A team of 15 JNU students selected after 17 days of rigorous physical training, and found medically fit, left for the autumn trek on 8 October 2016 to Roopkund (5050 m) in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand. The group took the bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate to Joshimath and deboarded at Karna Prayag. From Karna Prayag, the group went to Lohajung village. This is the starting point of the Roopkund trek and the last human settlement on this side of the pass.
After a wholesome breakfast, the group left the base camp and began a steep ascend through oak forests and bamboo trees. We were amazed by the stunning views that the Garhwal Himalayan ranges presented to us. We were at one of the finest camping grounds with the most picturesque views on this side of the Himalayas. The open alpine grazing meadows of Ali Bugyal were mesmerising.
After four days of trekking through the forests, grasslands, river streams, moraines and snow-covered glaciers, the group arrived at the base camp of the pass. On the fifth day, the group started moving towards the mysterious Roopkund Lake at five in the morning and reached the top at eleven in the noon. This uninhabited landmark in the lap of Mount Trishul has been overwhelming innumerable travellers with its countless stories. After spending a couple of hours and capturing the scenic beauty of the valley in our cameras from its highest point, we headed back towards our base camp at reached there at three in the noon.
As the group started the return trek, we were overwhelmed by emotions and we bid goodbye to an unforgettable experience. We could still get a glimpse of Mount Trishul from Bedni Bugyal on a clear day from Karnakdhar en route Wan.We followed steep descends and gradually climbed through forests packed with blooming rhododendrones. We then arrived at Wan.We trekked for the next three days grasslands and forests. Ghat village was the end point of our trek.
A few of our friends faced temporary mountain sickness but proper medication and rest helped them to recover in a few hours. Our group returned happily on 19 October 2016.
Sumeer Ranjan is an MA student at CFFS. He is the Convenor of the JNU Mountaineering Club.