Deoriya Tal Chandrashila Trek
Deoriya Tal and Chandrashila Trek was my first trek on the eve of Christmas. I knew Lokesh from Wanderers for a very long time and we actually worked together in one of the corporates long pack. I got excited seeing his posts and chose to give trekking a try. I called him up to book a seat for myself for the trek that was to start on 23 rd of December 2017.
A few weeks before the trek was to start, I got a mail from Wanderers on the “things to carry”. I guess because it was going to be a snow trek, the list was quite comprehensive and for me it was a great help. I arranged a few things from my friends so that I don’t have to buy lots of stuff in one go. At the end of it all, it worked for me. The rest I purchased from Decathlon in Delhi.
I was excited to go for this much-needed break. I met Lokesh and his team at Akshardham temple on the night of 22 nd and got introduced to the fellow trekkers. We got in the vehicle and started for Sari. I was told it will be a long drive and so I was also prepared. We stopped near roorkee for a quick bite in the morning. It was cold already but after crossing rishikesh, there was enough sun. Our next break was Devprayag. I was extremely excited to see the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda making it Ganga from this point. We all clicked a few pictures and had a cup of tea at Srinagar (yes there is a beautiful town called Srinagar right after Devprayag). We then crossed Rudrprayag to divert to Unkhimath. The entire journey was extremely scenic and one that I will remember all my life. It did not take much time from Unkhimath to Sari. We were at Sari early evening. Checked into a homestay to relax and then we had bonfire before the dinner.
Next morning, Wanderers briefed us that it will be a 2-3 hours trek to Deoriyatal so we started at ease. We got up at 9 in the morning and left around 10:30 am. For me, trekking for the first time, it was a slightly difficult to manage the ascend but I think after a while my body got used to it. We were at the top at around 2:00 in the afternoon. By the time we reached, our tents were already pitched in the beautiful meadows around the serene lake. Lokesh showed us the Chaukhamba peaks along with some others like Mt Meru. We were at a secluded spot for the evening. The forest officials denied permissions for bonfire but we all still had a great time singing and listening to music. Dinner was served along with non-vegetarian meal so I was happy.
Next morning we took the trek to Chopta. We started early, as we wanted to make it to chopta in time. It was a long trek, as I remember but for sure not a difficult one. Mostly a combination of ascends and descends; it did take around 6- 7 hours for me to make to the meadows where our tents were pitched. There were a lot of tents from other operators on the other side of the road but I could easily spot ours as they were orange in color and stood out. We were all tired but still spent sometime listening to music and unwinding by the bonfire we had for ourselves. Lucky us, it was exclusively for our team.
The following morning was going to be the toughest one as I was told. We all were ready and after having breakfast started for Chandrashila summit trek at 8 in the morning. Out details were already there with the forest team and so we did not have to wait. The patches were full of ice mostly. It snowed here a few weeks back and which made it extremely difficult to trek. Wanderers team had micro spikes but were asked to manage as much as we can without them as it spoils the whole terrain and breaks the sheets of ice or snow.
Frankly, after a while I got used to the small steps and use of trek poles. Inputs from Lokesh were extremely helpful as he kept pushing us and give us instructions from the end of the pack. It took more than 4 hours for me to negotiate the ice/snow and to reach the Tungnath temple. It is the highest Shiva kedar and is extremely famous pilgrim site. The temple was closed but I still spent some time there. The view from the temple was extremely magical and one could see the Chandrashila summit from there. A lot of fellow trekkers decided to stop here and avoid going to the summit but fortunately, no one from our group. We started to move ahead after a chocolate break and now we were surrounded with fresh snow all around and all the way up. Frankly speaking it was easier than I thought. It did take about 1 hour to reach the top. It seems far away from Tungnath but it doesn’t take much time. I cannot share how I felt reaching the top of the summit. It was simply the best moment of my life. The sense of accomplishment is very satisfying. The view from the top was magical. After spending good 1 hour at the top, we started to descend. Actually because of fresh snow, it was easier to descend. It was only the ice patches that made my descend difficult and that is when the trek pole came as help.
We came back to our camping location after a successful attempt and had a fantastic closing ceremony at the campsite. We narrated how it felt and were given certificates by the Wanderers team as well.
It was one of the nest trips and definitely a great experience because of the experienced team and fellow trekkers. I am looking forward to some more treks with Wanderers.