(Arif is a tenth standard student of Tyndale Biscoe School in Srinagar. He has done Mountaineering and adventurous course at Uttarkaashi, NIM(Nehru institute of mountaineering)
The trek to Mahadev mountains always fascinates the students of Tyndale Biscoe School. However, for some unavoidable reasons the trek could not be organized for the past few years. The year 2010 proved to be lucky for us as the management of the School decided to 9organise the trek this year.
The mountains of Mahadev is at an altitude of 13013 feet above the sea level and climbing it is a fascinating thing for the students and the teachers alike. Everyone was waiting eagerly for the day when the trekking would be conducted. The trekking began on 27th May, 2010. The trekking Team compromised of nine students, five Teachers and two cooks. Usually the students of the Biscoe School are required to cook themselves but since the trek was an ice-breaker (since it was held after so many years), so we took two cooks alongside us.
It was a three-day trek. Our first halting station was at Dhara. The weather was sunny and pleasant n the way up to Dhara. Since the day was pleasant we decided to trek the mountains up to our second stop at Lidwas(11000 feet above sea Level). On the way up to Lidwas, it started raining heavily and later on a light snow was also falling. We reached Lidwas at 8.30 p.m in the evening. It was very dark already and the snow was falling relentlessly. We put up a herculean effort to erect the tent. Our teachers encouraged us that the adversity of the situation would make us stronger humans. The thunderstorms and the lightening were frightening. We later came to know that even in the home city of Srinagar (3300 feet above Sera level) the sound of thunder was deafening. We were frightened by the situation as a streak of lightening struck at a place in close proximity to our tent. We students recited verses from holy Quran as we thought it might be the end of our lives. Our strong-willed teachers however encouraged us to have faith in God as we would be saved. We kept on gazing at each others face and waited for the morning to dawn.
The morning came. A good two to three inch snow had accumulated on our tent. There was a ubiquitous whiteness all around. The Dal Lake looked like a small pond from the altitude where we were camping at. The whole of Srinagar city looked like a pygmy village from there. The teachers decided that the conditions were not conducive to climb the summit of the Mahadev Peak. Even our haver-sacks had grown profusely wet. We were in the tents all day singing and joking. As we decided to descend down, the brooks which were almost dry on our way up were now over-flowing because of incessant overnight rains and snowfall. The small ford-bridges built across the brooks and streams had been damaged and we hade to wade through the icy cold waters of the brook to cross them. The trek was even more slippery while descending than what it was while we were going upwards. Some of the students had to be carried on the backs of gujjar people across the other side of the brooks.
It was the most memorable camp of my life. I learnt the values of resilience from the expedition. I am feeling a much stronger and determined person after the Mahadev expedition.
Tyndale Biscoe School