Image Credits: Tripoto
We started our trek at around 11 am in the morning with a group of 19 friends and 2 instructors. We were instructed to stay close to each other and not to move forward too quickly. Despite all the instructions given to us, we were not among those who follow rules and we started moving ahead of the instructor and the other fellow mates.
It was a hot and humid day so most of us decided to leave most of the luggage in the hotel itself (One big mistake). For the first mile that we covered the weather was hot and humid and all we could hope was for rain for some relaxation. I along with 2 friends of mine started moving ahead quickly and we were soon separated from other members of our group. Nonetheless, we had our aim set to reach the mountain peak as soon as possible.
Since it was our first time trekking, it was quite exhausting in the beginning, but soon the weather seemed to show mercy on the situation and drizzle started. We were filled with enthusiasm and decided to move ahead quickly. With the increase in altitude, the weather started to change dramatically and it started raining heavily and soon hailstones were showering on us. We became worried and started thinking that whether we should stop and wait or keep on moving forward.
There was no place where we could seek shelter from the hailstorms so decided to keep moving forward. However, as we proceeded further up we could feel the drop in the temperature. we began to panic now as we were all soaking wet and could barely move our fingers. Also, our shoes were filled with water and the situation of frostbite seemed to be somewhere down the corner.
After walking 2-3 miles we finally were able to spot a small tea shop. We hoped that this might be the place where we could find some shelter so we rushed towards the tea shop. There were people already standing there and refused to let us enter inside as it was already crowded with people and had no space to accumulate any further. Again we found ourselves at the same crossroads that whether to wait or move.
My “pahadi friend” insisted that we move but I was shivering with cold and could not think of moving a single step ahead. Suddenly it dawned on me that I had a remedy to cope with such a situation that I need not to mention, so I took a sip or two to get some blood pumping in my veins.
We could see our destination from where we were standing. A voice came from inside that asked me to move ahead and not wait here until death approaches. This was the last phase of the trek. I kept on telling myself during this whole journey that “I have to go back alive, I can do this “.
With this mindset, we kept moving and we did not stop even once. We finally reached the top and were completely exhausted. I could barely feel my hands and feet (symptoms of frostbite). Soon we reached our campsite which was far off peak. We were filled with joy and were thrilled on reaching to the top of the Triund peak first before anyone else. but, we were all alone and wet and we did not have any wood for a bonfire and no dry clothes as well (It was that feeling that dear luggage in the hotel room. Come to papa please).
We were standing at the top, clueless, not knowing what to do now since we were all alone. We had no choice but to wait for others hoping that they won’t quit and complete the trek as soon as possible.
For almost 3 hours we sat there utterly numb and did not know whether we would make it or not because frostbite was taking a toll over me. We were totally lost in our thoughts. After a while, we heard a familiar voice and “oh!! hey they are here “shouted a friend and we tried to stand up and move out quickly. Blood rushed into our numb bodies and we ran outside and saw my 3-4 friends standing in front of us. I hugged everyone and said “thank you for coming” with tears of joy in my eyes.
That feeling of surviving against all the odds in such kind of situation will remain forever in my heart. I couldn’t ask for a more adventurous trek in my life.