Fully-Faltoo blog by Pratyush

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12th Dec. 2023

Trek to Sandak Phu - 11980 ft

Phalut top - with The Sleeping Buddha in the backdrop
This was my first high altitude trek. After returning, I am surprised, it didn't feel that hard. I can to do it again!

Probably the walk on day 4, from Phalut to Aal changed everything. It was a walk I will remember for a long time. That day I saw the valley of clouds. The ocean of clouds floating beneath us. The little hail (kind of snowflakes) particles, flying and sticking to my fleece. Huge vultures flying with their 3ft wide wings.

We saw Mt Everest and The Sleeping Buddha throughout the trail. We walked along the ridges. We climbed a few peaks. We played frisbee with the panoramic mountains on each side. The sights were straight out of the fairy tales. The cameras couldn't capture enough. I was totally in that moment. I felt refreshed.

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Valley of Clouds
The trek was organised by IndiaHikes. I love this organisation and their culture. Their trek leaders and local guides are trained for everything. They take best care of us and handhold us to the joy of trekking.

KJ, Sudipto and other local hosts narrated lots of local stories and songs throughout the 7 day trek. Why is Molley called Molley, or what does Phalut mean. How did Santa Pur became Sandak Phu. The saga of Yeti stone. The song resham phiri phiri. And lots of riddles to keep us entertained while hiking.
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"After a day's walk everything has twice its usual value" - KJ and Sudeep
One cannot talk about IndiaHikes without talking about their food and green trails. Everyday we eagerly looked forward to the delicious snacks. I loved their Ragi Malt and Buki Roti.

It feels quite satisfying inside to clean the mountains as we walk along. Leaving them better than we arrived.

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Panoramic mounts and ridges
I was particularly worried about the temperatures on this trek. I am not a winter person. I hate winters! I get blisters on my feet. Most of the time I am stuck with fever and sneezing nose. I feel very uncomfortable in low temperatures. None of that happened! I actually enjoyed the winds and chills.

Sanjay, our trek-leader, guided us for proper layering. A dry-fit inner, with a fleece and a padded jacket (rented from IndiaHikes) were enough to keep us warm. Woolen cap, woolen gloves and goods socks took care of the rest. During nights, the provided sleeping bags were so warm that we needed to take off all the other layers.

I would like to thank Parth and Gobind for taking me on this trek. I look forward to another one soon :).

Sunrise with Mt Everest in backdrop
Our Gang at Sandkphu: (L-R) Gobind, Chahat, Vasu, Parth and me

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