Trekking is a tacit teacher of –
- how to lead a minimalist life ( you carry your own clothes as you trek and hence you will pack in only the absolute essentials )
- a test of physical and mental endurance
- how to appreciate the life we lead ( electricity, water, network…)
We had been planning the Nag Tibba trek for a while now and we were waiting for the rain gods to stop and this weekend was the perfect time!The 10 kilometer trek ( one – way) is categorized as an ‘easy – moderate’ level one by almost all reputed trekking enthusiasts. However, let me share with you , though a small one in terms of distance to be covered, this one is certainly not for the faint hearted!
The trek to the summit of Nag Tibba situated at a height of about 9900 ft above sea level is split over 2 days. The nearest city that you need to reach in order to experience this trek is Dehradun. The first leg of the journey is a 4 hour drive through the winding mountains of Uttarakhand from Dehradun to Pantwari village. En route we spotted the famous Kempty falls and of course never ending almost manicured landscapes!
After a quick refreshments break at Pantwari village , we were ready for the first part of our trek to the base camp. This is a fairly straight forward uphill trek. The sun was beating down hard as we trekked through narrow stony paths. However, regular pit-stops for Nimbu paani kept our hydration levels and spirits high!
None of the treks in Uttarakhand are complete without the company of mountain dogs. Yes i found another fur friend here ! He responded best to the name – Baby! So Baby was our GPS everytime we were confused about the path ahead:-)
4 hours , 4 kilometers and 2 nimbu paani stops later we finally reached our base camp. It was located on a beautiful plateau which offered a panaromic view of the Garwhal range , Himalayas.
We were lucky to experience sunset that evening. After a simple dinner we retired to bed early in our cosy tents since the next day was the big day – Trek to the summit!
Day 2 – 2:45 am we were up and ready to begin the 6 km steep uphill trek to the summit of Nag tibba. Through the forest, on a stony rocky path with just a flashlight to guide us we were off. A few patches were extremely challenging and made me even think whether it was worth this! The only driving force was to catch the sun rise from the summit. With that focus we kept going.
A bunch of sore muscles, 2 major falls and 3 .5 hours later at 6:12 am we had reached the summit of Nag Tibba – 9914 ft. All our pain suddenly seemed worth it as we saw the first rays of the sun peak through the clouds against the indigo skies!
The chilly winds made it hard for us to hang around for longer than 15 minutes. We then began our downhill trek to the basecamp. Sudden rains made it even harder for us to trek back. We were slipping, we were cold, our muscles were over worked , but just the though of piping hot tea and ‘dal chaawal’ was our soul driving force at that point!
9:45 am – we were back at the base camp. We drank cups and cups of tea in an attempt to keep ourselves warm, sadly it wasn’t working enough:-(
The rain was getting worse and we still had to trek from our base camp back to Pantwari. With courage and motivation from our guide, we embarked the last leg of our trek. The rocks were slippery and the mud was now slushy making it difficult for us to maintain a firm grip. The only thing that made it worthwhile was the sight of the clouds kissing the mountains!
40000 steps, 24 hours, 20 kms , countless cups of chai later we are back at Gurgaon. Thank god , we use our hands for typing:-) Now back to hot water and epsom salt treatment for my legs!