It had been a long year for all of us in the Noise marketing team, filled with deadlines, targets and general last minute chases. And, with a fairly new team working together, we decided a short team-break would be an ideal way to bond and let out a bit of steam. After taking a quick poll, we zeroed on a trekking trip but since we were all at varying levels of fitness (feeling breathless on a single flight of stairs to those who can happily go for marathons), we picked the beginners trek from Chopta to Chandrashila.
With destination decided, it was time to pack and carry the necessary equipment. Since it was a trek with picturesque scenes welcoming us, cameras were a must-have. But as we were packing light we decided to throw in our Noise action cameras, taking up very little space and all charged up beforehand, it was one of our best decisions for the trip.
Finally the day came for the trip – all bundled and charged up, we started our party in the Mini-bus with our Aqua Mini Bluetooth Speaker playing as the party starter.
By the time of dawn, all of us had retired to sleep with our eyes opening to view of snow-capped mountains mid-morning. Not wanting to miss out on anything, we became trigger happy and captured the view. This was enough to keep us excited for the next few hours.
It was evening by the time we reached Sari village from where we were to hike to our base camp for the night. After a little leg stretching and a quick pep talk from the trek leader, we began our uphill task of reaching the top of the mountain.
For some of us, this small hike was a massive wakeup call for our fitness level. With every heaving breath and a stumbling step forward, we determined to get our fitness game strong while our ColorFit fitness trackers were motivating us with updates on the distance covered and calories burnt.
In all honesty, it was the promise of hot food and bed welcoming us at the top that we managed to trudge up to the camp. Since the next day was to be the big trek and the cold was entering the bone-chilling level – we decided to reserve our quota for adventure for the next day, calling it an early night with food and a bit of warm drinks to keep us going for the night.
The next day turned out to be quite an eventful one. Capturing the sunrise from our camp and a bit of photo session by the side of breathtaking Deoria Tal got us all excited for the upcoming trek. And with the trek leader’s promise of even more serene views from Chandrashila, we were motivated to start as soon as we could.
However, right before we were ringing all-safe-bell from the Sari hike, we faced a minor setback. One of our members injured herself and was incapable of trekking further. In true Bollywood fashion, reinforcements were called in to ensure that the member reached the mini bus safely and was comfortable at Chopta base camp.
Already delayed by few hours and rapidly losing precious daylight, the rest of the team decided to start the trek for Chopta from the base. After a short break at the camp, we left for the journey ahead.
By the time we reached our destination, slipping mini-bus on the ice covered road forced us to jump down the bus and start a 2km walk towards the base of the mountain. Following which the trek got increasingly difficult with snow covered trail, biting cold wind combined with occasional slips and falls, so we started playing songs on our Aqua Mini speaker to keep our spirits up.
Occasionally, our trek leader took the opportunity to keep us on toes and only after checking the trail properly would cheer us to race each other to few turns which ensured that there was not a single dull moment.
This made sure that we rang the Tungnath temple bell in record time. All breathless and happy at our accomplishment, we still weren’t done! We wanted more and decided to head to Chandrashila almost immediately.
This next stretch of trek was a true test of our endurance. People coming back from the Chandrashila, demotivated us by stating that it was going to be really difficult considering the setting sun and dipping temperature. That’s when two of our team members decided to accept the challenge. Leading the way like trailblazers, digging deep into snow and pulling “Spiderman like stunts” they showed the way for the rest of the team to follow.
And their hard work paid off, within 20 minutes they were to able see the peak and that’s all it took for them to put in even more efforts. After that it was only a matter of time before they reached the peak. Their screams of amazement were well travelled that in turn motivated the rest of the team to push through.
Looking at complete 360-degree view of the surrounding peaks, we were convinced that overcoming all the obstacles was worth every pain, cramp and the bazillion falls. With ravens and mountain dogs giving us company, we were busy taking the view and indulged in a bit of photoshoot.
Once conquered now the task remained to trek or rather slip down the icy trail. Keeping our wits intact and following the motto of team work, we started off from Chandrashila in a single file keeping each other’s spirits up.
On our way down, we were greeted with numerous slips and falls that not only came as comic relief but also kept us on high-alert. It was well after sun down that we reached the base of the trek – cold, hungry and with our body aching all over, the only thing that kept us awake was the vision of our warm, luxurious beds and hot food with a promise to party it up in the mountains.
Sitting by camp fire, warm drinks in hand and jamming session under the Milky Way, it was a moment that none of us will forget. Our party session continued well past dawn, after which we retired to our tents.
Knowing that we will get only one more morning to experience the beauty of the mountains, all of us woke up early the next day to enjoy the last plate of Maggie and tea in front of the mountains before packing ourselves into the mini-bus for the journey to Delhi.