeep only carries the pump/motor and the water is used from the other tanks.

I am forwarding this thread to a colleague who has been interested in doing a trek with YHAI sometime this year or the next.

BTW, eagerly waiting for the rest of the posts!

EDIT:
Rated 5*!
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Old 25th May 2010, 15:01   #23
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Missed reading your previous posts, now I'm up to date

Quote:
But my question is, where do they store the water
May be they're using the natural resources. But for sure, they're smallest fire trucks/fire jeeps?

Quote:
Since these are environment freindly treks, there will be no burning of fire wood
^^^ is much welcome act
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Old 25th May 2010, 15:03   #24
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Great start; awaiting for rest of the travelouge. Five *

OT: Thanks for the YHAI link, wasnt knowing getting membership was this easy. Can you let know average tarrif in their hostels?
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Old 25th May 2010, 15:29   #25
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A 5-er from my side. And a query. Is it mandatory for boys and girls to be in separate tents? Now if I take my family with me, will I be separated from my wife and my father from his?
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Old 25th May 2010, 15:39   #26
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Hi Deky, the first pic is truly awesome, enjoyed everything you posted so far, can wait for more
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Old 25th May 2010, 16:06   #27
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Amazing start. Good to see people from so many places all rolled as one!
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Old 25th May 2010, 19:36   #28
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I just have no words deky... Just want to say that was a too good for a vacation ....
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Old 25th May 2010, 19:46   #29
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Default Babeli Base Camp (4000ft). Day-2

Thank you all for the ratings, the stars and all other words of appreciation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsar56 View Post
I think that Mahindra Fire Truck/Jeep only carries the pump/motor and the water is used from the other tanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
May be they're using the natural resources. But for sure, they're smallest fire trucks/fire jeeps?
Think you guys are right, as luckily there are lots of water bodies around here to pull water

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
OT: Thanks for the YHAI link, wasnt knowing getting membership was this easy. Can you let know average tarrif in their hostels?
Its actually very simple, even I thought it would take ages and a lot of scrutiny. As for the tariffs, I am not sure. I was told that most of the accommodation for YHAI is run by their franchises, hence the tariff would differ from place to place. To check the prices at a certain place please refer to this link

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
A 5-er from my side. And a query. Is it mandatory for boys and girls to be in separate tents? Now if I take my family with me, will I be separated from my wife and my father from his?
The tents are huge and cater for 10-12 people at a time. The tents are used for sleeping as well as changing by the inmates. I do not think it will be logistically possible for YHAI to have individual family tents. Hope this will answer your querry

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Amazing start. Good to see people from so many places all rolled as one!
That was the best part, you tend to get more accommodating and tend to respect a person from a different back ground and different social system better. In my case I ended up learning a few words in Kannada

CONTD

Getting up at 0500hrs in the morning surprisingly is very easy in the hills. I wonder why? Is it the fresh air or is it the chirping of the birds or is it just the anticipation of whats in store for you in the day? I think all of this coupled with no television before sleeping plus no tension of work or household that keeps you awake before you force your mind to shut down.

Anyway, by 0515 hrs bed tea was announced and we all gathered around the dinning tent to grab a cup, soon everyone from our group was seen getting ready for the morning excercise routine. SK-10 participants were getting ready with their rucksacks as they were leaving for their trek today.

By 0545 hrs our group had assembled and we left our base camp for our exercise. We were led by our guide Manu. Initially it was a km run uphill that apart from a few, rest did walking. Believe me its really not easy to run when you have not been exercising regularly. So basically half of the group was already tired before we could even loosen our bodies. Next Manu led us to a clearing between the trees next to Beas. There started our excercise. This reminded me of my school days where in the morning assembly we had to do some excersices. But the difference was in the assembly we had to do them for 5 minutes and here even after 30 minutes Manu did not want to stop.

Manu had enough of our non-sense, then came the lecture from him
agar aap 4000ft pe aisa karogey to 10,000/- ft pe kya hoga
inti si takleef nahin utha saktey, 10 kg ka rucksac kaise uthaogey
aap sab jawaan ho, thodi mehnat karo and

and he went on doing more and more. So after doing some 175 exercises he stopped finally and told us to get back to the camp. Obviously we were more than happy to do this.

By 0730 hours we were back in the camp hogging on the breakfast. Exercise really makes you hungry. Also another thing that exercising does is that you feel absolutely fresh. No amount of bath, no amount of coffee or no amount of tea can get you this morning freshness. ( oh well, bath does freshen you up, but who wants to have a bath when its so cold)

Soon SK-10 was ready to get their final briefing from the FD before they ventured on their trek
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04214.jpg

By 0800 hrs they were ready with their packed lunches and we were ready to follow another YHAI custom i.e to see them off. Amrutha being the youngest lady in our group was chosen to flag them off.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04216.jpg

For our group today was the day when we did some rappelling and learn some rock climbing. So after seeing SK-10 off we leave for rappelling. Manu was our guide again and he had already chosen a rock about 30 feet high for rapelling. This was pretty close to the campsite and we reached there within 30 minutes.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04220.jpg

Manu and his assistant went up first to tie the ropes around some rock. While others waited I went up to see what was happening as this was a great opportunity to learn various types of knots they use to tie ropes.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04221.jpg

After the equipment was ready Manu gave us some guidelines about rappelling about how we should balance our weight, at what angle should the body be rested on the rock, use of left hand for releasing the rope for coming down and use of right hand to maintain the balance etc etc.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04223.jpg

And then came our turn, everyone was asked to do it one by one.

Some took it very seriously
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04228.jpg

Some decided to have some fun while descending.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04231.jpg

some were not so lucky and fell
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04232.jpg

and some like me who went in the end seeing other people do the stuff had already perfected the art :P
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04236.jpg

After everyone had done rappelling it was time to move ahead for rock climbing, but it started to drizzle. While we waited for the rain to stop we decided to have some entertainment.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04238.jpg

The drizzle never stopped and Manu decided to cancel the rock climbing as by now the rocks would have got very slippery and dangerous to climb. So we had no option but to return to the base camp.

After lunch we had free time till 1700 hrs. The rain had stopped so I decided to take a walk along the Beas. The clouds were clearing up and a few snow capped peaks were visible now.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04242.jpg

The clouds had started to settle down and the surrounding hills looked magnificient.
A Trek in The Himalayas-dsc04245.jpg

Back at the camp at 1700 hrs we had to get our rucksack checked. Rucksack was checked for weight and also if we were carrying any extra stuff during the trek. Also we were asked to deposit our extra luggage in the cloak room at that time. With everyone set with their rucksack and extra luggage deposited, it was time for dinner and then Campfire.

Tonight's campfire consisted of mostly people from our group as there was no SK-12 ( remeber they were merged with our group) also SK-5 that had returned today, most of the members had checked out leaving a very few from that group.

So the campfire ended as soon as the Milo was served. It seemed that today most of our members had come only to have the Milo
We were back in our tents and ready for our journey to the Himalayas tomorrow
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Old 25th May 2010, 20:07   #30
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Default Things to Carry in Your Rucksack on The Trek

I will try to list the things that I think are essential to carry in the Rucksack while you are on a trek. Since mostly on a trek we are away from civilisation for a few days so it is essential that we pack everything we require for the duration. Also we can not pack extra as we only will be carrying the bag on our back.

These things are according to my needs and may vary from a person to person. This list is only a guide line

1. Extra clothing (one set) in case the clothes you wearing get wet. Carry cotton pants as they easy to dry and weigh less. Avoid jeans.
2. warm inners to wear, monkey cap/ muffler, sun cap
3. 3 pairs of socks- best to change on alternate days
4. floaters/ slippers
5. small towel is sufficient. Big towel wont be required as in such cold conditions no one has a bath
6. I personally like to wear different layer of clothes on me instead of one heavy warm jacket. its easy to keep removing as it get warm or wearing as it gets cold. Takes less space in rucksack too
7. Water bottle
8. tiffin box- to carry packed lunch and a mug for soup or milo
9. medicine pouch
10. cold creams, tooth brush, sun cream, sun glasses ( good uv protective ones)
11. needle, swiss knife, camera, torch, extra battery for torch and camera
12. tissue/ toilet roll- good to clean the grease off ur tiffin box if nothing else
13. soapbars or strips
14. A good rain coat that covers you and your bagpack
15. Good water proof high ankle shoes--a must.
16. A walking stick- some find it a hinderance, I find it very helpfull, especially on snow.

Please note:- we did not have to carry our own tents or sleeping or cooking equipments as YHAI had set up temporary camps everywhere we were suppose to stop for the night.

Last edited by deky : 25th May 2010 at 20:10.
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