Day 6 — Batal — Base Camp (4400m)
The day started a little earlier than the last, By 0600 hours, most of us were already awake. After a good meal of pancakes and cereal, we went back to do some last minute packing. When we were finally ready to set off, Anil led us out of Batal and we headed for Base Camp together.
All set to leave Batal!
The trek up to base camp was not something new to us. In fact, with the absence of snow, it was relatively easier than the ones we did during our last climb up Friendship Peak. Because we catered enough time for this 4-5 hour trek, we walked at our own pace and traversed across the faces of the mountains; up and down the edge of the valley. The only difference with this trek was the river crossing experience, and we walked across a running river not once, but twice!
Crossing a river with freezing cold water
Made it safely!
Another raging river
Edwin prepared us for this the night before, so all of us had our crocs/slippers ready to change into. Some of us also wore tights and cargo pants which could be unzipped easily into shorts so that our clothing would be kept as dry as possible. I, however, did not have these clothes, so I had the “luxury” of taking my pants off and braving the freezing cold water in solely my underwear haha. For the first river crossing, a few of us joined hands and went across in a group. This somewhat improved our stability, although it was still a little tricky trying to keep our balance. The second one, on the other hand, was even more challenging. Crossing it was not as straightforward as the river was bigger, and it was segmented because of huge rocks popping up at random sections of the river. The stronger current also made it worse. Nevertheless, we made our way over one by one with the help of Anil, Vickee, and Sunny. All of us crossed safely but had a few cuts on the soles of our feet due to the sharp rocks at the edge of the river.
It’s just me and the mountains
Off into the valley
After the second river, it was perhaps another half an hour trek and we arrived at Base Camp, 4400m.