Another shocking thing about the wilderness in this part of the Himalaya, and due no doubt to its accessibility is the huge amount of rubbish left at the designated huts and camp sites. One would think that the more people there were having to share a place the more they would consider proper waste management. I fear it seems that India has largely thrown in the towel on this one. It’s too bas there isn’t a mandatory wilderness orientation for any visitor to these splendid peaks and valleys. Lesson one: pack it in pack it out. Lesson two: if the latrines are too disgusting for your taste, at least go more than 100m from the water source.
We had a marvelous time, despite these concerns. In the 9 days of hiking we covered over 97km of trail and ascended a net of about 3,000m. The highlight for me was the climax event of the trip when we made it to the Goechala viewpoint. The boys struggled but managed the climb to an elevation of 4,600m (15,180ft). At the top amid the myriad Buddhist prayer flags we stared up the pass at what used to be thought to be the highest mountain in the Himalaya, Kanchendzonga. This was before modern surveyors measured Everest. We could mentally have thrown a stone across the massive curving morraines and hung glaciers to Nepal. All our support crew considered themselves Nepalese and blamed the aforementioned rubbish on “the Indians” whose notoriousness littering habits are also clogging the streets of cities like Bangalore. Despite the reminder, it was hard amid these icy rock temples to even to imagine that a place like Bangalore existed.