Had a wonderful stay at Nagni Tang mandir hosted by a friendly Sadhu. Sunset views on Gangotri Southwest subsection were mesmerizing. I rose early today to watch the sunrise. Packed up my things and left before babaji woke up to maximize daylight time. Plan today was to complete exploration of the long ridgeline Southeast of Uttarakashi.
I descended along a nice path from the 2700m high hillock towards a saddle Sankurana Khal through which the Uttarakashi highway passes. I met a group of horsemen which were transporting wood planks from the line forest. Quenched my thirst at a small spring not having drank water since yday morning. From the saddle I climbed up again on the steep ridge following a vague trail.
I took a short breakfast break eating bakery cookies packed up the previous day to build up energy for the 1000m ascend ahead. Beautiful views on the forest in the valleys below. Virgin forest till the horizon with no human settlements. Virgin untouched forest, an exploration heaven. Number of animal sightings pointed to remoteness.
I passed two deserted settlements along the ridgeline probably semi nomadic only inhabited during summer. Mesmerizing views on the snow covered Gangotri Southwest section along the way. I met two shepherd’s guiding a small herd in the opposite direction.
Running low on food ration after 2 days in the wild I decided to head down into the Bhagarati valley to power up my phone and grab some food. I descended along a long ridge following a vague trail that finally eluded me and got me free climbing down some near vertical sections. I was expecting to get stuck eventually seeing the ridge drop steeply into the valley.
Luckily I found a small trail that got me safely down the final section to the river. Quenched my thirst again after a challenging 10 hour ridge hike with no water. Darkness settled in when I reached Jamal in the Bhagarati river valley. I crossed a dam to the Gangotri highway and starved in search for a dhaba to indulge in a refill of lost calories