KUARI PASS TREK – April 2016
The sun was setting in Gorson Bugyal, wind was cold and heavily blowing. We were sitting quietly and witnessing the all pervasive silence of the nature. Unfortunately the smoke from the forest fire in the valley drew a veil in the horizon, yet the silhouettes of Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti, Hati, Ghori, Baarmal and many more peaks could be perceived in the horizon.
It was 25th April – the first day of our trek. After starting from Auli, we ascended for about 2 hours and pitched our tent. Because of drought, the water was scarce this year and the bugyal was not too suitable for the overnight stay. So we camped inside the forest, just below the point where bugyal begins.
The night was cold and we felt more so, as the temperature changed abruptly over last two days. Yet it was magical. As we were taking a stroll after dinner, we were enticed by the star studded sky above, the dark dense forest around and the mystical soft glow out of our tents – it was nothing but surreal.
On 26th April morning, we were all set for the 7 Km long stretch which would lead us to the next camp at Tali. We traversed the golden meadow of Gorson on the way. The beauty of the fully bloomed pink rhododendron trees, in the backdrop of golden bugyal, was enough to relieve us from the fatigue of the relatively longer walk. The trail was narrow and steep at places, to give a good feel of adventure. The Pangarchula peak was visible right before us, above the tree line. After crossing the meadow, we entered the jungle again. The tent was pitched for the night. The night was silent, only to be felt by heart.
We started for our next camp at Khullara at leisurely pace on 27th April morning. The trail goes through the beautiful forest of Birch, Walnut, and Rhododendron trees. The snow-capped peaks were visible through the wooded forest. It was a beautiful morning – plenty of birds were chirping and the jungle was thriving with life. We trudged through the forest, soaking the beauties around. Khullara was a open ground … a small stream was flowing through the middle, a herd of sheep was grazing in the green field and the lofty peaks were all around. We lied down on the grass to watch the magical surrounding.
On 28th April morning, we started for Kuari Pass. We would be back again to Khullara for lunch. The walk started with gradual ascent. The vast meadows were full of wild flowers, as if a colourful carpet was laid over the mountain slope. The snow was pretty less this year and we could find snow covered rocks, only close to the top of the pass. We crossed few streams flowing out of molten snow as we approached the pass. Pangarchula peak was right in front of us. After we reached Kuari Pass, we sat quietly on a rock. It was pretty windy. The horizon was vast open. The tranquility of the mountain touched our soul. We were grateful to be able to walk through yet another trail in the Himalayas.
A while later, we started to descend down. Tomorrow we would be back to civilization again, but mountain would continue to live in our heart for months to come!