Today was part of a 2 day traverse from Karnaprayag to Rudrapayag through the interior high ranges above the Alaknanda river valley. It was a peaceful night on the school grounds of Chaurasain. The neighbor brought us hot tea in the morning while we watched a beautiful sunrise in the East.
We packed up and went back to the small dhaba where we had delicious mommo’s the previous night. We ordered Maggie for breakfast and packed up a few egg burgers unsure whether we would find food in the hamlets across the pass. It was a solid 600m climb to the pass on the ridgeline above, a 1600m ascent from the Pindari river below.
A wide, frequently used path lead us to the bugyals above Chaurasain from where we entered the forest above. From the pass the trail drops 700m to the hamlet of Sakand. To avoid this descent and climb back up again to the next pass I decided to instead follow the upper ridgeline connecting us to the same pass.
Unfortunately there was no clear trail on top of the ridge and we ended up scrambling through the forest. The Northern and Western slopes below the ridge were covered by snow and we could see many footprints of wildlife in this vast forest below. Our pace dropped significantly as we made our way through vegetation and steep sections of the ridgeline.
To the North we could see the snow covered high ranges of Gangotri lit up by the morning sun. We finally reached the pass to the next side valley where we got back on a proper trail. We could pick up the pace again as we descended into the next side valley above the main Alaknanda. We descended from the forest into the farmlands below passing through various small hamlets connected by a newly constructed road.
We crossed Talla Gwar, Dhargwar, Charkilqwar, Pokhri and finally Sunak where we found a small shop for lunch break. I indulged in my egg burger while sipping ice cold Sprite as the sun was beating down on us. We continued our way along a small path above the road to the next side stream from where a nice rock path climbed up 300m to Majkhola.
Here we packed up a few samosa’s in a local shop not sure again on the food situation after the next pass. Majkhola is a beautiful settlement tucked in yellow / green mustard fields. Local people are friendly and welcoming unlike the previous the previous hamlets were we sensed a kind of negative energy among the locals.
From Majkhola it s a steep 350m climb to our third pass of the day into the next side valley. We reach the pass around 4pm and bask in the warm afternoon sun as we indulge in a fresh orange gifted in the previous hamlet. A clear path now takes us down into the valley as the sun slowly sets below the main ridgeline above.
We drop 600m to the scenic village of Turiyal where – yet again – a new road is under construction. There s a vast forest below the upper ridgeline all the way to the village. Lots of wildlife roams around as per the locals. We got into a makeshift road side tea shop planning to halt for the night when a friendly villager invites us into his home for dinner and night stay.
We freshen up and get into a big guest room with comfy bed and warm blankets. A short while later home cooked rottis and sabji is served on bed. The night temperature is dropping quickly at 1550m altitude as we snug under the blankets and blog the proceedings of the day and sharing the photos on the social media.