Saturday, August 06, 2011

Darcha - Padum Trek : A dream coming true

Sometimes it becomes difficult to control your emotions and excitement in the build up to a trip. I have been planning a trip to Ladakh for last couple of years. It could not materialize mainly for one reason – I always wanted to do a road trip on the famous Manali – Leh road, at least one way. But that was not possible with family in tow. Other possibility was that of family travelling both ways by air, while I take only one and travel by road for the other.  Travelling by road for two days alone would be very boring. Thus one need partner for the road trip. Getting two families to undertake this journey in that way became even harder.

This had drastically changed in last 10 days or so. I got an opportunity to be part of ONGC Himalayan Association’s annual trek for 2011. This is a trek where colleagues from locations all across India take a high altitude trek. The trek will be flagged off on14th August, 2011 at Dehradun, which is celebrated as ONGC Day. I felt extremely lucky to have nominated for this years trek. And what a trek it turned out to be – the Darcha – Padum trek in Zanskar. This means I would actually be walking almost half of the Manali – Leh. It is an eight day trek of about 100 km which will finally end at Leh around 25th August, 2011.

This is nothing but a dream comes true. I will try to make it a photographic journey. I have never been out trekking with camp stay. The longest trip for me till now is the trip to the Valley of Flowers in 2008. From what I have read in the net, the Darcha - Padum trek would start around 12-13K feet and would be going to a maximum height of 16,700 feet. All camps are likely to be around 13K feet. I have been to 14K feet twice. So it would be quite an experience for me – no lights, minimal food, no toilets, and above all trek around 15-20 km everyday. Going through a fitness routine in last few days, I felt that mental toughness is equally important to undertake such a trek. My dream will keep egging me on. 

I would like to thank all who had helped me to come this closer to a dream – my wife and daughter who had agreed to let me go alone and Naved sir for nominating me. I hope to get lot of good photos and memories for all of you. I wish God almighty will help me living through the dream in next 20 days.