More and more people are taking to trekking. And age doesn't seem to matter
Pick up your sleeping bag, put on your hiking shoes and get ready for an adventure that will most definitely change your life. It's that time of the year again! Adventure trekking has over time become immensely popular in our country especially during the summer. There are enough and more trails to choose from — the Ladakh mountains, the Kashmir great lakes, the Garhwal mountain ranges — it's a long list. Not just the hardcore trekking enthusiasts, it is also the lay man who has strongly taken to this hobby. From the middle aged housewife to fresh college graduates to IT professionals, it is something a lot of people are willing to try. So what is it that makes it tick? Says Aarti Kolar, a student of Symbiosis, “They teach you how to live without half the comforts you have otherwise. You learn to adjust with people and start to appreciate nature better.” Treks are not so much about getting to your destination as much as they are about the journey. Apart from the breath taking sights that you could not have imagined were hidden in your country, they teach you to brave the not-so-appealing aspects of nature. You trek through snow, through hail storms and through days when you can barely feel your feet; every step is a learning experience. Indeed, they are good for the spirit! “It is not always hunky dory. Sometimes you get sick of mountains and want to go home. I fell sick on the second last day of my trek and had to deal with a running stomach. But every bit of it was worth it,” says Ramya. R who did a trek last summer. Those who think mountains are an over romanticised idea should perhaps venture out to gain a little insight. “There is nothing like singing ‘on top of the world' when you are standing on a snow capped mountain, with your hands feeling the clouds. You truly are on top of the world,” says Divya Ruth Jose, a college student. They are also a great chance to bond with people from different walks of life. Imagine drinking a hot cup of chai with a new friend with Mount Kanchenjunga right in front of you! (This is indeed possible if you do the Goechi La trek in Sikkim)
The best trail for one to take in the summer is Roopkund in Uttarakhand. It climbs to 15,700 ft but the trail is well laid out. You trek through the largest high altitude meadows in the country- the beautiful Ali bugyal and bedni bugyal and dense oak forests.
The trek starts at Lohagunj (8300 ft), a tiny pass in the heart of the greater Himalaya and extends over five days. It combines beauty with a kick of adrenaline, perfect for beginners. However, it does require the trekker to be considerably fit. Other popular trails are the Hampta and Rupin pass in himachal and the Nubra valley trek in Ladakh for which there are a large number of takers. “I am doing the Hampta trail this June. This is my second trek and I know I will come out a different person after this just like the first time. For me, trekking is also a way of discovering myself,” says Soumil Shah, an IT consultant.
So take a little time off, choose a trail, gather a few friends and embark on a trip that will be life altering! It's true what they say, there ain't no mountain high enough.