After crossing over from Uttarakashi to the Yamuna valley through the Dhayakarsu pass I hitched a ride in a van to Hanuman Chatti – 15K from Yamunotri – at the base of my next target – the Darwa pass. I had dinner in a small dhaba where locals gathered around a warm fire. Night temperatures at 2000m in the windy Yamuna valley were very cold. The owner kindly offered me to sleep inside the dhaba. It rained incessantly throughout the night. Morning snow had fallen just above my location making an attempt at the 4000m Darwa pass futile.
I jumped on the bus back downstream to Kharadi to attempt an unnamed lower altitude pass at 2700m. A nice path runs up the side valley through the hamlets of Bhansari, Syalna and Godigad. A kind gentleman offered me some hot tea. As I climbed up through the valley it started raining and my trail diverted from the planned route. 200m below the ridge I encountered 1 foot deep snow losing track of the trail until I found a snow covered hamlet in ruins where I discovered a new pass at 2640m.
With everything covered in a white blanket I was unable to find the way down. I initially tried traversing a narrow ridge but gave up seeing the steepness on the contour map. I tracked back to the pass and continued along the main ridge following a fresh trail in the snow of a man and his dog. Eventually the trail faded out and I continued downhill along a gradual ridge until below the snowline where I found back a proper path.
Meanwhile daylight was running out and I picked up the pace targetting to reach the isolated dwelling of Chatralli. I finaly reached beyond sunset and a kind tribal family invited me inside their mud home for tea, dinner and night stay. The owner, his wife, mom and two cute kids where snuggled around a warm kitchen fire. He stroke up a conversation with me in broken English. Night temperatures were dropping again sub zero as the sky cleared up revealing a myriad stars