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Sadly my younger Son Roshan could not free himself from work, but Shamsher was keen and eager. Shamsher is not a bona fide Dosco, but he did spend a term in J aipur House; spring 1998; I think he was (747-JA). I really wanted to be away from roads, and the trek to the base of N anda Devi East provided all the ingredients I was looking for. My good friend Yousuf Zaheer took me on a rafting trip down the Kameng River in Arunachal Pradesh, and on that trip, I was fortunate to meet Theo (Emmanuel Theophilus) and his wife Malika. Since they are running an NGO and outfitting business in Munsyari (Kumaon), they were ideally placed to help us. As it turned out, Theo actually went with us as a guide and added an environmental education component that we most appreciated. This was my first post-monsoon hiking trip to the high mountains; at least we were praying it was post monsoon, not wishing to walk in a downpour. After a three day drive to Munsyari - via Gogi Sandhu's (305 K '62) in Rudrapur and an overnight at Binsar - we arrived in cloudy conditions on September the 19th. The clouds did lift in the morning to give us a glorious and tantalizing view of the snows to the North. We could hardly wait to get closer. In fact we had incredible good luck with the weather; while it rained daily in Munsyari, we only once briefly donned our rain gear, and had plenty of sunshine en route, as the photographs show. After a day of sorting equipment and baggage, we hit the trail. Due to the severe flooding last year, many sections of the old trade route to Tibet, that led along the Gori Ganga, have been washed away. The newly built trail, avoiding these landslides, added considerable extra climbing and descent to our journey. We were both thankful that we had decided not to carry heavy loads. To simplify logistics and keep expenses down, we had decided to live on a local dal/chawal/sabzi diet. Some we carried, but many meals were at the local trailside "Hotels". While basic, the diet provided excellent nourishment throughout. On Theo's advice, we downed a liter of mineral salts dissolved in water each evening when we got to camp. I am convinced this, along with a measured rate of ascent, enabled us to avoid the discomfort of altitude sickness. The joy of being away from motorized traffic in the clean mountain air soon lifted our spirits to new heights. The clear rushing streams and glorious mountain scenery were a continuous joy throughout the trip. An added bonus was the spectacular autumn colours of the trees and Rose Bowl January 2014111

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