It's 31st December 2023, the last day of the year, and I'm on day 4 of the Kuari Pass Trek. Today is our summit day! Out of all the things I could have chosen to do on the eve of the new year, I find myself here, eager and ready for the summit.
This morning at our Khullara campsite was different. We usually start our day at 7 am, but today, the camp was alive from 5 am. The enthusiastic shouts of "Good morning" from fellow trekkers pulled me out of my sleeping bag, ready for the summit push.
Donning my microspikes, We started trekking towards Upper Khullara through the snow. Throughout this journey, a question that was once asked to my friend during one of her treks kept echoing in my ears: “Pahad chadne aaye ho? Itne dur?” (Have you come to climb the mountain? So far away?).
Why do I trek? I often ask myself. Here’s what I've discovered:
1. Lone Time with Myself - In our daily lives, finding time for oneself is rare. Trekking has become my escape, giving me the chance to unwind and introspect. I remember sitting at the Akhrotghetta Campsite, lost in my own world, journaling my thoughts and introspecting. ⬇️
2. Closer to Nature and Its Amazing Views
Trekking isn't just about the physical journey; it's about the beauty of nature too. The mountains, cloud patterns, cold winds, birds' chirping, and the rustling trees - all contribute to a humbling and grounding experience. And nothing beats the surreal feeling of staring at a star-filled night sky. Here are some of my pictures from the trail! Also found my long-lost love for photography during this trek!
3. Challenge myself - Push your limits
Trekking pushes me out of my comfort zone like nothing else. It's become an annual test of my fitness and resilience. There are moments during the trek when I feel like giving up, but overcoming these challenges boosts my physical and mental strength. Reaching the summit brings an unparalleled sense of self-confidence. Look at some of the pictures from the top, I am sure you would fall in love too!
4. Build connections and friendships
I have always trekked with IndiaHikes and would highly recommend them for anyone who wants to start their trek journey. Going on a group trek always gives you the opportunity to connect with different people from different walks of life, have conversations and share perspectives. The sense of a team and community gets built as you are on a high altitude trek. We had 28 trekkers on this trek to Kuari Pass!
5. Gratitude for the Simple Pleasures
Every trek I undertake deepens my sense of gratitude. Far from the conveniences of everyday life, I've come to appreciate the things I once took for granted. On the trail, the absence of basic comforts like supply of water, the luxury of a hot meal, or the simple pleasure of sleeping in a comfortable bed, makes me realize their value. I've learned to cherish a warm shower, the ease of communication with loved ones, and the security of a roof over my head. Trekking teaches me to appreciate not just the natural beauty around me, but also the small conveniences and luxuries that I return to. It's a lesson in humility and contentment, recognizing how little I truly need to be happy and how much I have to be thankful for.
In the end, celebrating New Year's Day on a trek was truly special. It was full of different feelings for me and everyone else. I'm really excited about going on more treks like this. Happy New Year and here's to many more adventures!