Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A year already?

Or almost a year. The last post is dated June 8, 2008. Almost exactly the date when Scrawny, our youngest, fell very ill. For the next 8 months it was an endless series of finding the cause, hunting for a cure and more importantly, to keep her going. Her little heart finally gave up on Feb 15, leaving us in deep shock and unbearable loneliness. We are now down to two - Biki and Maggie who do their bit to cheer us up, but we miss you, Conty papu.

The 2008 season was a hectic one - treks, camps, climbing trips with a few trips to Delhi in between to stock up on more equipment. Did some interesting programs - the Italian expedition to Miyar Valley, the mountaineering course followed by the summiting of Yunam, a successful crossing of Khalindi Khal, introducing more kids to the joys of adventure and mountains...

2009 seems to be shaping up well as well. The campsite will see a busy season with some groups combining a quick trek to Lamadugh along with camping, others will make the most of their camping with rafting and rock-climbing. In the offing, are also some interesting treks, one of which is Goru Pass, a surprisingly accessible but rarely-done route that deviates from Chanderkhani Pass. The other interesting trip will be in the first week of May when we will go across two high passes - Kalihani and Thamsar to Dharamshala.

It's just April and there is still plenty of time for more interesting programs. Like always, it's hectic here with pre-season checking of equipment and stocking up of essentials. The first trek is scheduled for four days from now. Can't wait!

Recession is the buzzword, even in the mountains. But how much it will impact the programs is something I will know only in a couple of months. Business apart, if the weather holds, april-oct will be a fabulous time to be in the mountains.

Just one more promise to myself, will try to write in as often as possible this year.

Why do I live in the mountains?

Why do I live in the mountains?
To see the first sun's rays climb over the mountain to hit the trees behind me
To see the last do the same to the mountain opposite
To wake up to whistling and laughing thrushes
To feel the South-westerly numbing my face as it comes down the valley
To know the spaces that these mountains offer - valleys and gorges and meadows and forests
To gaze at the endless sky with stars so many that they look like a vast city lit up
To still be surprised by how bright the moonlight can be to make distant peaks seem next-door
To know that I needn't hear any traffic, battle a rush hour or worry about office schedules here
To be sure of the one truth - that nowhere else is complete for me