This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Arpit and Madhu had taken up the responsibility for checking various trekking organisations who plan Kashmir Great Lakes trek (KGL). They went through various websites and called up different organisers.
The more Arpit read about various treks in India, the more he concluded KGL is one of the most beautiful treks in India. They were going to travel towards Sonmarg from Srinagar and from there, reach the base camp. Beginning the third day, they were going to camp by various lakes each day. Each lake was different – right from its size, to its shape and shades of blue – deep blue, emerald blue, turquoise blue and shining blue. All were beautiful. Add glaciers and lush green meadows to that! KGL is the only trek in India which offers a variety of 5 terrains – lush green meadows, rocks & boulders, barren mountains like in Leh, boulders, flowering valleys.
Madhu was going through the facts and fitness requirements of the trek – it was categorised as Medium to Difficult. It was their first long trek and didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks; the format of the trek worked to the advantage of first time trekkers – generally other treks have continuous steep climbs for first 5 days, including a day they summit a peak and then a sharp descent on last day. This plays hard on knees and also needs the body to acclimatise to heights. In KGL camping each day was besides the lake, hence, they had to climb up and down various mountains everyday to reach at the lake at their foothill – so each day had its own ascent and descent and they were approx on the same height throughout the trek barring days 3 and 5.
Madhu walked down to the office of IndiaHikes in Bangalore in the afternoon and got various queries solved from the assisting team. They listened to him and addressed all his queries causing an impact. Confident about doing the trek through IndiaHikes, he checked the batch dates available in August and asked about the registration process.
After discussing with Arpit, they decided to go with Indiahikes in the August 9 – August 16 batch, which was ideal for watching star trails, as moon will be in waning crescent during that week. Yes, Arpit did his research well, he loved details – including the position of the moon during the trek!
Madhu sent the link for registration on the group and to Abhi. Everyone had to now figure out their travel arrangements and book flights to Srinagar. They had four months to do so.
Niket went through the registration form and paid upfront for the porting charges for his backpack too – he was sure he wouldn’t be able to carry it! 😛 The fact that porting service was available was a much needed relief – the task of trekking appeared less daunting now.
Swami checked the itinerary. He marked a reminder to check his leave balance when he goes to office on Monday. He considered taking additional leave and giving a surprise to parents in Chennai, he hadn’t been home since a year. Once he gets the approval, he would register for the trek.
Abhinav checked the dates and decided to visit home a week before the trek. He also kept three to four days after the trek as reserve – in case he wants to visit Mumbai; rather Pune. He texted his boss for the required leaves and got an instant approval.
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