My journey to Mt. Gangotri I - Ritu Chawla

A snow clad  mushroom type Mountain standing out and making it’s own space in front of other Gigantic mountains and teasing yet inviting mountaineers to come and climb and taste the difficulties, is how I would describe Mt. Gangotri 1 peak for me.

The journey started by taking blessings at Gangotri temple and then going towards Nala camp by crossing small streams and beautiful trails and then going towards Base camp by again crossing small stream, long hilly trails, moraines and boulders and then going towards ABC(Advance base camp) by crossing moraine and boulders, and then finally reaching Camp 1 by crossing multiple technical rock faces, never ending boulders and vast snow land with many a times knee deep snow at 70%incline. 

The beautiful journey abruptly came to a halt after reaching Camp 1 as we were welcomed by non stop snowfall and that made us hole up in our tents for 5 whole days. Thankfully we, as a team were very strong and well knit so kept our Josh high by keeping each other chirpy and happy. Sun God kept playing hide and seek, giving us a spring of happiness in between. 

After consuming all our buffer days and having no option left because it’s risky to stay at high altitudes for long without any movement and our tents were getting submerged in snow and it was getting riskier for our health and ration was getting over so we decided to descend to base camp. 

The way Mountains call and we must go, same way when other commitments call we need to listen and hence decided to go further down and call off our expedition with a hope in heart that next time Weather God will be more merciful with us. However, bravehearts of our team Purva Singh and Sneha Talvatkar stayed firm with patience. And on 29th Sept morning, their patience paid with precious summit bid. Though some of us had to turn around but I am happy that we made the expedition successful eventually. Many congratulations to the summitters – Purva & Sneha! They truly deserved it.  

Mountains have taught me many things like team work, humbleness, adjustment, compassion and in this expedition learned another life lesson and that is to take a step Back as and when required.  A beautiful life lesson which will go on with me forever.