We all NIM trainees
first went to perform puja for the success of our course in a temple. From NIM we
started our journey early morning to Bookhi village which is approx.
half the distance between Gangotri and Uttarkashi. From there we
need to take two intermediate camps, Tel (8500ft) and Gujarhat (11200ft). These could be tiring treks. One needs to be well prepared for this.
Also one should not forget to take snaps of picturesque area. In the winter
one can will find snow at Gujarhat also. So the best season is May-Oct.
: 12500 ft.
|At Base camp, I
found a wonderful place for camping. There was a lake called Khiratal
towards left of the route between Gujarhat and Base Camp. Above Khiratal,
is a mountain ridge called Macha Dhar, and towards right of the route, a ridge
called Choro ki dhar. At Base camp one could see Dingadh river on the left.
Also there is a helipad constructed by NIM for their Search and Rescue
After Base camp we
went to Advance Base Camp(ABC) where we did our ICE craft practice for a
few days. ABC lies at 13500ft where one can see the top of Draupadi-Ka-Danda-II.
Here we were exactly in the valley of the mountain. Ahead was a glacier and also
a research centre. Then we marched towards the Camp-I at 15800ft, for
snow craft and height gain. The route from ABC to camp-I was initially
from a moraine then through many crevasses in between. For mass no. of participants
one may need to fix a rope on the away to avoid any accident.
At Camp-I we practised
for a week. On 12th May 1999, around 4pm. our duty instructor of that day came
out with smile on his face. Whistled everybody to gather all the adv.
trainees. Then he cheered us by telling us to prepare for next morning
Summit. We had dinner that day at 5:30pm. 13th May 1999 our day
started at 2:00am. i I was the one who was very much interested went first
for the bed tea in the dark. We had our packed breakfast cum lunch at
3:00am. We were told since this is a Holy peak
not to carry or have non-veg. At 4:00am we started our final ascent to the
summit. It was dark, most of the trainees were carrying their head torch.
After four hours, I reached the top. We needed to fix a rope at the last patch
of 400ft since it was a 900 climb. I did not have food except
for the morning tea and a sip of water inbetween to avoid waste of time, so
that I could reach early at the top. At the top as I reached, first of all others, never thought that I climbed a peak called Draupadi-Ka-Danda. There was another
peak watching me and I thought of still climbing it but latter my
instructor solved my confusion of achievement mentioning that the peak
in front after climbing the current one is Draupadi-Ka-Danda-I , and where
we were was Draupadi-Ka-Danda-II with a difference of 100ft in height and our
aim was to climb II only. Later we did not realize how how time elapsed while
catching up with all the beauty of the nature in our camera and viewing the same. This
was my first ever summit after unsuccessful attempt to Mt. Gangotri-I(21980ft) expedition. So thanks to NIM. Click
here for summit photo.