We had heard on twitter that Eagle Heights trekking in Mcleod Ganj was the company we should use if we wanted to go on a trek through the Himalayas. Eagle Heights had many options for us to take. We chose the 4 day trek that would take us to the Idrahar pass. This pass was above 4000 meters and half of Everest.
We started off the first day with tea which was a reaccuring theme on the trek and climbed to Triund. Triund was the first stop and the resting place for our first night. The view was spectacular and you could see the Himalayan range we were going to climb and the valley where we just came from. We slept in a tent, the temperature was hovering around freezing and needless to say we were freezing.
The second night we set off early in the morning and hiked to the snow line. This used to be the snow line in the 1990’s but climate change has now changed that and the glacier does not go down that far, but it is still refereed to as the snow line. Our guide and porters stayed in a makeshift cave that Shepherd's sleep in. We got the tent, and this time we put a 1 foot rock fort around the base of our tent so the wind wouldn't come in. That night it was negative 5 degrees. The rocks did their job and we were not as cold as the night before.
The third day was the hardest of them all. We woke up at 2800 meters and were climbing to 4250 meters approx. Our guide Paul told us that it would take us 7 hours to get up and 3 to get down. When we started the sun hadn't come over the mountains , we hiked for close to an hour with no sun which was really cold. The hike was hard and snow which had fallen 2 days prior was still on the rocks making it difficult and slippery to climb. The last 300 meters was brutal and breaks were taken every 50 meters or so. The air was thin and a deep headache set in. We both had a minor case of altitude sickness.
We finally reached the top and the view was spectacular. You could see the valleys on both sides of the mountain range and the next range in the distance. It was well worth the 4 hour hike. We rested at the top totally exhausted, and ate snacks and chatted about Sheppard's and merchants who had to pass through indahar. The indahar pass is the hardest and steepest pass in Himachal Pradesh.
One fact that may be interesting is that shepherds who pass with their livestock have a rather gruesome ritual. Once they get to the top there is a little temple where the shepherds and locals prey. The Sheppard's have a ritual where they cut off one of the sheep’s heads and put it in the temple for the god. Then they carry the body to the bottom of the mountain. Our guide didn't want us to see that so we descended before the livestock, but they caught up!!
All in all the trek was an amazing experience and we would do it again in a heartbeat. Use Eagle Heights Trekking they are a little more expensive but totally worth every penny.