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Mt. Patalsu.

Hanuman Tibba from Solang Nala

My first summit: May 1995 

In 1994, I was a participant of the Himalayan trek organized by a local Mumbai-based commercial organizer. It was fairly cheap including Delhi to Delhi travel by luxury bus and lodging for the complete trek. After arrival at Solang Nala, Manali, we were put up at a local nicely built wooden hotel in the valley. The temperature was cold in the early morning. After one day acclimatization we went to Dhundi as our first and last camp for the next 5 days. We had a small trek to snow clad Beas Kund one day, Trek to Moli one day.. Later we return to Solang village where initially we put up as our base. Our guide Mr. Koyluram Thakur used to see the weather henceforth everyday in the morning for a suitable day climb for us towards the summit of Mt. Patalsu 13500ft. First two days we did rock climbing for few hours. We also did river crossing and rappelling practice in the nearby climbing site.

The third day after arrival at Solang, it was a fresh day  for all of us to start early morning at 7:00am. We took the required stuff like warmwear, wind sheeter, water bottles, etc., in our haversack. All were  in great enthusiasm to quench their thirst of reaching their limits and the feeling of achievment. The first stop of our ascending made a filtration of our group by a stiff climb. Our  guide told us those who wish to roam around at this height and enjoy instead of pumping their lungs heavily against the cold weather could stay back; almost 60 dropout happened to put remaining 13 in a rope for the final ascent. I was in still much comfortableand willing to go up as early as possible since this was my first time to climb such snow-covered mountain. It was nice to see the surrounding while moving up. If I stand facing my back to Mt. Patalsu, on the adjacent right side lies the Friendship peaks, on the left far away is the Indrasan, and ahead is the great Hanuman tibba(18500 ft). It was great to see all  these himalayan ranges so closely, giving us a feeling that we all are very small entities in front of the nature. The beauty of the area made me  feel that I should be a regular visitor of Himalaya which ultimately happened to some extent. As we were climbing more heights, many started feeling tired and what not. Our guide  had a definite plan  depending upon the people. If all can then we will go else return from the same point where we are even if a single person wished to return. Obviously I would not like to return until the summit touched my feet because I was in full control of myself. So I decided to motivate all our climbing partners who were in dual  mind. So almost 500 ft. below the summit I started singing motivational songs and gave live commentary so that they felt better and ultimately I would reach the summit - as a selfish attitude. Ultimately it happened successfully. We all reached on the said summit of Mt. Patalsu at around 3:45pm which was not the right time since at that time we had sun burns typically at the tip of our nose. But we all were happy since we could make it without any accidents.

We left the place at 4:00pm and started descending carefully since at some places there were sudden drop outs. So after almost 30 min. WE reached to a safest place. But by this speed we would reach our camp site at around 7:00pm. So our guide decided to make the move fast and optimize the time which would reach us at the base camp in the day light. He made us to sit on our hip on the snow and told everybody to hold each other tightly. All were  roped up like the way  we started from the second phase after filtration. He tied himself as the leading position carrying only an ice axe for locking himself and ultimately all of us at the time of descend. As soon as he started, we all cheered ourselves on the way as our train moved down. We enjoyed doing so again and again. Our guide was in full control of his movement. At some places where there were sudden dropouts he used to turn and anchor himself in the snow. So that rest could get arrested against the fall. We used feel fast heartbeat at such occasion. So while enjoying all the way throughout, we reached at 6:00pm. By the time we reached the base camp we all were tired and no energy left to stand on our legs. Our organizer welcomed all of us and served us with hot tea which made us feel energetic.

This was my first summit to himalaya which lead me to think to do Mountaineering courses, expeditions, and other related activities. This was a perfect start for me.

Written By Rajan Rikame

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