Though YHAI has fixed its Base camp for Sarpass National Himalayan trekking expedition at Kasol, the higher camps location keeps on changing whenever the route is modified. There is no specific reason for changing the trekking route by YHAI. This is one away advantageous for those who want to trek the same for more than once. This way, trekkers can witness new un-disclosed paths and enjoy different locations and way.
In almost all the higher camps we found the food to be very good. A welcome drink will be served as soon as trekkers reach the higher camp (within 5 to 10 minutes). Counting will be done among members to confirm nobody has missed out in the previous trek. The camp leader introduces himself and gives the instructions on activities in the camp, what to do, what not to do, food serving times, tips on next trekking etc… All the actions will be preceded with a whistle from the camp leader. All the camp leaders are volunteers and we observed so many of them were officials working in State or Central Government offices. Tents are allotted randomly among members. Sleeping bags and one blanket will be provided which are to be returned in the folding condition before proceeding to next higher camp. Evening tea is served around 5.00 to 5.30 PM. Some times hot soup or some hot sweet drink is also provided. 6.00 to 6.30 is the dinner time as there will not be any electric power after Sun set. We found that during May the sun light exists until 7.30 PM.
Morning bed tea is served at 5.30AM. Break fast time is 6.30AM. The lunch pack will be ready by 8.00AM. There will be change in these schedules if the weather conditions are not favorable. Trekkers will be asked to be ready to proceed to the next higher camp even at morning 4.00AM. It is always better to take the food properly. Especially hot drinks which re provided in terms of tea, soup, sweet drink etc… This helps the body to get warmed up in the chilled weather condition and as well as maintaining the salt and liquid levels in the body which gets consumed in the strenuous trekking time. The food includes mainly items prepared with wheat (chapati, roti, puri etc…) with one vegetable curry and rice with sambar. The lunch pack will be a wheat item with dry vegetable curry. Only at Tila Lotni the lunch pack was with dry items like chekkies, biscuits etc…
The higher camps are capable of handling a maximum number of 70 to 80 members. We found a group of 60 to 65 including 10 to 15 women trekkers would be comfortable. The cost of tea, coffee and other food items at higher camps if taken from private tents, are costly and become more costly as the trekkers move up. It depends on the individual to afford for such items. We observed that these really helped many who opted for omlet, magi and other items during trekking for lunch.
BSNL and Airtel mobile service cell were working very well in almost all higher camps. The signal was good and communication was easy. Even we saw GPS (Global Positioning Service) working nice to get the information about the altitude in all the areas. Emergency Oxygen cylinders are available in all the higher camps. During emergencies, the affected person will be shifted to the previous lower camps using porter (if available) and a guide.
There were six higher camps for Sar pass YHAI trekking during May 2009. Click the following individual link for more information on each higher camp.
1. First higher camp - Guna Paani
2. Second Higher camp - Fual Paani
3. Third Higher camp - Zirmi
4. Fourth Higher camp - Tila Lotni
5. Fifth Higher camp - Biskeri Thatch
6. Sixth Higher camp - Bhandak Thatch