A romp in the snow: Rupin Pass Trek

“A journey is best measured in friends rather than in miles.”

Travelling has always been a joy.But it’s merrier and becomes one of the cherished moments when you do it with your friends.The first time I saw Himalayas it left me spellbound.I wanted to see more and made a secret promise that I would visit it often and hopefully soon.Around July,I found myself on the plane heading towards another adventure filled with apprehensions.The recent earthquake seemed to be damping
our excitement and we crossed our fingers hoping for the best.As luck favored the trek indeed turned to be one hell of an experience.

Day 1 – Dhaula

After a day of tremulous bumpy ride we reached the base camp Dhaula. It’s a eye pleasing camp-site beside Rupin river amidst dense forest. All the weariness was forgotten and the only thing predominated was a sense of tranquility which one always feels when in Himalayas.By now my subconscious had already kicked in drawing a comparison between KGL and Rupin pass. This part of Himalayas was so different yet alluring. Once the greetings were exchanged with the fellow trekkers, we slipped into our sleeping bags all gearing up for the next day.

Rupin river!
Rupin river

Day 2 – Dhaula to Seva

The trek got over even before before the day began.A pleasant walk alongside the Rupin river through the beautiful tiny remote villages we reached Seva.The day was spent lazily exploring with the camera. It ended with staring at beautiful sunset.

IMG_5319
Alluring views…

Day 3 – Seva to Jiskun

It was a repeat of the previous day with a longer duration.We were slowly gaining altitude but the trek was easy enough so far. I was a little disappointed as nothing was challenging about the terrain(I was proved horribly wrong later!) but nonetheless enjoyed the nature. We reached Jiskun and this was by far the most beautiful home stay I have ever been to. We spent rest of the day roaming the village and getting a sneak peak into the lifestyle of the tough mountain life people led. The local noodles and momos along with a heavy dinner sent us to sleep in no time.

Streams
Nature!!!
Cute little kids at Jiskun
Cute little kids at Jiskun

Day 4 – Jiskun to Udaknal

This is the day when the trek starts getting better and surprises at each turn.The trek starts with a small climb which takes us to Jaka,the hanging village.From the distance when viewed the houses here seem to be hanging over the edge and hence it the name, the hanging village. After relishing over maggi (I guess this was the last time I ate maggi) we set off to our destination. We were greeted by slight showers as we passed through the damp pine forest and the air grew chilly as the wind began to blow. Walking over the snow bridges and through the forest of moderate terrain with rhododendrons in sight we reached the campsite set amidst the forests.

My first trek would not have been as memorable as it turned out to be if it was not with Indiahikes. It was one of our friend’s birthday and the kitchen staff baked him a wonderful cake.These guys go beyond the call of duty to make our trek not just comfortable and safe but memorable too.I am sure my friend will not forget this heartfelt gesture for years to come.
I never knew you could use tomatoes and capsicums to decorate
I never knew you could use tomatoes and capsicums to decorate a cake 🙂

Day 5 – Udaknal to Dhanras

Rupin pass is like a movie which starts slow and then when you are about to conclude it’s boring it punches you right in the stomach and you find yourself gripping by the edge of the seat. The greenery bid us goodbye and the snow-clad mountains started appearing. We trekked through the immense snow patches falling and enjoying all the way up to Dhanras. Dhanras/Lower Waterfall is a breathtaking campsite giving a majestic view of Rupin pass and Sangla valley. Being surrounded by huge snow-clad mountains away from the civilization transported us to a different world altogether.I experienced my first snowfall and got excited like a kid. The nights began to be unbearably cold and sent chill down the spine and I heard myself mumble – Brace yourself !!Winter is coming ( GOT reference)

As beautiful as it can get
As beautiful as it can get 🙂
Best shoes ever :D
Best shoes ever 😀

Day 6 – Dhanras to Upper Waterfall

We were given micro spikes and I felt adventurous wearing them.The fresh snowfall made it difficult to get a firm grip and many fell in trying to gain balance.We started the climb slowly one behind the other with cautious optimism. The snow kept piling up as the altitude increased damping our pace. The harsh sun made it impossible to see anything with the naked eye. After our maiden snow trek that lasted for about four hours,we reached the Upper Waterfall. The Upper Waterfall is a beauty in its own regard.How wrong I was to think one needs colors to paint a pretty picture?! Snow spread out as far as your eyes could reach and the only color was white in its purest form.Yet the whole scenery was majestically beautiful commanding respect. The sun was harsh to spend rest of the day and we rested inside the tents gearing for the BIG DAY.

Overwhelmed
Overwhelmed!!!
Pristine white...
Pristine white…

Day 7 – Upper Waterfall to Rupin pass

Today was a significant day. We were about to trek Rupin pass and also trek 16 km in a stretch! I was feeling uneasy because of altitude and decided to skip breakfast. As the trek started with steep ascent leaving us breathless.After a quick rest we proceeded further.The air grew thinner and even a mere two steps seemed tiring.The accurate description I can think of Rupin pass is a right angle with lots of snow.The pass took about an hour to climb and it was foggy for anything to see. Finally at 15,350 ft,t literally felt at top of the world.

Get Set Go!!!
Get Set Go!!!
Out of breath...
Out of breath…

Although the toughest part was over, a good amount of trek was ahead of us.We dragged our tired bodies across the snow hoping to see the campsite soon.The stunt of gliding rapidly on the snow and covering a kilometer in less than a minute was enthralling.Innumerable descents followed by walk through the meadows (Ah!Greenery!!) bought us to serene campsite Ronti Gad.

Happiness is 15,350 ft :D
Happiness is 15,350 ft 😀

Day 8 – Ronti Gad to Sangla

As we started out on the last day the similar feeling lingered.The delight of going back home mingled with the sadness of a great adventure coming to an end. We passed through the beautiful green landscapes yet again. The spectacular view of Kinnar Kailash stopped us in our tracks.It would take an effort to get used to the concrete jungle after being accustomed to spectacular nature for a week. This would be harder than the trek 🙂

Picturesque Kinnar
Picturesque Kinnar
Tips:
All the necessary precautions and risks have been put up in detail at IndiaHikes. But a few helpful personal pointers:
1. Think prior if you can carry the backpack. The right attitude of a trek is to carry the backpack on your own but if you doubt your ability it is best you offload it since it might dampen your pace and enthusiasm.
2. Drink lots of water (water + ORS) as often as you can. Do not allow yourself to be dehydrated. A few sips every 10-15 minutes is helpful.
3. Do not compromise on the shoes. Those forclaz shoes are your knight in armor for the changing terrain. I almost kissed them once the trek was done.
4. Use the trek pole. No matter how fit you are trekking for 8 hours a day is tiring. Trek pole reduces your effort by 30%.
5. Lastly, this is not among the easy treks and prepare yourself for it.
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25 Comments Add yours

  1. Moritz says:

    These pictures are just utterly amazing and you experience sounds absolutely heavenly. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KavyaGN says:

      Thanks Moritz 🙂 Glad you liked it

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Moritz says:

        You are very welcome 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ankitha says:

    Absolutely beautiful ! 🙂 What an experience to be surrounded by such amazing views ! Nice pictures .. Thank you for posting your experience 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KavyaGN says:

      Thanks Ankitha 🙂

      Like

  3. Upendra R says:

    Skipped breakfast on day 7?! That too must have had a telling effect on your exhaustion.

    Very well written though! Particularly liked the way you say snow paints a pretty picture.

    Like

    1. KavyaGN says:

      I thought uneasy stomach would be problematic later in the day…. Hence the skipping

      Like

  4. Excellent review and it reminds me of my trek to the same trail from 29th May 15. After this i trekked Tarsar-Marsar lakes with Arjun Majumdar and Hampta pass as well as Valley of Flowers and Hemakund sahib lake and all the trails are fantastic and gives amazing experience and now proceeding to Dayara Bugyal trek commencing from 27th Sept 15. Great feeling of trekking in Himalayas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KavyaGN says:

      Thanks Uncle 🙂 Woah! You will soon complete almost all treks in Himalayas 😀

      Like

  5. Geeta G Hegde says:

    Congratulations. Excellent.
    God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KavyaGN says:

      You read it Amma!!! Thanks 😀

      Like

  6. Geeta G Hegde says:

    Excellent journey,

    Like

  7. Ankitha Abhimanyu says:

    Amazing Kavyaaa 🙂 Sounds like something i really want to do… Hope you game to do this again 😛

    Like

    1. KavyaGN says:

      You would love it. I’m game 😀

      Like

  8. shyamkumarc says:

    Wow kavya, it’s so well written!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KavyaGN says:

      Thanks Shyamie 😀

      Like

  9. Madhusudan Mohan says:

    This is just awesome! Amazing pictures 🙂 🙂 Next time take me also! Ditcher 😛

    Like

    1. KavyaGN says:

      Thanks Maddy!! BTW look who is talking about ditching 😛

      Like

  10. Great write-up and amazing pics 🙂

    Like

    1. Kavya says:

      Thanks Shiva. Glad you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. arv! says:

    I haven’t read a travelogue on rupin before I came across yours. I have trekked to HKD which traverses in opposite direction to rupin and does not cross any pass. I havent come across any strong reason to undertake rupin. Will be happy if you can sum up the uniqueness of this trail kavya! Thanks!

    Like

    1. Kavya says:

      I’m glad you liked the post. If you’re looking for a proper Himalayan trek experience then Rupin is for you. It has everything covered – Snow, Lush greenery, Altitude as described in the post

      Liked by 1 person

      1. arv! says:

        Thank you Kavya!will surely find out little more about rupin. It’s nice to have stumbled upon your blog.
        🙂

        Like

  12. Nandita says:

    Hi Kavya, in which month did you go for this trek? I am planning to go, but around mid june. Dont want to miss the snow. Any special recommendation on the fitness prep?

    Like

    1. Kavya says:

      Hi Nandita,
      I trekked Rupin around May. Mid June should be fine. The snow doesn’t melt very soon. This is not an easy trek and requires you to be in good physical shape. Read this http://rupinpass.com/index.php/fitness-required and work out accordingly. All the best 🙂

      Like

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