Sunday, January 16, 2011

Brigu Trip Report

 It was a pleasing moment for me when my boss told me to take a break for few days from my office after an exhausting project in my company (L&T). It was a very short take in to me to arrange my trip, because I am not a person who can stay at home during holydays, not at all. So I started looking for booking my train tickets and other accommodation and in wild destinations. But it was a summer vacation time and its not easy to get train tickets and all, so I just took a chance to call our Nature Club Surat (NCS) friends, to enquire about any camps those we arrange. And I luckily get two sits available for me and my wife for our Manali Camp.

 (Our Manali Camps are arranged in accordance with Mr. Lavkumar Khachar. He is the one who gave a vital source of inspiration to snehalbhai to start our NCS.)

And just after two days latter we started our journey to Manali. Our Camp site is situated near Vashishtha, which is almost 4 km away from Manali town ‘in the palms of nature’. The location was extremely mind-blowing, face of our camp site gives us glance of Himalayan range where river Bias flows with full grace. We (volunteers of NCS) and all other participants (33 no.) were enjoying the place and the accommodation from Lavkumarsir.

In a whole, all of us, and specially I, were very much excited for the day when we were planning to start climbing Brigu Lake. This lake is to be found on 14000 ft high in Himalayan range and the Brigu peak is around 14500 ft. For me it was a great moment when we reached Brigu peak, so after coming beck I decided to share my experience with every one. 

During 4 days at base camp where we stayed to get acclimatized, we moved to top camp and started practicing and got geared up to clime Brigu. The world ‘Brigu’ occupied our mind like anything and boosted up our enthusiasm & moral up to their extremes.

It was 17th may and climate was looking great in our act of kindness, so we decided to start climbing at 18th may 2 am in the middle of the night. We were very delighted when Lavkumarsir himself came to top camp on 17th evening to make our enthusiasm double. After an early dinner at around 6 pm we went to sleep in our tents and before sleeping we made our belongings ready to climb.

It was 18th may 1.30 am at night when we woke up, tents were fluttering in high Himalayan wind and it was chilling cold outside. We came out of our tents and took early breakfast at middle of the night ;-) . We checked our gears, put our packed lunch and water bottles in our begs, and started walking towards the Brigu with a troop of 25 participants, 4 guides and our team leader Girishsir. I, Viral & Nirav was there as volunteers to handle and guide our participants. 

The Himalayan wind coming form Saibiria was blowing at its best momentum and it was from the peak to bottom side directed because of a valley, so it was very difficult to walk in uphill direction. But this wind was a sign of wonderful sunny day ahead as per Lavkumarsir, and it was going to be a good day for climbing. But temperature was very low and air was quite thin which was creating problems in breathing while walking. After walking 500 meters 3 of our participants gave up and decided to reach beck to top camp so now 22 remained with us.

While walking when we though our eyes to sky, and what saw was unbelievable, sky was full of stars and we could actually saw the galaxy passing from the middle of the sky, wohh!! What a seen it was. All natural wonder of the world were giving us strength to walk in our direction. We used to walk around 50 steps and then take break for 2-3 minutes and then again start walking. That time I understood that if you walk in high mountains you have to breathe in particular radium, otherwise you will loose you stamina soon and will not able to walk much. It was around 4.15 am and the Sun was about to rise, so I was continuously looking at the ‘Hanuman Tibba-the mountain in west side’. Because I was told that Hanuman Tibba gets the first ray on the Sun in the morning. And finally after walking around 10 mins in east direction, when I looked beck at the pick, the snow on the top was glowing like a pure gold, I stopped everybody and made them looking beck. It was a lovely seen and slowly the whole top of the mountain rang started glowing in the morning light. We enjoyed this moment with some chocklets-we kept some chocklets with us because it give you energy and you have to consume less water and you can save water for a longer time.

By the time sun rains touches us we could reach the snow line and during morning you will find snow very hard and it becomes easy to walk on it. So all of us were enjoying the walk but few of us including my wife Swati, were feeling very tired and some of us were victim of high altitude sickness, and they were suffering from headache and stomachache. But still no one wanted to leave it half way. The entire guide along with girishsir, Viral and Nirav were encouraging everyone and pushing them to climb very nicely. While walking in snowfields we were enjoying songs and poems. Our guide, Govindsir & his team members were making steps in snowfields wherever possible, so everyone can walk properly. I must be very thankful to all of them who did help in this great task. And I must say, because of them only all our participants were able to walk and could reach up to the destination. By the time Sun was gaining height, snow started getting soft and slippery, and walking on it was more difficult now.
It was around 7.30 am when we reached our breakfast point and pull out our packed break fast. It was noting but a bread-butter and jam, heheheh…. We spen some 20 mins there and again started walking.

Now there was a huge snowfield there and then 80 degree peak was there just before the lake. It was looking quite easy which actually was not the way we were thinking. It took 45 mins to cross field and everyone were tired like anything. Temperature was slowly rising and we started taking off the layers of warm cloths. When we started 80 degree climbing many of us was about to give up their stamina but some how we managed them to walk and we finished the climbing & reached lunch point. When we reached our lunch point we thought we have reached and after the next peak in front of us we will reach the lake, but we were wrong. The last peak after lunch point where we left our extra warm cloths, the next peak was the most difficult climbing we faced. At that point my wife Swati gave up, and said that she can not walk any more. I and Girishsir told her to walk slowly and to take enough time, because she was just 800 ft away from the lake, she was convinced and started climbing.
Some how with huge difficulties we reached the top of the last peak at around 9.00 am, and what our eyes could see was the Lake Brigu. Wow!!! What a great site it was…almost full circle lake under the frozen ice was creating an unbelievable soothing effect. We forgot everything there, no body was tired now…they were enjoying their achievement…. And collecting the moments how they could reach this lake with great difficulties… when we asked “who is tired???” no body said anything, they were busy in enjoying the Spartan beauty of nature in the palm of Himalayas. We set their and did meditation for some time.

Then one of the youngest boy-9 years old, asked us, ’sir, what is the name of that peak behind the lake?’ and Viral said, ‘That’s the Brigu Peak, my dear & it is 500 ft higher then the lake, and we are aiming that only.’ And he was ready to go their, every one of us were amazed with his spirit. Then we asked every one who is going to climb the peak? And 18 of us were ready with their hands up. Peak was just behind the lake but it was quite far from and on opposite side. And we knew that it was not going to be en easy task. As per Lavkumarsir’s instructions we took our flag on the shoulder and started walking towards the peak. And very nicely everyone walked and with in 45 mins we were at the top of it. Great moments it was….and I will never forget it in my life. These kinds of small small achievements give me more strength and boost my moral to work for nature more effectively.

Nature itself is a great artist, and human can never compete with its creation. We can make plenty of things in our life but we can’t create things like Brigu, and many more natural wonders of nature around us.. So please preserve this beauty and understand the values of it.

I am very thankful to Lavkumarsir, Snehalbhai, Viral, Nirav, Girishsir, Govindsir & his team, who helped me a lot during this journey.

(‘Brigu’ lake was named after a monk who came to meet ‘Vashishta rishi’ and asked him to show the most beautiful place in Himalayas. And Vashishta showed him this lake, Brigu rishi fall in love with this place and decided to stay their, until his soul melts in this beautiful lake in Himalayas.)

Thanks & Regards,

1 comment:

  1. What an experience it might have been, just reading this gives me the chills and excitement, I wish to go to the trek sometime in future and am sure it will be one of the finest moments for me of my life.

    -Abhishek Patel


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