YHAI is an Non-Profit group which basically assists people around the country who intend to travel cheap. They have tie-ups with many Hotels and also have their own accommodations in all the major tourist center locations around the country, and being a YHAI member you can expect a good deal of concession in all these accommodations. They also organize many adventure, cycling and family trips over the entire year which are less expensive compared to the ones organized by the private adventure groups. So if you’re a student with less pocket money, or if you’re a passionate traveler who wants to travel low on budget, but at the same time wants to meet people in large capacity from diverse groups, then YHAI is an ideal place. Do check there website here for all the ongoing activities and membership details.
At 5:30 AM in the morning the whistle was blown by the camp leader and classical music was turned on, that was well heard even within the tents. All of these meant that we had to wake up, freshen up and get ready for the routine morning jog and stretching. All though kind of annoying to wake up at 5:30 AM in such cold weather, it was fun once the group got together (both SK12 and SK13). Led by one of the trainer in the camp, we jogged towards the Beas River stream wherein we went in loops for five rounds that was more than enough to make us all sweat out. Running around with deep breaths heard loud, addicting sound of the water flowing in Beas river and the beautiful sun rise across the river stream over the mountains seen bright, it felt really good. The trainer made us all make a big loop and standing in the middle he instructed us to follow his moves. He made us stretch from neck to toe and the session lasted for almost half an hour i.e, half an hour of laughter heard loud, with most of us not able to keep up with him. Then while walking back to the camp we got introduced to Johan and Vishwa and few other who belonged to SK 13 group.
We smelled good food the instant we got into the camp. The jog and the warm up had made us real hungry, so we rushed to the tent to pick up our plates. YHAI’s food only bettered my appetite. They only offered vegetarian food that is reach in carbohydrates which only makes sense.
Following breakfast, we formed a line on either side to cheer and see off SK-11 to higher camps. I admire this and few other tradition of YHAI which they followed strictly.
Later we geared up for an acclimatization walk. Led by the camp leader we did a short hike to a temple wherein we gathered together to decide on Group Leader, Deputy Leader and Environment Leader. While the suggestions went around, with no one volunteering I skeptically raised my hand hoping that it’ll only make the expedition more memorable (bit of an selfish intention involved :)) I saw some doubtful faces when I got up. Nervously, I introduced myself and told them about my past exposure to hiking and as being a part time guide for an adventure group in Bangalore. Surprisingly I got a yes from every one which I am very thankful for and accordingly was appointed as Group leader for SK-13. And so was Madhuri as Environment leader and Pavan Ahuja as Deputy Leader. Once the appointments where done with, the camp leader asked for the bucket which he made us carry from base camp to prepare lemonade. It was a perfect one for that weather which we cherished for good.
I was briefed of my responsibilities as group leader once we reached the Camp again. Pavan was asked to co-ordinate the cultural events that SK13 was to perform for SK12 during the campfire session.
Meanwhile at around 1:00 PM the camp leader briefed us on what to expect during the hike in terms of rain, snow, hailstorm, backpacking, YHAI rules and regulations, food, safety etc. Later myself, Achyut and Kishan went to Pathlikuhl, around 4 km from base camp for shopping and also to get Kishan’s medical certificate attested by a Physician.
Finally the night arrived and so did the led lights in the form of camp fire. Some crazy moments during the cultural events. Achyut and Vishwa’s performance was followed by another singing by a couple of guys from SK12 group and Achyut had joined them too. This song was the highlight, for we laughed our stomach out, seated in the last row, bowing our head down. Poor guy Achyut though, it was not his mistake at all. We knew who the culprit was, deciding on such a pathetic song for such an assembly. LOL !!
At 10:00 PM all the lights in the camp are put off and no one are to be seen outside there tents or heard making noise in there tents…….