As a certified beach bum, I don’t really see the fuss about mountains – mostly because all mountain experiences seem so similar. You’re driven across borderline deathly roads by a cab driver who plays the same CD on loop, pakoras are hogged while sipping on sweet tea, and you take a few million pictures on your phone that do no justice to the majestic mountains your eyes behold.

In case you haven’t guessed yet, I’d never been on a trek in my life. So when the opportunity to trek to Roopkund came knocking on my door, I thought – why not? It’s just a really long walk in a slightly crazy park, right?

Long Walk In A Crazy Park, Indeed

To give you a quick introduction about Roopkund – it’s a frozen lake {with mysterious skeletons in it} situated at approx 16,000 ft above sea level. But my fRiEnZz, life’s a journey and not a destination, which is why the trek to this mysterious lake is actually more magnificent than the lake itself.

You’ll walk across villages, meadows, valleys and rivers – testing your body and your spirit as you trudge along the narrow routes. The trek is meant for intermediate trekkers and usually requires a month of physical prep {I struck out on both ends – first time trekker with a sprained knee, YAY ME}.

190816_Roopkund16As a nature enthusiast, the first thing that struck me is how ridiculously stunning Uttarakhand really is. The trek wasn’t easy initially, but while walking through the yellows and purples of tiny flowers first and fluffy clouds later, you mostly forget about the hardship.

What always helps is a companion {or 30, in my case} keeping your spirits up – we even had a Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani moment when one of our friends brought 30 packets of theplas with him, true to his Gujju roots.

The trek is fairly long and spans six – seven days of hiking {varying between four – seven hours per day}, but each day brings a new sight to behold as you go from Lohajung to village Wan, to the twin meadows Bedni and Ali Bugyal, to an almost outer worldly Patar Nachuni, and eventually snow covered Roopkund – all while sucking on candy to avoid altitude sickness {or local shrub stems, if you feel adventurous. Your guides will aid your cause!}.

Don’t Forget!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking {they really don’t do justice to the beauty}, but if there have to be any key takeaways from this trek, here’s what you should keep in mind:

Know your body well enough to understand how much you need to prepare for the trek. I had a blast during my trek despite not prepping much, but a regular swimming habit really helped me.

Bring a friend along. The moral support a familiar person lends in a completely cut off time period is grossly underestimated. Plus, it’s always nice to have someone make fun of you when you fall down and make a fool of yourself

Pack smart. Carry a full medical kit, along with wet wipes {trust me}, TP, multivitamins/omega 3 pills, cotton, bandaids, and a big water bottle. And if you’re going during the monsoon, lots of talc and polythene bags.

Invest well. Don’t skimp when it comes to buying the right equipment – be it waterproof shoes, a trekking pole, or just lots of warm fuzzy socks.

Have faith in yourself {and your guides!}. I was fairly certain I wouldn’t survive the trek before I started, but you’d be surprised at how far you can push yourself if you put your heart to something and really enjoy it. Our guides from the Adventure Nation team were absolutely fantastic, which really helped our cause as well.

Keep an open mind – you’ll be surprised at how many interesting people you meet along the way – and you might just change your mind about being a beach bum, after all.

The best time to visit Roopkund is May – June and Sept – Oct. Find out more about the trek here.

To book your trek with Adventure Nation, get in touch at ann@adventurenation.com or contact them on 0124 – 4983580

Photos courtesy: Akanksha Arora, Deepa Reddy, Antony Melwin, Srijan Bhatia