A Consultant, A mountain lover, A Traveler: Priyesh takes on the Kuari Pass Trek
“I’m a Financial Consultant by profession and a mountain aficionado by heart”, shares Priyesh Nagda. Most of the Thrillophilia squad opens up with something similar when we ask, who you are?
How often does that occur to you as well where you are professionally doing something that you are good at, but your heart aches for your passion that drives your soul? I bet it’s way too often than what you would admit!
Well, answer that inner calling and you will thank us later. Priyesh did and he is a happy Jack. How? Read on.
Priyesh Nagda: Home in the Mountains
With 20 treks in Sahyadri and 2 treks in Himalaya under his belt, Priyesh decided to take on the Kuari Pass Trek with Thrillophilia. Rating it a 5-star, he says that it was one of the best trek experiences he has had so far!
Upon asking, why he chose Kuari Pass, he replies, “Kuari Pass gives a spectacular view of various divine peaks like Nanda Devi, Neelkanth, Dronagiri, Trishul, Hathi Ghoda and more. Also, the International Skiing destination, Auli, allows us to experience the thrill of skiing that none other places can offer”.
He adds, “Joshimath has a great religious significance and the road journey from Haridwar to Joshimath offers the amazing view of Ganges, Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Mandakini and Pindar river along with 4 Prayags of the Ganges”.
Kuari Pass Trek
The Kuari Pass trek, well recognized as the beginner-friendly Himalayan trek, is recommended if you are starting out with your trekking experience.
Kuari Pass was named by Lord Curzon who reached on the pass in 1905 at 3757 m. Kuari Pass means “doorway”. The trek which is also known as the Curzon trail offers magnificent views of the eastern peaks of Garhwal Himalayas, the twin peaks of Nanda Devi, Kamet, Dronagiri, Trishul, Bertholi, Hathi Ghodi Parvat, Mana, and Neelkanth peaks.
Those who trek this beautiful peak talk about the amazing forests that hug the trek all along. Trekkers swore by the beauty of the forests which is mostly oak and rhododendrons. The campsites that Kuari Pass trek offers is one of the most scenic areas on all the Himalayan treks. Trekking is not all about the actual trek, it is also about the camping experience. Once here, you’ll fall in love with the picturesque campsites.
The Trek Begins: In the Words of Priyesh
Priyesh opted for a group trek with Thrillophilia where he was accompanied by Chirag, Harshil, Gaurang, Pruthvish, and Divya. “Passing on ghost stories after dinner, falling on snow while descending and taking the trip of a lifetime; it was a memorable feat”, he adds.
“Boarded train from Mumbai to Delhi and then to Haridwar. Reached Haridwar by 9 PM, totally exhausted. Being a Mumbaikar, 15-degree temperature also freezes us and Haridwar’s climate was around 12”.
“Getting out of the bed at 5:30 am was a real struggle in such a chilled climate. Everyone in the group got ready and reached Haridwar station where our driver – Mr. Bhagwan was waiting for us. We were literally Bhagwan Bharose to reach the destination”.
“We all then got on the road trip to Joshimath. We were six in the car where three were Chartered Accountants and three were Engineers, that gave us a really good topic to discuss. The drive on the zig-zag roads gave us more goosebumps than a rollercoaster ride. By 5 pm we reached Joshimath, checked in to our hotel, freshened up and were introduced to our trek leader”.
“We were all ready with our bags and also did the mandatory group photo and were off to Dhak village”.
“We started our trek, walked for a while and reached Kharchi village where we filled our water bottles as that was the last source of water. On the way, we had our packed lunch, took rest for a while”.
“After some time moving forward, we reached our first campsite – Walnut Tree Campsite/Gulling Top by 4 PM. We took photographs and enjoyed the view of Hathi Ghoda and Dronagiri. Later we had hot corn soup with ginger”.
“It was a lot of fun interacting with the group while playing Uno cards, flying dish and sharing stories of our past travel experiences. By 8 PM we had our dinner and were back into our tents. Sleeping bags gave us a good fight as it needed some getting used to”.
“We woke up by 7 AM and packed our bags getting ready for the day of the trek. The trek was more difficult and steeper than the previous day, but the stunning view of the mountains and the lavish spread of oaks and rhododendrons on the trail made up for it”.
“We got to walk on the small patches of snow, which was my first time, and we reached our second campsite – Khullara by 1 PM”.
“In the evening, trek leader explained us the history and the importance of the nearby peaks. We had our dinner, interacted swapping life stories and dozed off in our tents as the temperature dipped”.
“We energized ourselves with our morning chai and a healthy breakfast, packed our bags and were ready to head towards the pass. Today we had to walk on a lot of snow. Trek lead gave us the crampons and instructed us on how to use it. We started moving towards the pass”.
“There was snow everywhere. We took rest every 15-20 minutes. At one point, we had to cross a frozen river. The view was stunning but the idea of crossing a frozen river was scary. Our team lead managed to make a way by using ropes and axe and we finally reached the top point of the Kuari Pass. The wind was gushing and the view was breathtaking”.
“Our minds were in the complete sense of calm and peace with no noise to distract our thoughts. We soaked in the magnificence of the view and then clicked few pics after a while”.
“We started climbing downhill to our campsite where we found another group making their tents. We had a small talk with that group, shared our journey till the camp and tried to boost their enthusiasm. While having dinner, something happened for which we were waiting for a long time – Snowfall”.
“The snowfall was so heavy that we did not sleep the entire night. The helpers worked very hard and helped us in removing snow from our tents. All the credit for the successful summit goes to the helpers and cook”.
There was a thick layer of snow everywhere. As there was heavy rainfall, we were instructed to leave early so that we could reach Joshimath on time. We had our tea and breakfast quickly, packed our bags and were started descending by 7 AM. We planned to go back via the skiing capital of India: Auli, but due to heavy snowfall access to Auli was stopped. Hence we returned back by the same route from which we arrived. Slow and steady, following each other we reached Dhak village by 4 PM. We had a final goodbye with all the loving helpers and the trek leader”.
“A car was waiting for us outside the hotel. We quickly packed our bags, had breakfast and left for Haridwar by 7 AM”.
Priyesh is one of many who falls in love with the mountains, the trek, the water or nature and keeps coming back to answer their inner calling. Most of the travelers who take the group tour for the first time mention that it was a decision they surely cherish. Priyesh had the same say!
One for all and all for one – take a group trek, we have you covered on the destinations list and scratch that itch to explore the unexplored.