Facing Snow Storm on Bhrigu Lake Trek
It was a pleasant morning, and the creative team was having Idli-Sambhar in the breakfast. Without any doubt, the breakfast table offers us a breathtaking view of snow capped mountains and sound of gushing beas at the distance, and is the tonic and a great started for the day when we are in Manali. One of the team members showed interest to go for a trek and in no time, the team aggredd to join the next batch of the Bhrigu lake Trek.
Beautiful Manali Basecamp
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So, on the trek day, we left the campsite and started our journey towards Gulaba, the trek start point. Our old driver Bablubhai was in the charge and we were enjoying the ride and the views. Soon we reached Gulaba Barrier and started the trek. The weather was all good but we had a forecast of some rain.
In some specific aspects, Bhrigu Lake trek is different from other treks in the region. You can witness Bugyals (grasslands), snow patches, treeline and mountain views... all on the single trek route. And may be that's why its the most visited trek amongsts the beginners. When we started the trek, we saw some new trees like Mapple. The thin air feels and you realise that you are at the 9000 ft above the sea level. gradually we crossed the treeline and entered into bugyals. The never ending grasslands and sneaking peaks beyond the horizon make it a picture perfect location.
Till the time we reached the second rest point, or say maggie point, the weather turned its mood. White clouds started hovering up from the valley side and say, in just 10 mins we were into clouds. In every direction, it was foggy and the visibility dropped down to 50 metres. The wind slowed and gentle drizzle started on the slopes. We pulled out our Ponchos and slipped the mobiles into the pockets.
Believe me, with us we had 4 full frame camera kits, one extra DSLR, 5 Gopro cameras and one 360 camera with us. The most important thing was to keep the systems safe in such bad weather. The rain drops gradually turned into snow flakes and that made everyone smile. But in next 20 min, the smooth snow fall turned into wild snow storm.
We asked the first man over a radio set, about the situation, and what he responded was "It is impossible for us to continue, the snow is hitiing hard and we are wet now." As a senior member of the team, I asked him to abort and come back. On their coming back, we heard the experiences.. some were talking about the face hitting snow.. some were literally freezing as they got wet. The maggie point worked as a temporary shelter for all.
After about 2 hours of snow blizzard, the wind stopped. The clouds started disappearing and the weather opened up. Finally we were able to see the snow capped mountain peaks of the range. Participants of the trek enjoyed photography and then we started trekking down. It was a moment of mixed feelings: we were happy because of the snowfall in the mid of the summer and a little bit upset because we were not able to go for Bhrigu Lake now.
The creative team was all set to shoot a travel documentary on Bhrigu Lake Trek, but instead of that, we decided to make a short travel film on "Bhrigu Unclimbed". Watch it now!
On our way back, we witnessed mesmerising sunset over Hanuman Tibba. The warm colours over the Dhauladhar Mountains made it a happy ending of the day. Undoubtedly, we could not fulfil our wish to reach Bhrigu Lake, but the experience was unbeatable for sure! Willing for similar trek experiences in the future.