Patagonia, Peru, The Himalayas… aye, they are spectacular. But this trek just pipped them to the post.
To say we were the only white people would be an understatement. No tourists, no Europeans and thank Christ no Americans. Not that it mattered, the Indians are legends and more warming than a Sunday roast when it’s 2 degrees in London. I find them a culture of absolute magic, quality folk. Them, topped with summiting on Christmas day, I won’t mention the outdoor pooing, made this trek dam right one in a million.
The Himalayas of north India were untouched, authentic and f*ing miles away, I mean MILES away. We couldn’t get more off the grid here. From Delhi it took us a 12-hour night coach (they don’t do VIP travel) followed by a 10-hour day ride on a mini bus round mountain roads where the Himalayas begin to show their awesomeness. We then had a nights rest in a tiny remote village before a 2-hour mini bus the next day to the start of the trek deep in heart of the mountains.
Being an avid fan of travelling solo and a northern moron, not many girls would put up with me through -7 nights and 3500m altitude snow covered treks, I’d never trekked or backpacked with anyone. @theoonontheotherside changed that, and she made it incredible. Currently we’re now in Mexico and permanent nomads wandering the world together, how cute eh. She was the only women on the trek, putting up with 20 other Indian men and myself. She bossed it. In fact her better written, with much better grammar post on this magic place is here: www.themoonontheotherside.com/trekking-in-the-himalayas
Anyway, I found the peaks here rugged, raw and sharp in contrast to Patagonia and the Andes of South America. They’re lusher green and hill like in their structure in my opinion. Organised through Bikkat adventures our leader ‘el Capitan’ was a true wicked. He Laid down the ground rules and safety from the get go, enforcing a no litter and respect nature as a red line marker. He made a bit of a show of us two English taking the piss out of us a every opportunity, great bants.
- Checkout my tips on nutrition and fitness for trekking
- Buy dates from the locals, packed with electrolytes they’ll keep you going and going
- Take layers of thin under armour or wool. We averaged 5 layers with a hat, scarf, gloves and coat. Thirty mins into trekking we were down to two layers, it’s hard, sweaty uphill going.
- Pack light take literally only what you desperately need. One pound feels like five on the mountain
- Walk up the mountain too fast no matter how competitive you are, take breaks and your time to avoid altitude sickness
- Go expecting luxury, this is a hard trek but more than worth the slog and outdoor poo’ing
The trek was split over 3 days
Day 1 Christmas eve. Hiking to camp
After arriving the night before and catching what zzz’s we could in a pretty basic hostel / wooden shack. We woke up and met the rest of the hikers. Twenty male Indians, myself and @themoonontheotherside, from the get go they welcomed us, questioned us and before we knew it we’d made buddies for life.
The first day was full on up hill to 2800m passing through local villages and walking between giants. We flew up too fast and @themoonontheotherside was hit hard with altitude sickness for the first time in her life. Not going to lie, I was shitting myself. First holiday away together, this was going to be a tough one to explain to the parents if things go pear shaped. Luckily we were in more than capable hands and she was escorted to sit with the local villagers in the kitchen tent. They fed her garlic and portions of concocted fruits, honey, sugars and salts. Two hours later she was back to fighting form and inhaling curry like it was going out of fashion.
The night was cold, minus 7 cold. The coldest I’ve ever slept in for a tent but the morning wake up views were worth it.
Day 2 Christmas day. The Kuari Pass and summit
I can’t write, let alone describe the beauty of what we trekked through, so just look at the photos below. We trekked up to 3700m, with the majority of it spent hiking through snow and filling water bottles by punching through ice, I was imaging myself as The Rock whist doing this, to reach the fresh stream flow underneath. The breakfast feed was fit for a king, a curry king. The likes I’ve never tasted. The locals who live in the mountains cook and by god it’s incredible. Not so much when it’s coming out the other end behind a rock, in the snow, on the side of the mountain but beggars can’t be choosers.
Above, the Kuari pass and summit. Eating our Christmas day pack-lunch up here was a tad different to the Newcastle brown ales back home.
Day 3. Round the mountains to home
After a night of huddling around a fire eating curry and being quizzed left right and centre about all aspects of our life, we woke the next morning to blue skies and fresh snow. For a few of the young lads, this trip was their first sight of snow so teaching them snow angels and bouncing snow balls off their heeds was a massive enjoyment for me.
We trekked away from camp and headed up to a high altitude frozen lake, trailing across the top of mountains and steep plains. Always accompanied by a dog, who nicked my sandwich the twat, the last day was a true pleasure to trek. The endless Himalayan mountains that spanned for miles were mesmerising. Endless, like the teeth of a saw.
When we finally got back to the village it was straight to a hot shower in the best hotel money could buy. I mean it was average at best but did the job, not meaning to sound like a snobby twat. We caused a bit of a scene this last night by not telling our captain, or group, that we’d checked into a different place other than the wooden shack they’d booked us. We can rough it, but we needed a warm shower and heat and I needed a bog to sit on. After being collared by a townsman who informed us the whole town was hunting, worried for us, we went for a final meal with the gang. More curry, exchanged deets and we’ve heard from them almost everyday via WhatsApp, GIFS, emojis and “HI’s!!” since. Don’t give your deets!
I’ll finish as I stared… I’ve trekked, Peru, Patagonia, Chile, Nepal and Colombia. They’re truly awesome, but I have to admit this was a one up on all of them. Hands down the best trek I’ve ever experienced.
Tips for healthy eats
- Take nuts and the local dried fruit.
- A bag of salts electrolytes powder won’t go a miss either.
- Take garlic, ginger and lemon to place in your water bottle, it staves off altitude sickness.
- I’d recommend a supply of BCAA and glutamine tablets, they’ll help greatly to starve off the aches. At least two of each a day morning and mid afternoon.
- Chocolate, two massive bars for yourself.
How to get meat for that protein hit
- The meals are good, lots of eggs in the morning and chicken with lentils in the curries for dinner. The pack lunches are basic however.
- Take jerky and protein bars to help top-up your protein intake and eat them often and consistently throughout the day for a drip feeding supply.
Where to exercise
Read my post here on fitness and nutrition for trekking in the Himalayas. It’s a massive leg session lets be honest. Major leg and stamina training.
I’d advise bulking before hand as you can’t eat enough for the amount you’ll burn. Stretching is essential before and after each day. They lead great warm-ups in the morning before setting off.