Milam Glacier Trek - 

A 11-day trek from Munsiyari to Milam Glacier

In this Page: Trek Days 7 to 11 are described:

Day-7:  Milam > Barfu

Day-8: Barfu > Railkot

Day-9: Railkot > Bugdiar

Day-10: Bugdiar > Lilam

Day-11: Lilam > Selapani > Munsiary 



Day-7 .. 21/05/07 .. Return Trek from Milam to Barfu ... 6 Kms

Reaching Barfu's (3350M) green meadow in 3 hours from Milam 

On the way, we waited more than 45 minutes (while eating packed breakfast of Puri-Alu) on the trail opposite Pachhu village, for the clouds around Nanda Devi East peak to clear but we had no luck.

 

 From Barfu looking west, acroos the valley over the Gori-Ganga.

 

 The "palatial" NRI house with an Outhouse in the front yard.

 The powerhouse and bridge over Barfu river

Gokarn talked a lot about the old "glorious" times, when all residents were rich and well-off from the Trade with Tibet. They could afford and had all conveniences, from all over the world.  Gokarn was unhappy with presnt day SDM & ITBP Administrators at Munsiary, for sending back valuable Tourists since 15th April to 10th May (saying the route was not open & safe). He himself had quite comfortably trekked up to Barfu, in Mid-April and had found dangers enroute. Gokarn wants tourists to complain in writing, to the  SDM Office in Munsiary, about the late "official" opening of the routes and its consequence on the local villagers income from tourists.

Day-8 .. 22/05/07 .. Trek from Barfu to Railkot ...  8 Kms

 

 The trail .... going past Martoli

 Railtoli appeaars up ahead on the green meadow ... still 2 km away!

 The cabin where I stayed, at Railtoli


 

Day-9 ... 23/05/07 .. Trek from  Railkot to Budgiar ...  11 Kms

 The 6-7 snow bridges to cross again on the way to Budgiar from Railtoli .. near Nahardevi.

At 11:30am we had to stop at Nahardevi teahouse for 2 hrs for the drizzling rain to stop .. & lunch.

 

At 3:00pm Budgiar, same PWD hut! ... On the way to Milam I had stayed here with Amit Ayre of Mumbai and on the return met two Canadians from Vancouver Islands - a father and daughter. Brian, a veteran of many India treks, had suddenly taken ill here, with high temp and his daughter Jessica was worried and thinking if they need to abondon the trek or continue. But by evening Brian was up and  ok and I guess they must have completed Milam and Nanda Devi Base Camp too.

Day-10 ... 24/05/07 .. Trek from Budgiar to Lilam ...  12 Kms

 Rargari at 8:40am - 2 hours rest waiting for the drizzle to stop.

 

 That huge slab on the trail again .. you can see me dwarfed by it ... the trail goes under it!

A liitle way past this huge slab we met a big group of 36+ trekkers headed for Milam Glacier ... all from Bangalore, a mixed group of varying ages, being lead by well-known trekker from Bangalore - Pradeep Roy. Incidentally, only last week Pradeep had returned to Bangalore, after a Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek ... and the group had to persuade him to lead them to Milam Glacier. He has some energy I must say! I stopped him on the trail for 15 minutes to get his expert tips, for my upcoming EBC in Sept-07. BTW: Pradeep is a Pilot for Jet Airways.

 

Day-11 ... 25/05/07 .. Trek from  Lilam to Selapani (Munsiyari)  ...  8 Kms

 View of Valley opposite the Lilam PWD Rest House where we stayed.

Wild flowers blooming in the Lilam Resthouse frontyard.

 

 

On the Jimmyghat bridge  

Jimmyghat farmer ploughing his fields ... he plans to grow pototates and mustard. 

 

 Thats me at the last waterfall

We reached Selapani by 9:30am - a final picture of Balwant & Debu.

*****

We got a share-jeep from here and reached Munsiary, Hotel Pandey by 10:00am for a hot water bath and a full day of rest after the 120Km 11 day trek. 






View looking south towards Pachhu ... as we leave Milam 5:40AM

 

Retd Havildar Gokaran Singh .. in front of his Barfu Home-Hotel  where we stayed for the day.

Havildar Gokarn, a talkative man, had retired from the Army, 17 years ago. Still drawing a pension, he has been running his ancestral Barfu home as summer Rest Hosue for tourists for last 17 years . He comes up to Barfu from Munsiary, early in April (first to turn up at Barfu) and stays here late until November and is usually the last to leave after snow starts falling. He operates a shop in his RH (sells groceries and woollens knitted by his wife) and also dabbles in a bit of farming, as a side business. He took me on a tour of the village and showed me the local small power generator set up by a Local Do-Gooder (name I forget) as a World Bank funded project, the wooden bridge over Barfu Dhora, the adjacent "palatial" home of an NRI, now rented to the Agri-Dept etc.

A family of three cheerful children and Dad ... next door neighbours of Gokaran's Resthouse. They probably moved up here just a few days ago.

     ****** Day 8 ******

 

  On the trek back, approaching Martoli's wind eroded ridges

Reached Railtoli at 10AM  ... view looking north towards Martoli

 ****** Day 9 ******

 Another snow bridge ......  melting into a stream at the snout

The fast flowing river and a last bridge to cross before Budgiar 2-30pm

 ****** Day 10 ******

 7:00AM The Syunhi Teahouse ... where we stopped for breakfast.

  

A pretty huge waterfall on the trail as we near Lilam

 

 ****** Day 11 ******

Frenchman, Diksha Didier joined us for the last leg of trek from Lilam

Diksha Didier is a Frenchman, residing in Pondycherry, India, since 1992. He does research in a variety of fields, including Low-Cost Housing Materials. And he treks in the Himalayas, whenever possible. Diksha is his adopted sanskrit name! Yesterday, 24th May, he had close encounter with death and escaped. Diksha met with a trekking accident. He had slipped from the trail, near Syunhi, and fell down towards the raging Gori Ganga some 500 ft below! He manged to grab hold of some shrubs on the hillside and arrest his fall, about 10ft below the trail path.

Looking down, he saw the Gori Ganga way below ... and no easy soft landing spot  nearby; while his heavy 30kg backpack was threatening to take him down. He thought quickly and decided to release his backpack, with all his clothes and stuff .... and more importantly all his cash, trekking permit, passport, India stay permit etc.

Free of his heavy backpack, he could clamber back, on to the trail with minor scratches and sprains! He now had only the clothes on his back! Looking down to the river, he could see his backpack floating away in the waters of Gori Ganga .... there was no way he could go down to retrieve that pack  ... and within minutes it vanished out of sight.

An Australian trekker, on the trail, gave him Rs 3000 to get back to Pondicherry. Diksha trekked back to Lilam, limping and pretty shaken up and landed at the PWD Rest House, where we were staying. He was given first aid for his scratches .... and some hot tea and biscuits, by the porters there. A trekker from Kolkata, Nirmal Das, helped him with first-aid medicines. Diksha slept restless that night, tormented by the thoughts of his near escape from death ... and worrying about the loss of all his costly trekking equipment and travel documents etc.  

Disksha readily accepted my invitation to trek back to Munsiary with me, Debu and Balawant ....  so we could see him safely back at Munsiary.

This picture was taken on the final leg of our trek from Lilam to Selapani (Munsiary) ...  in front of a huge waterfall just half-hour from Selapani.

Diksha said he had learnt an important lesson - Never Trek Alone in the Mountains! He said this was a common and frequent advise given to all trekkers in the Alps .... which he had not heeded all these years ... but he had paid dearly for ignoring it yesterday ...  So  never again alone!

On 26th May, after a full day's rest, at Pandey Lodge in Munsiary, Diksha and I travelled by the same Share-Jeep from Munsiary to Haldwani .....  I got off at Bhowali, to go to Corbett Tiger Park ... and Diksha continued on to Haldwani .... and then to Pondicherry via Delhi. By now he is probably back in Pondy, to start his 2nd life!

***************