For B.N. Rashmi of Mysuru Medical College and Research Institute, it was a birthday to remember. Ensconced at a height ofover 12,500 feet and far away from her immediate family members, she was with a group of trekkers braving the freezing cold of the Himalayan winter.
She was part of a group of trekkers from the city who successfully completed a winter trek to Brahmatal in the Kumaon Himalayas in Uttarakhand, recently. The expedition group comprised people from diverse backgrounds of whom 6 were women and 9 were men.
Brahmatal is located at an altitude of nearly 12,500 feet and the team braved the freezing cold and heavy snowfall that enveloped the region during the course of their 8-day trek held from December 23, 2021, to January 1, 2022.
Apart from trekkers from Mysuru, the team included members from Ballari and Bengaluru and the expedition was flagged off on December 21 by G. Hemantha Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Mysore.
Enroute, the expedition team passed through Lohajung base camp, Bekaltal, Brahmatal summit camp, highpoint before reaching their destination which was Brahmatal from where Mt. Trishul and Mt. Nanda Ghunti were visible, said D.S.D. Solanki of Tiger Adventure Foundatio,n who led the expedition.
Midway through the trek and at the summit camp, the temperature plummeted to minus 10°C and the snow fall was heavy almost bordering on a blizzard which made some of the expedition members wary of pursuing the trek further. But Mr. Solanki, who has led expedition to the Himalayas for almost three decades, goaded the team members to persist and it paid off.
He said winter expedition to the Himalayas pose a different set of challenges including inclement weather and one has to brace for any uncertainty including suspension of the expedition midway. The frozen lakes tend to be enticing to walk but one had to be cautious of the lurking danger as there could be crevices or the lake bed could cave-in which could be disastrous.
The expedition entailed sleeping in tents in the outdoors at night – as all is the case with most trekking expeditions. But the situation was compounded by the freezing winter of the Himalayas though it added to the sense of adventure of the team members.
Despite the bone-chilling temperature and severity of the weather, the expedition was completed leaving the team members with wonderful memories and an experience of a life time having braved the freezing cold of a Himalayan winter.