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Basic Mountaineering Course ( BMC) @ NIMAS: The Mighty Meerathang Glacier

Before you  check out this beautiful and mighty Meerathang glacier, hope that you have read the previous blogs in the series.

April 29 Day 19

Getting ready on time 0700hrs we were off to the glacier carrying the ice shoes in the rOOksOOk. Morning glory of Gorichen was evasive as clouds hid it perfectly. The same old issue of breathlessness was always there to haunt me.

NIMAS BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
Towards the glacier

As we reached the base of the hill climbing became more demanding on my lungs. But I knew there was a beautiful treat for all the efforts. I could see the beautiful blue water tarn unfold slowly in the landscape.

The view was sight for sore eyes. I was too breathless to take any picture. Hopefully i could take some on the way back. 🙁

we climbed further to feel the snow for the first time on our route. The ice shoes were put on as we moved ahead towards the glacier . But first a hot cup of tea beckons.

We had our gear out. The seat harness, descenders, carabiners and ice axe were out . Crampons looked sturdy enough for the Meerathang glacier.

Bro Tip:

The anti glares which I bought had (wayfarers) had huge gaps from the side. This was a big reason for getting red eyes in the cold wind. I would prefer a proper curved anti-glare which is better equipped for wind.

At the glacier we huddled up for puja of the ice wall. Barfani Baba ki……Jai

The lecture started with introduction to walking technique on glacier. It covered 10 point, 4 point, 3 point & 2 point walking/climbing technique for different inclinations. 

We were roped in for a glacial walk and reacted on a simulated avalanche as well. Instructors demoed how to climb the glacier. It looked like a piece of cake for them. We felt that it was anything but a cake walk as we pulled & pushed the rope and  huffed & puffed  to make our way through the ice.

Once back we practiced 2 point. At this altitude this takes a lot of energy. We felt pretty tired. The chilly wind was no help. The square glares were equally useless. Reiterating my earlier point buy the curved glares rather than wayfarers for better eye protection.

I was hugely relieved as the day came to an end & we headed down from the glacier. We had soup after training before the descend starts. The hot delicacy had never been this tasty.

Breathelessness & chilly winds meant that no pics were taken through the day. I planned to take pics atleast on the descend. But then nature Godess had something else in mind.Worsening weather meant moving down as fast as possible. No stops were taken for pics.The only pic i could manage.

NIMAS BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
Fleeting glimpse under the worsening climate

This tarn is a site for sore eyes. Reduced visibility didn’t do justice to the pics of blue tarn. I was sure to click a lot of pics here the next day.

I eyed the hills for a whole lot of memories as we rushed down fearing the imminent snowfall. Scree is a huge problem during descend as such we had to be cautious not to push any stones on the guys ahead of us at lower height.

At the bottom of the mountain only one thing remained –  Heading back to the camp and devouring the Mutton. Mr Goat  bought from 10,000 ft was finally smelling good.

Food NIMAS BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
Mutton @ 16000 ft

That night we had the best possible food at 16000 freaking ft. I had never expected such royalty.

April 30 Day 20

Many high blood pressure & fever cases dropped out the next day for rest. Gorichen was still hidden in clouds away from being photgraphed. Not so photo freindly i guess.

I had only one motive – to climb better than yesterday at a better pace and to capture the abundant beauty of nature. I did manage to climb faster than yesterday and not be the last person. The lungs were performing powerfully today.

More power. Better pics. Prepare to be amazed beyond your wildest imagination.

NIMAS BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
True Blue
NIMAS BAsic Mountaineering course BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
Dramatic Glacier view
NIMAS BAsic Mountaineering course BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
To the sky

As we reached the advance base camp we had tea. Ice shoes & crampon were put on. The shouts were in place. Barfani baba ki ….. Jai.

With hot tea in the body we headed to the glacier. Behold the mighty Meerathang glacier

NIMAS BAsic Mountaineering course BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
U beauty !

As we reached the glacier we huddled up to see how Sanjay sir, Gurung Sir & Ram Sir set up the rope across the wall. We followed suit as we jumarred the walls of the glacier over the fixed rope.

NIMAS BAsic Mountaineering course BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
Jummaring our way up

The heavy shoes feel like a plaster holding back an ankle fracture. Walking with these shoes require some sort of adaptation. Looking back from here we  could see the AMC guys trying free climbing ( without safety rope) . Balls of steel.


If you fancy my cameras

Waterproof cam 

NIMAS BAsic Mountaineering course BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier

Back to the climb, once at the top we could see the huge expanse of the glacier. Consisting of icicles & bergschrunds (showoff). The view was terrific. The blue ice river against the back drop of Gorichen looked divine.Before i could whip out the camera , the clouds came back to hide Gorichen. Gorichen was indeed shy of a photo.

Gurung Sir setting up the base for rappelling. The glacier in the background adds to effect.

NIMAS BAsic Mountaineering course BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
Looks like a scene from 2012

Once we were done with the photo frenzy it was time for rappelling the ice wall. Never having rappelled against ice I was a bit nervous. The wall was not visible beyond the cornice.

NIMAS BAsic Mountaineering course BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
Awaiting my turn

But once I got started the fear vanished and I was enjoying every moment of it. I reached down in no time.

NIMAS BAsic Mountaineering course BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
Rapelling the ice wall

Next up was the four point climbing on which we would be graded tomorrow. Again the demo given by  the energetic Ram sir made it look super easy. Actually climbing it was a different story. No sooner did I start climbing my breathe was haywire.

NIMAS BAsic Mountaineering course BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
Look at me go

Elevated breathe had always troubled me throughout the last 20 days. My breathe caused me to retire half way. I hoped to get better acclimatized for tomorrows test. Will definitely crush you the next day. 

The glacier session was done after everybody tried their luck at 4 point climbing .

NIMAS BAsic Mountaineering course BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
Its a wrap

Time for hot soup. Now we descend to the Meerathang base camp.

NIMAS BAsic Mountaineering course BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier
Heading back. I can already smell the aroma. Dinner calling

One last pic of the beautiful Meerathang lake. Because 100 pics of the same lake and you still cant get enough.

NIMAS BAsic Mountaineering course BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier Tarn
Just cant get enough

Another addiction is mutton at 16000 ft. One serving is definitely not enough.

Food NIMAS BAsic Mountaineering course BMC AMC Meerathang Glacier

A day full of beautiful memories & a sky full of stars. Good night.

Check out my best  vlog till date. Headphones pls.

May 1 Day 21: Test day

The last blog in NIMAS series  about Meerathang glacier test day & return is in works. Follow my updates on FB , INSTA ,  G+ TwEETER & YouTube .

For the LAST part  of the NIMAS BMC series CLICK here.

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