Mihir has successfully accomplished his bucket list of conquering – the Roopkund Trek and not alone. He has led entire batches to it. The Roopkund trek is one of the most popular treks in its range. This is because the trek comes with a complete package for any beginner who wants to enjoy the aesthetics and serenity that the high-altitude lake and the hills around have to offer.
“You see the forest there and then the meadows, which are actually Asia’s largest. Fully green and just acres of land extending beyond as far your eyes can see. And at last, there is snow walk towards Roopkund. No other trek offers all these like the Roopkund trek.”
People often wonder what happened there. Some thousand years ago, hundreds of people died due to a glacial fall. What remains at the Roopkund lake are just skeletons reminding one of the horrific sides of nature. This makes it one of the most mysterious stories in mountaineering history and even today there is no clear story about the identities of the people.
The Roopkund trek is well known for its holiness. The Uttarakhand’s longest holy walk towards Nanda Gunti (Goddess Parvati) goes via the Latu Devta temple and the Roopkund Lake.
This made the bucket lister all the more curious to go there. Mihir has been a Himalayan climber for many years. He approached Indiahikes to allow him to lead some batches at the Roopkund trek. He was sure, that even though he hadn’t done the trek before, his knowledge about mountaineering would help manage the team towards the high altitude Roopkund trek at 15750 ft.
The bucket lister was aware that after an ascent from Roopkund for 400 meters there’s Junargali at 16,100 ft where one can witness India’s Mighty mountains – the Trishula and the Nanda Gunti at just an eye distance. An extraordinary sight indeed. His curiosity to know about the village and the mysterious stories got me up to the trek.
Mihir approached Indiahikes and they readily accepted his proposal to lead batches for them as an intern.
“I prepared myself with a fitness schedule like running for 10 kilometers in an hour. Cycling down the roads for hours until completely drained.”
He relied on some basic exercises that keep the body warm in cold temperatures. And on the mid-way to the trek, he reached the Lohajung village – the base camp for the Roopkund trek. To his surprise, he was straight away given a batch to take up to Roopkund.
“And with this started my journey towards accomplishing my bucket list of trekking to Roopkund.”
The Roopkund trek was an experience of a lifetime for the bucket lister. Firstly, this was his first proper high-altitude trek, where he was going to lead batches and the whole team is going to look after me in accomplishing their goal and I had to ensure everyone is safe and I don’t descend down anyone apart from health issues. We had a protocol to walk, there is a senior guide who is basically from the local village and who knows the trail better than anyone else.
“Nobody crosses the guide and the whole team only follows him/her. Gradually, we move upwards having designated rest points and there is also a co-guide, who always walks behind everyone to ensure that nobody is left behind.”
Mihir’s job was the most difficult where he had to hop up and down and to ensure whether all the trekkers are doing good. He had to engage them with information and guidelines to climb. Before reaching the final campsite Bhagwasa there were three other campsites.
Ghaeroli – The first campsite to Roopkund at 10000 ft. It takes 5 – 6 average hours from the Wan village.
Bedni Bugyal – The second campsite to Roopkund at 11700 ft via Ali Bugyal and Ali Top and it takes an average of 4 hours to reach Bedni Bugyal.
Pathar Nachoni – The third campsite to Roopkund at 12700 ft. This is the windiest campsite in Roopkund.
Bhagwasa – The last campsite to Roopkund, at 14100 ft via Kalu Vinayak. The Ganpati Bappa temple here is the highest at 14300 ft.
“The descent is not that easy, but then the feeling after doing the summit gives you immense energy and the climb that takes you about five and a half days takes just a day and a half to descend.”
Post accomplishment of the Roopkund trek, Mihir’s life has changed completely. Consequently, mountaineers from around the globe recognize him as someone who has led 4 batches on the Roopkund trek.
He has met a lot of people and remains in contact with other trek leaders. His knowledge about mountaineering is now well placed with practical knowledge.
“I have never felt so good. I feel fitter and a lot leaner. It has given me immense positivity and energy to see life in a totally different way. The patience level has bettered with managing people from all over the world. I am now mentally strong apart from the physical strength.”
Mountaineering needs medical knowledge in order to handle situations and assess what is happening to one’s own body and others around. Mountain sicknesses like the AMS, HAPE, and HACE are lethal but Mihir is capable of handling them.
The bucket lister recalls of many cases where people were evacuated and had to descend as many had come unprepared. The bucket lister shares some tips for trekkers who want to take on the Roopkund Trek.
- Running for 4-5 km in at least 30 – 40 minutes each day for at least two months. People misinterpret and go for morning walks for long distances and complain that they had followed the fitness schedule. He emphasizes on running & swimming.
- He urges on body-exercises such as squats, running, push-ups, pull-ups, yoga, and jumping.
- Mihir encourages enthusiasts to start cycling for hours until tired. Start gradually and once in pace 10-15 kilometers at a stretch would become a cakewalk.
“Hit the road, that’s the best you can. I am not that fond of the gym. I have seen heavy weights crumble over walking for just 2 hours. You have to be fit from within because the large biceps and the muscular arms don’t really help at all.”
Although these are tips for beginners, for regular climbers Mihir emphasizes on them as a mandate. Especially when young people have to descend due to lack of preparation the bucket lister feels sorry as a trek leader. He wants all to do the summit.
For aspiring trekkers reading this, Mihir has a message for you,
“Prepare yourself well and only then will you be able to truly enjoy the beauty otherwise you are to get stuck with your own problems. Trek with any organization or go solo.”
He advises everyone go for trekking to the Himalayas at least twice in a year. Planning for another, just as one is accomplished. Mihir believes that it keeps you engaged and healthy in the regular city lives. He encourages one to travel to the mountains with complete knowledge and not as a tourist. Information is the key to appreciation.
“When you go up there, do not litter dirty the place. I advise carrying all your trash back to the cities as mountains don’t have municipalities. Let’s keep it green for the next generation to witness and enjoy what you see today.”
Furthermore, Mihir has his next bucket list all set to accomplish. He wants to:
- Accomplish the Pin Parvati Trek – 18,200 ft.
- Conquer the Stok Kangri trek – one of India’s highest peaks.
- Reach the Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Base Camp.
Mihir has a well-paying career ahead of him, and it took a lot of hard-work and time. But, he chose not to leave his passion behind. Furthermore, he is balancing both. Most of all, he is doing it so well. If you have such a story to share, a story that can give wings to someone’s aspiration, you’re a winner, a true bucket lister. Spread your magic by Getting featured here!