A 7-day Trek from Sangam-Chatti to Dodital, Darwa-Pass and to Dayera-Bugyal via Suru-Thatch and ending at Barsu Village, in Uttarakhand, India.
Day-5, 28-May-2015: 11KM trek today from
Assi-Ganga Camp to Suru-Thatch Camp
Today we started the trek from our riverside camp at 8:45AM. It was a steep climb, from the beginning all the way through thick pine forests most of the way. There were a few meadows too on the way - particularly after we traversed across an intermediate ridge and started the climb towards the main ridge coming down from Surya-top towards Devkund.
It was a long climb, but fortunately mostly in the shady forest cover. There was a narrow path that could be seen ziz-zagging up but not really a regular trail. I expect the regular trail must have been from Satgadh to Dev-Kund; but we were taking a non-std route to Suru-Thatch.
Around 11:30 am we had gained significant altitude to be able to see parts of the snow peaks of Bandarpoonch above some ridges:
Bandarpoonch > White Peak (L) and Main Peak (R) as seen during our climb up to Suru Thatch
After another hour's climbing, at 12:45PM, we reached a level meadow, with many buffaloes relaxing in huge mud pools and some Gujjar huts nearby. We decided have our packed lunch here and finished that with a glass of fresh boiled milk bought from a Gujjar lady. From here we could see the Dodital rock-fall (above Dodital on the faraway western ridge.
After lunch we started the climb again; we still had a long way to go to it seems. We passed several bugyals (meadows) and many of them with grazing cattle especially cows and buffaloes. It seems several families come up from Uttarkashi to graze their cattle here during summer months paying a small fee for grazing rights to Forest Dept. The milk collected daily is converted to "paneer" (cheese) and sent down and sold in the market at Uttarkashi.
SK's comment on his Pic (R): "whenever we passed through Shepherds' settlements, the standard response from the buffaloes would be to stop grazing and stare at us until we were away from them"
We finally arrived at Suru-Thatch at 3:30PM. The meadow there was green. We sat down on the bugyal for rest. The guide and porters looked around for the water stream but found none in the vicinity.
A Gujjar from Agohra walked up from some nearby huts and talked to Rajesh and pointed out where he can get water up from a little way down. So they started pitching the tent near to the Gujjar-Huts:
At Suru-Thatch our tent is being put up .. below those trees on the hillock and SK talking to the Gujjar (R)
The bugyal meadow scenery at Suru-thatch was very awesome. It was nice camp site with view of rolling green hills all around and to the west open view all the way past many ridges. Our tent was pitched on a small mound with entry flap facing west. So we got some nice sunset view of orange ball sinking behind the western ridges.