30-01-2017, 1430 hours, Kaza, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India:
After our failed attempt yesterday, we are spending our day just relaxing and desperately waiting for the news about the road getting through. Everybody is tired from our escapade yesterday and as we are not able to return from here, the frustration is showing on everyone as some of us have prior commitments for the coming week, which, by the looks of it, will not be met if we are not able to get out of here soon. The primary reason for such a mental condition is that it can snow anytime, and if it does, all of us are well aware of what the consequences will be.
During winters, the only way out of areas such as Spiti (which gets disconnected from rest of India during the winters) other than by trying to walk long distances or driving a vehicle through snow, is by getting airlifted in a helicopter. But the problem is that only a few people can get seats on the helicopter and the list of potential candidates is quite long. For the purpose of scrutinising, a committe is first setup, which selects who goes and who stays according to the reason the person has specified for being evacuated from here. Not only this, the other issue is that there aren’t many helicopters with the state government, which makes it difficult to run such operations in other parts of Himachal which are closed during the winters simultaneously (e.g. Pangi and Lahaul). If all goes well and even if the helicopter is scheduled to come, nature also plays a significant role. If the weather is bad, then again the helicopter cannot fly in and take people out of the valley as it is very dangerous and can even prove to be fatal. So, to avoid risking life in such consequences, the helicopter would not be sent, which means you cannot be 100% sure about when your evacuation will happen.
All in all, being stuck in one of the most beautiful places I have been to (especially in winters) has its perks and its downside as well. But for now taking a stroll around the market place cheered me up – I saw a kid with a sledge being followed by two more kids holding both the hands (from either sides) of a child, who is the youngest amongst the four of them.