YHAI SARPASS Trek
Amongst all its treks, no wonder that YHAI gets the maximum participation for the SAR-PASS trek. It is a trek designed to excite the novice, charm the seasoned and with enough adventure to lure the expert trekker.
It was in the summer of 2018, that I with a bunch of fellow trekkers joined the Sar-Pass trek. To go from the zero altitude coastal state of Goa with its heat and humidity to trek upwards to YHAI’s highest trek camp Nagaru at 12500 feet is no mean accomplishment! This is how we did it.
The rains gods were merciful because though they played hide and seek with us on the acclimatization days, they were absent as we trekked. Of course, all the other trekkers, later on, weren’t as lucky as us. Subsequent batches saw rain and snow pouring on them.
Sar-Pass trek is a full 9 days trek starting from the Kasol base camp, with the trek days being six in number.
The first day takes one up to Grahan, the only village on this trek. Very picturesque and quaint, it is accessible only by foot. After a good start to the trek, Grahan offers panoramic views of the mountains. You can gorge on some delicious local momos. If you reach early, head out to the village and try the local delicacies there. I was fortunate to see the local cloth loom and purchase some hand-woven beautiful cloth. The next day’s trek to Padri is through forested areas. Dotted with what the camp leader told us are bones of smaller animals eaten by wild animals, Padri was spread over a reasonably large area, unlike the higher altitude camps.
Day three saw us amble our way to Mingthach. A leisurely walk for the first half ended with lunch in the most unlikely spot inched inside a rocky path. What followed next is the highlight of the trek. Now, all the trekkers were faced with a near-vertical rocky mountainside. We made our way, taking small steps, amply helped by the guides, whose gentle encouragement and at times, stern warnings were much needed. After a lot of huffing and puffing, our group reached the Mingthach camp-side. This was perched on sloping plateau. From this camp-side, you can see the other day’s Nagaru camp-side nearly above us. We roared greetings up and down.
Day four to Nagaru started late. By now, the trek takes us up above the tree-line and the landscape starts becoming surreal – a treat by itself. Take time to enjoy this nearly-barren ground. As the Nagaru camp-side came into view, we got one of the joys of modern technology. As we were now perched on a higher altitude, network connections kicked in! Finally able to connect with friends and family after so many days saw the trekkers happily call home from the sports were connectivity was available.
The night was memorable; the tents were battered with high winds and snowfall and the next day the entire camp-site was a white wonderland. Day five to Sarpass was a long, long nearly 8 hour walk on snow. YHAI ensured that there were more snow guides now to help us along the way. With packed lunches and well-clad against the snow , the group started out at 5 am. It took us to Sarpass high point at 13800 feet, offering marvellous sights of the snow-clad mountains, some were below us now. These were the mountains that inspired us enough to make this trek – and today, here we were; even above some of them. The downhill trek took us along a narrow ridge , from where we did the famous snow-slides. One slide and another , and we were on terra firma now, once again amogst the trees and dry grounds – the snow and mighty mountains all wonderful memories. This day ended at Beskeri. The next day was a short trek to Barshini, from where we boarded the bus to the Kasol camp site.
And with this, our dream to go to Sarpass was surpassed! As with every trek, we carried back innumerable memories, made new friends and had fun along the way!
Do note that from season to season , the trek itinerary varies to accommodate changes. The weather plays its own play, so every trekker will experience his own unique experience at every trek. Irrespective of the itinerary you will get, you will surely enjoy this Sarpass trek!
What are you waiting for?