Thoughts on the First Anniversary

Yesterday, when Ameen informed me that The Mountain Walker is one year old, the first thought that came to my mind was that how did he remember and I forget – exactly an year ago, on 2nd May 2016, Mountain Walker Private Limited was officially incorporated and we had published our first post. It feels like I am just getting started.

In the past one year, whenever someone has asked me why The Mountain Walker, my first line in response is “The easiest way to have CEO written as designation under your name is by starting your own company”. The other frequent question is that “What exactly does The Mountain Walker do?” and the answer has changed from a eight to ten word sentence to 500 odd words now.

But jokes apart, it’s been a great year. From arguments, discussions, hard-work, challenges, confusions, to sleepless nights and lazy days, its been an interesting journey so far. It has been all about exploring, thinking and unlearning a lot of stuff while new experiences and adventures keep flowing.

The feedback and support that all our friends (old and new) have given us so far has really improved The Mountain Walker and also me in person.

I would like to thank all of our fellow Mountain Walkers for their support so far and hope they keep on doing so in the coming years, as we welcome our new friends every day.

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Along Old Local Trails

Each and every time I have visited Kaza, I have gone to the Ki Monastery. During my second visit to the Ki Monastery in 2004, I had noticed some prayer flags on top of the mountain just next to the monastery. Since then, I had been thinking of climbing to the top but due to scarcity of time during the trips, I wasn’t able to undertake the climb. Finally, during The Mountain Walker Winter Trip to Spiti in January 2017, I had enough time on my hands to climb to the top of this mountain. The perfect setting of weather and sceneries made this climb one of the best experiences that I had during the winter trip.

Spiti Wildlife

During the Mountain Walker trip to Spiti in January 2017, we got a chance to see some of the wildlife of the region.

Amongst animals, we saw Yak, Red Fox and Himalayan Blue Sheep.

The different birds we were able to capture, in spite of their continuous flurry of activities, were Chukar Partridge, Alpine Chough, White Capped Redstart and Himalayan Vulture.

Here are a few pictures of these amazing birds and animals that we saw.

Demonetisation and the Himalayan Way of Life

Before the start of the Mountain Walker December 2016 trip, Ameen and I spent 4-5 hours daily for five days, standing in long queues to collect cash from the bank.

Lakes of Himalayas: Serolsar Lake

Serolsar or Seruvalsar Lake (altitude 3100m) is located in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The easiest way to reach the lake is a 5-6km walk from Jalori Pass. There are other smaller hikes to the lake as well from either side of the Jalori Pass, which comprise steep climbs through oak and pine forests. One can see the Shimla district on one side, and Kullu district on the other, from a few high points during the walk from Jalori to Serolsar Lake. Here, Abhishek Kaushal shares various facets of the lake from different points around the periphery.

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Photo: Abhishek Kaushal
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Photo: Abhishek Kaushal
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Photo: Abhishek Kaushal
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Photo: Abhishek Kaushal
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Photo: Abhishek Kaushal
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Photo: Abhishek Kaushal
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Photo: Abhishek Kaushal

A Canvas that paints itself

I have a lot to say, like most of you. But I have had the privilege of growing up amidst the natural beauty of Kerala, and the honour of working in the presence of some of the greatest teachers in the world, most notably the majestic Himalayas. Within the Himalayas, Ladakh is an area where I have traveled extensively, and when the mountains and its natural environs speak, what more can I dare to say?

Lakes of Himalayas: Nako Lake

The Mountain Walker team traveled in the Kinnaur district during the July 2016 trip. Abhishek Kaushal shares some fascinting images of the Nako Lake in Nako Village (at an altitude of 3663m). It is situated in the Hangrang Valley in District Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh.

Chandrataal Parikrama – 2016

Abhishek Kaushal visited Chandrataal lake in July 2016, 12 years since his first visit. And this time he does what he couldn’t do in his 2004 trip.

Atop Mount Thelu

Abhishek Kaushal has a long day climbing up to the summit of Mount Thelu and back all the way down to Base Camp.

In sight of the Summit

Abhishek Kaushal reaches the last stopping place before the final push to the summit of Mount Thelu.