Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ronty Saddle ( Part -III)

Though we had eight members when we left Kolkata, but five could reach Rupkund and beyond, who were completely exhausted at Dodang camp. No one was totally fit to accomplish the mission. So we had a very important team meeting after dinner that night. team leader Indrada proposed that as Sumit (myself) is in a better physical condition , so he must go upto Ronty. Every body nodded in support. But we, the armature explorers can hardly get any satisfaction in exploring a new place if we don't have any near and dear one with us. Besides this, I knew that Indrada took a vital role in planning the total trek and in execution of that plan. So, if he couldn't reach Ronty, he'll definitely be utterly frustrated. So I insisted to take him with me and told that I'd like to not to move farther if he refuses to accompany me. That worked and we ended up with the decision that both of us will try to get there.

Next day , we started in the darkness with torch for the final lap. There were no proper pathway. In fact no path at all. Only the front edge of the shoe could be placed amidst the ice and mud lump, on both side of which steep vertical slope descended to several hundred meters. At around 7 we reached Homekund (16500ft). Though Nandajat starts from Wan to reach Homekund, in 1968 it could reach here for the last time. Devi Parvati performed a Homa or a Yagya to get Lord Shiva as husband, hence the name.The kund didn't contain even a single drop of water, neither snow/ice. The porters offered chocolates and cashew there and we moved on.

Offerings at Homekund

Ranjit indicated the probable position of Ronty and the simplest(!!!) way to get there. We need not to trek to get there, actually we had to climb!!! An ice wall, with almost 80 degree inclination and decorated with loose boulders was there to give us a grand welcome and lovely hug. I have no hesitation to write that I was scared. I didn't have any confidence that I could get there. But I recovered very quickly and decided that I must not think about the final target, I'll make some short target and try to achieve that. As in a one day cricket match, the chasing team bats according to per over plan. It worked, though the sun light melted some ice and thus made our journey more difficult. We could see Ronty clearly , a red flag was there to indicate the zero point, yet it was still far away. At last at 10.05 a.m 6th october 2000 I stepped on Ronty saddle, Indrada after 5 mints. I stepped backward to welcome him, we hugged and somehow i could utter "congratulations", no more words, tears from our eyes told the remaining. I couldn't believe that we had done this.

It's me at Ronty

Our Team at Ronty

When the emotion became a bit controllable, I started to take some photographs. The ice cap of Nandaghunti was a bit covered by the frontal rock wall, but Trishul was wide open with it's huge expansion. I could distinguish the three peaks of Trishul from Goaldam, could also realise the difference in heights among them, but from Ronty it was impossible. 180 degree of the my front view frame was filled by Trishul, Trishul and only Trishul.If one stand on Ronty facing Trishul, then Nandaghuti is in his backside, on his left Rishiganga Basin and on the right Genargali and Chanoniakot.

Nandaghunti from Ronty saddle

Trishul from Ronty

At around 10.45 we started descending. But it was much more difficult than our upward journey. My mind was so preoccupied by the joy of being at Ronty, that probably I was a bit careless. A loose stone under my feet displaced , and started to roll down taking me with it. I was so perplexed that I couldn't resist, luckily I had an ice axe in my hand which helped me to anchor and thus to recover quickly.

Recovery from sudden fall
At around 2 p.m I came back at our Dodang base camp, my team mates welcome me with a hot lunch.

Part -II

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sumit,

    I had visited Sandakphu on the same route you went through, but during early October 2009. I really miss the soothing natural beauty we enjoyed during our trip. As I went through the detailed description which you have put down here so beautifully explaining each and every exciting moment you experienced, I just recalled the similar experience we had, word by word...
    However, we were not fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of snow covered Sandakphu or the blooming rhododendron :(

    Thanks a lot for sharing this !