Hidden lake Maldaru

Maldaru tal is a pristine glacial lake that remains frozen half the year, stays hidden by the mountains.  It lies in the shadow of connecting ridges between Singtur range and Ruinsara range, at an altitude of 13500 feet. It can be approached via Debsu bugiyal above Seema village in Supin valley of Uttarkashi district, Garhwal.

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Shila-samudra , a garden of eden, hidden by Trishul & Nanda-ghunti

Plodding towards Ronti saddle through old moraine ridges. .

Recently we’ve been revisiting memories of some our favorite treks in Garhwal. Roopkund-Junargali-Homkund is one such trek. It was 2009 June, when 5 of us hiked this bewitchingly beautiful trek. Shila-samudra , a garden of eden, hidden by Trishul & Nanda-ghunti was the place who astonished me most, Here are some photos from that adventure.  Read more

The Smoke Circuit – Goecha La diaries (Mangtabung to Yuksom via Tashiding road and back to Mangtabung)

Having breakfast with the eldest of the Chhetris, and the platter screams of hospitality.

Warning: Cigarette smoking is injurious to health, especially if you want to climb many a mountain in your life.

Cigarettes while hiking are a strict ‘no no’; but tell that to the average Bengali smoker and see him hike away from you to the next mountain paying minimum heed. Read more

Purbasthali Oxbow Lake – Birding Diaries – Trip Report

The mighty Osprey provided some of the moments of the day with a partially devoured fish in its talons

Ten of us decided to cool off a bit after epic wedding celebrations of Kabya and Roopdatta during the first week of February 2017. The plan was made hastily but executed with precision.

Onset of our boat journey

Onset of our boat journey

The Plan:

Birding on fishing boats on the Ox-bow Lake at Chupi/Purbasthali (Burdwan, West Bengal). This 11 kms long lake in the shape of an Ox-bow has been the winter and permanent homes of thousands of ducks, waders and other birds from time immemorial, i suppose.
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Pilgrim on the mountain, KangYatse 2


This post is a part of a three chapter series on my experience summiting Stok Kangri,6153m and Kang Yatse 6200m in two fortunate weeks of July in 2016. I’ve never been laconic with my blog posts but unless you’re hooked on to Pokemon Go, you should be alright.

Zero – Training for a 6000er
One – Stok Kangri
Two – Kang Yatse 2 – You are reading.

“We are approaching 6000m”, announces Sharki Sherpa, as we make a steep 60 degree, but shorter detour to the summit ridge that starts at about 6100m. The detour took us up a 100m in a short, exhausting push. Both Jan and I were feeling alright and very excited about the prospect of being on top on KangYatse 2 on the day. All seemed to be going well when our sherpa stopped sharp. We followed closer and came to a halt at an icy blue and endless crack of the bergschrund staring at us right in the face and it spanned the entire width of the north east face we were climbing.The summit was the least of my concerns at that point, it was more like,

” F— this. How do we get out of this mess?” Read more

How to combat cold in Himalayan treks? The concept of layering clothes

How to combat cold in Himalayan treks? The concept of layering clothes

How to combat cold in Himalayan treks? OR how to combat the extreme cold like Chadar trek? The one and only answer is the concept of layering clothes. There can’t be any single Jacket from any brand to protect you from cold of -25 C, what a winter Himalayan trek like Chadar offers. And if there is any such from a brand like North Face, then definitely that will cost more than your trip Or if it is cheap then you will end up adding the heaviest item into the backpack. Read more

How to choose a trekking company?

How to choose a trekking company?

How to choose a trekking company? Yes, it is difficult to choose one among many.  So, here I am trying to develop an approach to compare. There are many companies operating for every trek. In the case of planning your trek and choosing an operator, you may consider few points; which will help you to identify a company with good facilities and sincere responsibilities. Read more

How To Prepare for a trek, The Physical Endurance

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A TREK, THE PHYSICAL ENDURANCE

How To Prepare for a trek, The Physical Endurance is the 2nd Chapter of the article. Please read chapter 1 of the article titled To Prepare for a trek, The Mental Endurance.

To prepare for a trek, we need to strengthen our 2 prime M’s – Mind and Muscle, the body. Only then, the spending of the 3rd M – Money; a little or more, can bring to us an intense lifelong experience like trekking. Read more

Grey headed flying squirrel Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim

Just before it vanished, it gave a final opportunity for the shutters to go 'snap'

It was early November, 2016. I was going up the enthralling trails through Khangchendzonga National Park, to Goecha La. Our guide Sanjay had already taken notice of my keen interest in wildlife. So, when I reached Phedang (3636 m), leading the last of the trekkers from the batch of 8 first timers on the 3rd day of the trek, he ran up to me and told me to follow him. I was left with no doubt that he had made an interesting wild observation and followed him. It was a Grey headed flying squirrel. I was not to know that for sometime still, and also the fact that it was an elusive creature of this part of the Himalayas that I have learned to adore so much in the last few years. Read more

How To Prepare for a trek, The Mental Endurance

Looks like a good bet for the Marathon title...:D

How To Prepare for a trek, The Mental Endurance is the 1st part of the article. Please read Part 2 of the article titled To Prepare for a trek, The Physical Endurance.

To prepare for a trek, we need to strengthen our 2 prime M’s – Mind and Muscle, the body. Only then, the spending of the 3rd M – Money; a little or more, can bring to us an intense lifelong experience like trekking. Read more

Bali pass trek | Tons to Yamuna | A close look at Badarpoonch

On Bali top

Bali pass trek (4850 m.) goes through the mountainous ridge-line which divides the valleys of Ruinsara and Yamuna. It is also known as Yamunotri pass. This ridge-line works as the barrier between the catchment areas of Yamuna river and its main tributary Tons. Tons river is a combination of three main rivers Rupin, Har-ki-doon and Ruinsara. Interestingly, Tons carries more water than Yamuna itself.

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Danphebir La | High circuit of Sikkim | hidden lakes and Kanchendzonga

Walk along the ridge and savour the spectacular vista

Danphebir La is one unique region that hosts several pristine, large high altitude lakes and boasts one of the best views of Himalayas.

For over the years , Danphebir La trek has remained a route far less traversed by city trekkers. However, the route that runs through the upper Singali La ridge, is as pristine and wildly beautiful if not more, as some of the best high-altitude treks in the Himalayas.

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How to walk on Chadar trek? the penguin style

One of the most common questions asked by a traveler prior the trek that  -How to walk on Chadar trek ? Or what shoe should I use during the Chadar trek? What is penguin style? And much more.

One of the most unique and magnificent treks of the world, the Zanskar canyon trek, mostly known as Chadar Trek is hugely popular now. Chadar (literal meaning is Blanket in the Hindi language) signifies the frozen sheet of ice that is formed on the raging River Zanskar. Due to extreme cold and the less amount of direct sunlight as the river flows through a narrow gorge. Solid ice is formed best around the time frame, 2nd week of January to 2nd week of February – the time when the winter at it’s maximum.

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Walking crampon or microspikes, a companion of winter trek

MICROspikes in action.    Photo:Kahtoola

Flexible, or “hinged,” or walking crampon or micro spikes or anti-slip or ice gripper, many names to call the recently introduced ice gears of outdoor adventure sports. Flexible crampons are best for climbing snow and walking on glaciers. They are designed to flex with the boot, making walking more natural. If you plan on more hiking than technical climbing, flexible crampons will really shine. New age products are evolving more and almost developing a new category of ice traction gear for a more generic ice walk. Soon we may have to stop calling it crampon as it looses the technical seriousness.

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Exploring Ruinsara Valley

Ruinsara peaks from the tal

Debsu bugiyal is a long day’s hike from Taluka. We were camping here on May 15th,2016 on our way down from Maldaru tal and were enjoying a day of rest. Osla village is only couple of hours away. We had sent Bahatturu Singh with a porter yesterday evening to procure some ration and fuel from the village. While we were enjoying the morning sun with a hot cup of tea and discussing about the views of Black peak-Ruinsara peak to the east (beyond Ruinsara valley) and Atta peak to the north( to HarkiDoon valley), the duo returned. We had breakfast together and after another round of sweet milk tea we started off.

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Pilgrim on the mountain: Training for a 6000er


IThis post is a part of a three chapter series on my experience summiting Stok Kangri,6153m and Kang Yatse 6200m in two fortunate weeks of July in 2016. I’ve never been laconic with my blog posts but unless you’re hooked on to Pokemon Go, you should be alright.

Zero – Training for a 6000er. You are reading.
One – Stok Kangri
Two – Kang Yatse II

To the stray dogs who chased me in every night run and threatened to chew my legs off, to the pub hopping pillion on the motorbike who asked me to buck up while I was on another run…on a Friday night… 12 AM and to the guy at the pushcart who shared his day’s water with me without a thought on a hot sunny day in Hyderabad after a solid elevation gain bike ride.
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Pilgrim on the mountain: Stok Kangri


This post is a part of a three chapter series on my experience summiting Stok Kangri,6153m and Kang Yatse 6200m in two fortunate weeks of July in 2016. I’ve never been laconic with my blog posts but unless you’re hooked on to Pokemon Go, you should be alright.

Zero – Training for a 6000er
One – Stok Kangri . You are reading.
Two – Kang Yatse II

As my left leg started to lose complete control, my right one, which till now was resting a little, sprung into action and thrust the toes into the snow slope and the ice axe, on my right hand, still in slow-motion, came right in front of my chest and punched in three rapid self arresting swings into the snow till it latched on to harder ice below it to stop my slide. Pure adrenalin rush and a total love affair with my crampons and ice axe began at that moment. Love at first fright.

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Mandani Valley Trek, Uttarakhand – Garhwal Himalayas – Bird Checklist

A Grey-sided Bush Warbler, a tiny shouter calling away from its perch on a Juniper. Taken on a beautiful morning at Mandani Valley on Day 6.

RockyFeet decided to explore a new trail in the Garhwal Himalayas; Mandani Valley, starting from Ransi (30 kms from Ukhimath) and ending at Gaurikund via Kedarnath. It was a 9-day long expedition that involved steep hikes over narrow ridges through forests of Rhododendron, Pines and Oaks, over gentle ‘Bugyals’ (Himalayan grasslands) at altitudes of 3400-3600 metres and above 3 high altitude Cols viz. the Yeoungbuk Col, Bisali Col and Mahapanth Col.

The trail passes through the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary aka the Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary named so for its primary purpose of protecting the endangered White-bellied Musk Deer.

At the end of it all were 16 tired feet and 8 satisfied souls. Read more

Pin Parvati Pass The Itinerary

The Mesmerizing Pin Parvati trek exposes to the drastic change in the landscape from the pristine picture perfect lush green Parvati Valley in Kullu to the rugged, barren and arid Pin Valley in the rainshadow Spiti. It is like two different worlds on either side of the 5400 meters high pass,not only geographically but also culturally. It is the shortest distance between the Kullu and Spiti Valley, first crossed by Sir Loius Dane in August 1884…The Trans-Himalaya trek over the Pin Parvati Pass is still quite rarely visited and is considered as one of the difficult treks of the Himalaya. Truly Overwhelming.. Read more

Birding Okhrey | Hilley| Varsey |West Sikkim| Gorkhey | North Bengal|

Verditer Flycatcher (male)

Explorers:

  1. Titas Kar – A doctor by profession and a passionate birdwatcher and stargazer.
  2. Aritra Guha – A doctor by profession and a passionate birdwatcher.
  3. Priyabrata Banerjee – A teacher by profession and a very good musician.
  4. Titash Chakrabarti – Exploration leader with RockyFeet

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Birding the Neighbourhood

A pair of courting Green Pigeons in Spring 2015

In my relatively short time as a bird enthusiast, I have come across two types of bird lovers – The first kind, ones who love to own birds in their drawing rooms and balconies – Munias (Finches), Budgerigars, Macaws, Parakeets, Mynas etc. The second kind of bird lover are the ones who risk personal health and venture out to watch birds in their natural habitats in biting cold, searing heat, pouring rain and just sometimes in areas where there are floating warnings in the air of a man-eating Leopard on the prowl. Read more

Uruguay through lens

Uruguay

Uruguay , officially the Eastern Republic of Uruguay is a country in the southeastern region of South America. It is bordered by Argentina to its west and Brazil to its north and east, with the “Río de la Plata” (River of Silver) to the south and with the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. Uruguay is home to 3.3 million people,of whom 1.8 million live in the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Montevideo. With an area of approximately 176,000 square kilometres (68,000 sq mi), Uruguay is geographically the second-smallest nation in South America after Suriname. Read more

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