Trekking – the Walk of Exploration and Enjoyment – became an important expedition of my life after I conquered and did my first summit at Hampta Pass. It was a majestic and an extraordinary experience. The Green trail campaign (Where you pick up all the trash accumulating at the mountains) was “cherry on top” also serving as a touchstone for my heartfelt connection with mountains and furthermore cleanse it, for the purest form of air and water it gives us in return.
- Beauty of mountains- Apart from the prominent beauty mountains possess, they are old-really really old. Accepting the possibility of sounding like a lunatic who thinks mountain talk, they do share the possessed wisdom in a speechless kind of way with everyone, who lives under the shadow of the crest. The best part of this journey was not just a particular site, its the persistent feeling one gets when they are living amongst the beautiful mountains.
- Unexpected Challenges– From my personal standpoint, I faced three major challenges- my back, my toe and my junked trekking shoes.
Calling myself a metropolitan girl at this moment doesn’t really sound incorrect especially because I carried 11 kg of stuff in my bag. Most of it was useless however I didn’t really think it through- so with that sumo hump on my back, many instances became a challenge for my poor backbone while ascending and descending.My pinky puffy toe begged me to stop at every intermission.
Torn out shoes while trekking must be many trekker’s nightmare. With my sense of silliness, I was wearing my treadmill running shoes after paying the piper for some sins and literally skating on the rugged slopes.
I wasn’t really prepared for these challenges but I was fostered really well by the trek leader and the group to not give up during the whole journey.
- Value of small things– Living in the middle of city-luxuries, it is pretty difficult to comprehend value of things even if you think you do. For an example: I like to read 9gag or FML while dishing out, there I said it, even when it is difficult admitting it. In-fact there was this time in the past when my phone went off and I had nothing to read and I ended up reading the menu card of the hotel room we were vacationing at. Trying to portrait the desperation I have for it, there is not much you can do in those dry and wet toilets, all you can do is to save yourself from falling in the below mud pit and as childish as it sounds I adjusted with this without even remembering it in the mountains.
On a more sincere tone, it taught us the importance of drinking water and coping up with a feeling of thirst, when there is no clean water source and also the value of food- not even pretending that I completely understand how difficult it might be to carry food resources at that altitude, we truly cherished and preserved food. Even with this challenge, the food was not just edible but was delicious and the people who cooked food worked so hard for us who were complete strangers. No need to say, the secret ingredient behind the amazing delicacy was their devoted love.
- Personal Contemplation time- Being a logical commentator, you might ask “Why go to such a height just to contemplate?”, but the big distraction of phone that we face here is nullified there with no network and the scenery definitely opens up our cognitive reflective minds.Sitting across a river reviewing the things that were still hurting me and letting them go just like the continuous flow of water was one of my favorite times. It was like weight lifting off my chest.
- A new fighting spirit– There was this instance on the paramount day- our summit day throughout the second ascend, when every nerve in my body wanted to give up, and every part except my will and the sure-short possibility that the people around me won’t let me give up kept me going. It wasn’t just my struggle honestly, there were many other trekkers who struggled but the way they continued inspired me as well. In the past, I have been to some workshops where strangers become a community by the end of 2-3 day program, most of them still hide their weaknesses, here you can’t hide it, you have no option but to work on it with a new zenith.
- Living on the edge– There is a good chance that you can’t acclimatize properly with the thin air at such a height. With the amazing bystander trek leader that I had, it was almost impossible to miss the symptoms of AMS, Hace and Hape. And by my personal reckoning, the only real way out in the mountains is to hydrate and sleep.
Of-course there were risks. On our way to Chandartal lake, we all had to make peace with those risky horrifying little lanes our jeeps were passing, especially when there were other vehicles coming from the other end and the jeep almost stops in air. The heart has to take a leap of faith but the eyes are still closed.
- Mindfulness– While trekking, Mindfulness is a muster- there is no other choice, one wrong step and bye bye ground. Watching solid platform for every next step is all that the mind can process and concentrate over. Your mind is there living in stillness while you tramp.
- Whining is an extra luggage- You can cry and conclude that it is difficult for your body’s bandwidth and even while speaking all that, you are still walking that one more step. So, either one can choose to just whine and walk or just walk, both ways, you conquer the beauty of the plot.
- Coping up with loneliness- Straightforwardly the first night itself, I felt lonely. With so many people to aid in anything required, my unpawnable loneliness still swallowed me, since my definition of loneliness is to be apart from my loved ones. However, human instinctual belonging to others doesn’t let us be alone for a week, we effortlessly make friends.
The last day of the trek, I had a community of my own, a community where we had our own little things to kill time, our own manner of eating, trailing, laughing, furthermore not leaving me lonely any longer. I found a happy place for myself living with the unknown. Everyone is a motivation from the start if you open your eyes.We channeled our will and positivity to each other and the undivided attention and concern ensured our determination is intact. All of us had a smile glued on our faces by the end of the journey.
- Conquering the mind- – Since the day I came back, I have relished those memories and relived so many of them, especially one. Whenever I get high centered with respect to anything these days, my body automatically shifts me to that second ascend and tells me to take another step and gives me morale that it is not far away.
Hampta pass changed my life. Those selfless people gave me hope in our hard and fast world, it bought me closer to myself, helped me make friends, gave me this drive to not stop.