My Hiking Experience to Triund Peak - Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh - June 2023

My Hiking Experience to Triund Peak - Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh - June 2023

In this article, I will guide you through the experience of trekking to Mount Triund near McLeod Ganj, a suburb of Dharamshala in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. The trail is famous for its varied landscapes of forests, valleys, snowcapped mountains of the Dhauladhar Ranges and waterfalls along the way. Camp in a tent in the middle of the mountains in freezing winter temperatures and cold winds.

McLeod Ganj is located on the outskirts of Dharamshala, 5 km from the city of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. Known for its Namgyal Monastery, India's largest Tibetan colony and home to Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The hill station draws crowds not only for its Tibetan culture, but also for its astonishing scenic beauty. At an altitude of 6,380 feet (2,082 m), the city of Dharamshala has an altitude of he over 1,700 feet.

At an altitude of 9,350 feet (2,850 meters), the summit of Triound is inaccessible by car and can only be reached by trekking. A day trek from the starting point Bagus Nag Taxi Station (2 km from McLeodganj) can usually be completed with or without a trekking guide in the summer, but in the extreme winter the trail can be heavily snowed. , it is recommended to be accompanied by a trekking guide. And there are no snow turn signals. Packages offered by climbing companies are popular with tourists. After trekking to the summit, you will camp for one night and dinner on the first day and return after breakfast at the campsite on the second day.

First day :Journey to the top of the Tri-Wound

June 30, 2023

We booked this hike through Thrillomania and received confirmation and communication from the local agency they partnered with. As it was high season, the trek cost about 1000 rupees per person. The package includes a hiking guide for the entire trip, camping accommodation in tents, dinner on the first day and breakfast on the second day. Sagar, Srinil, Pawan and I left McLeodganj's room early and arrived at the meeting point, but when we arrived on time by taxi, about 15 people were already waiting at the agency's office. We waited a few minutes as more people were due to join us. Once everyone was inside, the host explained the hike and explained the rules and guidelines that everyone must follow. Key Takeaways: Stay together as a team at all times, dress appropriately as nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing, and be strict about not leaving your campsite at night as the forest is inhabited by black bears and leopards. . He also suggested that the difficulty level of the hike was easy and suitable for beginners, but based on our experience, we were a bit disagreed with this at the end of the trip. He also introduced us to our hiking guide, Vishal. Although he was young, he had 3 years of experience as a tour guide. The agency also ran other treks and some people wanted to join them, so we split the staff for the 3 treks and counted 18 people in total. We followed him through the small streets of town and our first stop was a market where people wanted to buy torches for hiking and possibly snacks and water.

He hike continued through the streets, and within the next ten minutes we were on the outskirts of town with tree-covered paths. As we proceeded, the slope became steeper, and I realized that a full-scale hike had begun. There was always great enthusiasm at the beginning of the hike and we took pictures at the slightest hint of the landscape. We then followed a well-defined concrete paved path that leads to Bagus Nag Falls, a popular tourist attraction. The area was very busy and there were some small shops where you could buy tea and snacks. We then took a detour to see the falls up close. I wanted to see the waterfall on the way back, so I didn't make a detour. In 10 minutes we arrived at our first formal refueling location, the Jungle Cafe. As the name suggests, it was a small cafe in the jungle. Our guide, Vishal, took this opportunity to visit another group of her members of the Trek. Being a large team, members varied in speed. Some people completed the journey very quickly and without any problems, while others were still late because it was their first time trekking. In comparison, we are somewhere in between and feel very comfortable so far. After 15 minutes, we were still able to get in touch with a few people, so Vishal suggested we continue with the group while we waited.

The next section was tough. As we went through the forest, the slope became steeper. I had to stop every two minutes to catch my breath. Our bodies were put to the test and we started sweating in the cold, so we had to take off another coat. Along the way, we had conversations with other group members who had traveled from different parts of India. This is one of my favorite experiences on every hike. Meeting new people from different backgrounds, different cities, different cultures but with similar interests. We hooked up with a group from Andhra and shared some experiences. Interestingly, they found out a few days ago that we were planning to celebrate the New Year in Bir village where we were paragliding. The view gradually opened up, and I was surprised to see the town of McLeod Ganj from above. Mountains were everywhere and the air we breathed felt fresh. After clicking a few more photos, we continued our journey. As we continued to climb, more difficult trails awaited us. Each section became steeper and required a lot of stamina to complete the climb. Some team members slowed their pace, and it was not uncommon to see people gasping for breath after taking a break. We took a few short breaks and arrived around 1pm at our next rendezvous point, the campsite where we would be staying overnight, after our trek back and forth to the summit of Triund. We thought we were at least 70% ahead and could easily reach our goal. Once again we quickly realized that we were completely better taught!!

Tents were already set up and we could see some of the team members trying to occupy the best tents available.

We went looking and picked two tents for ourselves and stored our bags to mark the area. It was noon and people were having lunch at a nearby hotel and relaxing a bit. When it was time to continue my journey, I packed only the essentials in my bag and threw the excess in the tent, feeling lighter. The feeling didn't last long as this punishing path took a toll on our bodies, especially our legs. We were very surprised that this hike was rated as easy. It's not an extreme hike to the point of being difficult, but I felt it deserved to be rated moderate given the steepness and distance traveled throughout the hike. As some descendants reported, there is still a long way to go to the summit. Some said they weren't even halfway there yet, they were a bit depressed and needed to quickly change their attitude in anticipation of the long journey.

The 2 hour drive that followed was a lot of fun. We had to do a lot of hiking, but as we got closer and closer to the snow-capped mountains of the Dhauladhar range, the scenery was incredible. This is what made us book the hike in the first place, and the majestic scenery compensated for the heavy strain it put on our bodies. We decided to take a break at Maggie Point to eat nothing and just enjoy the breathtaking scenery. It was such a wonderful feeling to relax in the mountains and realize that we are just a small part of the universe.

It was already four o'clock

At 3.30pm, this was supposed to be the place where we could watch the sunset after our hike to the top and on our way back. We realized we were already late and moved on. We didn't talk much for the next hour and focused on climbing as quickly as possible. Our hiking group was scattered at Maggie Point but many decided not to climb further due to fatigue and some others were already ahead of us. It felt blissful as we were deeply connected and part of nature while walking in silence. at 5 o'clock: At 3.30pm we arrived at a place called Mini Tri Round Top. A number of camps were established by various local agencies. I wish we had pitched our tents here as well as closer to the top. We were quite high up, so there were only a few places where the fresh snow from the recent snowfall was still there. These were spots that were not exposed to sunlight. As it was already sunset, we were told it would be at least a 45 minute walk to the top of Triund. Our guide, Mr. Vishal, said that we still had to go back to our tents and that it was too dangerous to continue to the top. He suggested enjoying the sunset at the Mini Tri Round Top.

There was a temple that I could reach in about 10 minutes on the way up. So we decided to visit the temple first and then go back. The temple was beautiful and quiet. We also found a lot of snow behind the temple due to the shadow of the temple covering the area.

We enjoyed the view of beautiful sunsets in different shades and the sun kissing the snow capped mountains.

It was pink and spectacular then.The most adventurous experience of the trip awaited us as we set off on our return journey. It soon got dark and our guide Vishal had already left along with other trekkers. Flashlights were useful for visibility, but we had one flashlight each for the two of us. At this point I felt like I should have had a flashlight for each of us as it was a bit difficult to keep in sync, but I learned the pattern and got away with it. The temperature dropped significantly, and it was so cold that it seemed to be below freezing. As flashlight holders have become more and more sophisticated, I've found it better to use a headlamp instead of a handheld flashlight.

Without our guide, Vishal, we had to constantly guess the route and take responsibility for guiding others who got lost. Continuing down, I saw the lights of the campsite in the distance, which served as signposts, as well as the lights of the town of McLeod Ganj on the other side of the mountain, reminding me that this was exactly this route. that we climbed We managed to reach the campsite and congratulated each other on a job well done. Dinner was arranged by the hike organizers, although there was a small light near the kitchen, it wasn't enough. Also another group was camping with us so there was a lot of traffic in and around us. It was -5 degrees at night, very cold and the sleeping bag provided was not enough to cover myself. Me and Sagar couldn't sleep and spent time outside until 4am. However, some of our group couldn't sleep and were chatting nearby, so we found good company. We were in a group, sharing our experiences throughout the evening, and as football fans watching Manchester United live late at night with like-minded people from Rajasthan. It was an unforgettable experience and our team won the match!!

The 2nd day :

Journey back to Bagus Nag Falls

June 30, 2023

We woke up at 7am and the host played a devotional song on the loudspeaker which started the fun day. We had a hot breakfast with delicious poulis cooked for us. After packing and filling our water bottles, we headed home.

The descent was relatively easy and smooth. On the way, we had a good laugh and weren't hungry, but stopped at a small shop to buy a Maggie and a cold drink. We continued our journey, but at this point we were on our own without needing a guide, leaving the four of us alone. My next stop was when I arrived at Jungle Cafe at 10am, about an hour later. This was the same place we had stopped during the previous day's climb. We also went to Bugsnag Falls. It is a popular tourist destination, and even people (especially families) who do not necessarily participate in tri-wound trekking come here to see the falls. We had a great time near the waterfall before moving on.

After another 20 minutes, we arrived at the town of Baghsnag Temple. We arrived at the agency office and started our trek from there and hired a taxi to return to McLeod Ganj's room. We arrived at 1pm, tired but great memories.

This hike was a perfect end to the year, feeling accomplished and satisfied.

PS:Nature is our home and it is our responsibility to protect it. Please do not throw away garbage while driving, take it home and dispose of it properly.

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