Day 7: Base Camp to Lower Dhamni via Bali Pass (4950 meters) – Trek
We began the trek by 6 am and moved towards Bali Pass, situated at 4950 m. We had to climb 350 m through a steep trail having hard snow. We walked for a few 100 m and snow patch started. The trek leader gave us microspikes so that we could climb properly. We put on the same and continued the trek in a queue. The trek was demanding but we didn’t feel as we were excited and wanted to reach the pass as early as possible. It took us around 2 hours and we were finally at the top. Though it was a mountain pass it looked like a mountain summit. From the pass, the Banderpuch and Kalanag peaks were so close as it seemed that they were situated at a one-hand distance. On one side, we could see the Har ki Dun valley and Yamunotri valley on the other. We then hoisted the Indian flag and took photos.
After half an hour, the guide instructed us to start descending towards the Yamunotri side. When we started moving, we all were shocked as there was no route to descend. I asked twice from the local guide “Is this the correct way to go down? He nodded “yes”. Basically, we had to climb down directly through a mountain with no trail. It was very steep and it had boulders too which weren’t stationary. The guide instructed us to not move in a queue because the boulders were also moving and triggering rockfall. It was a stretch of around 1 km and was quite scary. 3 trekkers including me also got hit by boulders and rocks while descending but we didn’t stop. We continued until we reached a safe spot.
Somehow we descended. We then took a rest for a couple of minutes and looked back. It was one of the scary routes on the trek. The guide also told us that this was scary but the scariest one will come later. We took a pause for a few seconds and then thought “jo hoga dekha jayega” (whatever will happen, will see it) and continued the trek.
The further trail was comparatively easy. Firstly, we crossed the boulders section and then descended down through a steep meadow. I fell down twice and my ankle got twisted. Luckily I had Voilini spray so I applied immediately. The meadow was about to end, so we decided to have lunch. The Yamunotri valley started getting visible from there. We could see the glaciers above Yamunotri temple which act as a source to river Yamuna.
After having lunch, we resumed the trek and now it was the time to negotiate the scariest stretch on the trek. We had to trek through a goat route. The route was too narrow that we had to walk on toes. There was a mountain on one side having wild bushes and a deep 200 feet valley on the other. We were walking by taking the mountain wall support. A thought continuously striking our mind at that time that, if by mistake we take a wrong step, we would fall into the valley. It took us half an hour to cross that patch and then took a long breath after completing the same. It was a real thrill for all of us.
The further trail was easy and in the next hour, we reached our campsite, Lower Dhamni. We were again in the forest. The campsite was peaceful and the good thing was that it was warm. In the evening, I took interview videos of all the trekkers, had dinner and called the day.
Day 8: Lower Dhamni to Yamunotri Temple to Jaan Ki Chatti – Trek
The last trekking day of our trekking journey. We started from our campsite and descended down 2 km through the forest and reached the midpoint of the Yamunotri temple route. The temple was 2.5 km from there but the tough task was to climb uphill again to reach the temple.
After trekking for continuously 6 days in which the last 2 days were strenuous, everyone was finding that 2.5 km trek difficult. Finally, we reached the temple and decided to take a bath in the hot water springs. It was the first time I was taking a bath in the springs and it was really a different experience. The water was too hot naturally so it was getting mixed with cold Yamuna water and then getting supplied to us. 5 minutes of bath in the hot water spring took away all the tiredness and refreshed our body.
Then we went inside the temple to worship and met all the pandits (priests) there. They asked “kaha se aa rhe ho? (From where are you coming?) We replied, “from Bali Pass”. They all got impressed and told “wahan se bahot km log aate” (very fewer people come from there) and offered us Prasad. After that moment, we were feeling like “yes, we did something big” 😀
Later, we trekked down to Jaan ki Chatti which was 5 km from the temple and did night stay there in a hotel.
Day 9: Jaan ki Chatti to Dehradun ISBT – Drive
We commenced our return journey to Dehradun. It took us around 9 hours to reach there. The taxi dropped us at ISBT, bid adieu all the trekkers and mountains and then continued my journey to home.
The 9 days were truly amazing and memorable. We trekked through valleys, crossed streams, beautiful lake, meandering meadows, glaciers, and enchanting forest. Learned several techniques and ways to do the trek and negotiate the tricky patches. The porters and other local staff played an important role and helped us a lot during the entire trek. We all enjoyed the company of each other despite being of different ages and from a different professional background, which made a perfect group.
This trek will always remain special to me. 🙂