20th June 2008: Morning 5:30AM at Bedni Bugyal without rains and the skies devoid of clouds - we got clear and awesome views of the entire range of snow capped peaks. Neelkanth, Chaukhamba and many more to the North-West and NandaGhunti Trishul to the North.
After an early breakfast we started off our trek to Bhagubasa at 6:45AM. There was 3 KM trail along the ridge visible from our Bedni camp (and vice versa, as in pic below) till we reach the saddle point on the ridge.
In the picture above, taken after about 45 mins of trekking we look back at Bedni Kund and the 2-FRH structures where we had set up tent. Around this point, the Ukranian lady passed us, on her 2nd attempt on Roopkund. She stopped and talked to us about her previous day's freezing experience at Bhagubasa. In fact, she advised us not to camp in Bhagubasa (due to the cold) but to stay in Pathar Nachani i.e. south of Kalu Vinayak.
Further down the trail, we met a returning solo-trekker from Silichar, Assam; he too had made an attempt to reach Roopkund Lake yesterday but had to give up just a few hundred meters short of target, due to heavy snow glaciers that were melting!
Today, the weather is nice, partly sunny and no rains. So maybe tomorrow too, will be good? When we reached the saddle-pt, Debu said he too was advised by local people, to pitch our tent this side of Kalu Vinayak, as Bhagubasa was cold. So even though our trek for the next day will become longer, he had instructed Mahendra & Bhupendra to go ahead and pitch our tent before Pathar Nachani.
We continued on the other side of ridge and were in the tent by 10am. In the afternoon it was raining a bit. Later, that evening at 4:00PM we saw the Ukranian girl return, this time having reached the Roopkund Lake succesfully. She said the glaciers-flows were melting and so in places she was knee-deep in snow and got wet; but otherwise she was happy she could make it to the top!
21st June 2008: After an early breakfast we started out on the trail. We had a stiff climb ahead to Kalu Vinayak. After hearing the Ukranian's story yesterday, our hope of reaching Roopkund was not very high. SK and I were talking, that we should reach Kalu Vinayak at least and then decide.
Luckily, the weather stayed very good through out that climb. We reached the top fairly easily by 9:00AM, in good weather. At the top we stopped at the small stone temple of Ganapathi. Debu & Mahendra lit some agarbattis, said prayers and distributed prasad of dry-cocunut & toffees to us!
The view from the ridge-top on both sides was awsome! Looking south we could see the trail snaking down all the way to a yellow speck of our tent and beyond. The North & Nort-East was the huge bowl of Bhagubasa - ringed by the slopes of snow-streaking down from Junar-Galli. And beyond that Trishul peak, partly visible through the clouds. Across the bowl, to the North Nanda-Ghunti was visible with plenty of snow streaks.
We rested on top of the ridge for an hour and ate Puri-Aloo from our pack-lunch to re-energise, after the steep climb. The weather was quite good and no rain. Even the temperature was not bad at 10*C or so. So we did not face the cold and the rain that was reported for the previous two days! In fact, conditions seemed ideal for us to go to Roopkund today.
Around 10:00AM we set off towards Bhagubasa and Roopkund. That and the return trek is continued in next page.