On May 1, 2015, we (Amar and me) boarded flight to Delhi for a 11 day programme to trek Sar Pass in Himachal Pradesh. This trek was special for multitude of reasons, a dream trip that I have been cherishing for last 6 years now. There are many blogs written by trekkers, who has done Sar Pass Trek in the past, hence my intention is not write in detail on how the trek went. In case, that is what interests you, here are two detailed ones (Link1, Link2). My focus through this blog is to convey on what I experienced and my take away’s from this trip.
We are insignificant beings
Though we (human beings) are considered to be the most advanced of all living beings on earth, we are still very insignificant in front of mother nature.
I traveled immediately after the quake hit Nepal and north east part of India which took away many human lives as well as bringing massive destruction across these areas . During our trek, we experienced heavy snow, bitter cold and tough climbs. The heights were frightening. I realized, we as humans cannot control the phenomena of nature, and the way it works. I also realized nothing happens without a cause. Some causes are known but many are beyond human comprehension. In simple words, we are insignificant even when we claim that we have conquered the highest of the mountains, deepest of the seas and thickest of the forests. Nature is incomprehensible and it is better not to meddle with it.
Embrace your fears
There was a general talk at the base camp that while descending from Sar Pass, we would be sliding instead of trekking down. On hearing this, I was a little anxious. Sliding? Me? Never!!! I remembered the last time when I went to the Theme Park and avoided all the rides by not participating. I was confident to find a way as usual and thought about various ways to avoid the slide. Deep in my heart, I had a fear and was not comfortable to slide. On the D-day, when we crossed Sar Pass and reached the other side of peak I was pushed down the snow clad peak by our guide. That was when I felt the bliss, if that is a word to summarize my experience. I felt stupid about myself, for thinking of all that alternatives since we started our trek. Later, we did 2 more slides which was about 3-5 minutes long.
We always work on plan B without even focusing on what is in store for us. Sometimes, it is just smart to embrace our fears rather than trying to work around.
Team work, that’s it
We started on our trail to cross the Sar Pass at around 6:15am. It was not an easy climb due to heavy storm previous night. The route that was created the previous day had been completely covered by snow and we had to do it all over again. We were in a single line making our ascend and helping each other. In front, we had our friends making steps to keep our foot with whatever they had. We use the pick axe, the sticks, our shoes to make the path for all of us to walk. That day, our route was through snow and we helped each other.
Change is the ONLY constant
We all talk about change, but then, I experienced what change was at 16800 feet. It started with a cool breeze at our camp the previous day, followed by storm, followed by hail storm, followed by rain and again storm before it settled down to normal. All this happened in a gap of 90 minutes. The storm blew out one of our tents and we were running around with hammer to put the tent poles back in place. The next day turned out to be great. What I learned is that, the only way to thrive is to be part of change by embracing instead of going against.
Looking back, my trip to Himalayas helped me to realize how insignificant we are, to get out of my comfort zone, to realize my strengths, and always expect the unexpected, no matter how prepared we are. Now looking forward for the next trip, which is yet another long year wait 😉