Trip to Hyalmo Ama Yangri

Adventure just a little over the top 😉

So, Sushil who has been recently bitten by a very dangerous bug called traveling started planning for the next trip, right after his trip to Sickles with some other colleagues from the office. Up came two hands wanting to go along. Me and Sagar. Boy was that a good decision.

First thing first, the only trek/hike that I have been to before this was Ghandruk. I did go to Dhampus, but took aa four wheeler to it. So this was obviously going to be fun, adventure and also tiring I thought. Guess what, I was right, specially with the third one :D.

So we did our fair bit of research, read some blogs and watched some vlogs on Ama Yangri (translates: Mother Yangri). Turns out no research is enough research. Yes, I am building things up, because the trip is fun. Keep reading. So we decided we would be leaving on Saturday and returning on Sunday. While the first plan was to reach Tarkeghyang after a 6 hour or so ride, spend the night there and only hike the next morning. A call to Ama Yangri Resort in Tarkeghyang convinced us to camp at the top and spend the night there. There was supposedly a hut where you could camp. So we thought camping would be more fun then spending the night at a lodge.

Now that the plan was decided, we needed sleeping bags and a tent. We got that on rent from Thamel. If you need them, you can find a lot of them in and around Thamel area. Got some snacks, snickers and cup noodles for worst case scenario and then waited for tomorrow morning.

Early Saturday morning, we met at Chabahil at around 6:40 AM. Tied our sleeping bags to our bikes and then off we went. The road from Chabahil wasn’t in good condition, but the roads would get worse so we weren’t bothered. In 1 hour or so, we were at Jarsing Pauwa. We had breakfast here and without wasting much time, got back on the road. The roads were getting worse as if the road every few minutes had a competition going on with each other on who could break our backs better. I don’t think we saw pitched roads stretch for more than a 100 meter at once, right after leaving Chabahil.

We then reached Melamchi, a river that was supposed to wash the streets of Kathmandu 20 years ago. And started realizing things were difficult to get here. There were no petrol pumps, you could however buy petrol from retail shops for Rs 10 added to the actual price. There were I think just two ATMs in the whole market. I filled in Petrol there and then we moved forward. We passed Timbu bridge and in sometime entered Langtang National park. You have to pay Rs 100 as an entrance fee here if you are Nepali. If you are a SAARC national you will have to pay more and if you aren’t from any of the SAARC countries, the ticket is more higher, I forgot the actual amount though. The roads now all of a sudden went from bad to worse. While you could get a four wheeler up to here. For moving any further you would need to be a solid monster truck rider. The roads before this were just a teaser of what was to come.

When we say the roads are bad, we mean they are baaaadddd!!!

There was a lot of off-roading involved and sushil gave up on his bike a few times where he would just let the bike fall because he was helpless. Sagar came to rescue and drive his bike at times. All in all a five and half hour of ride and we reached Tarkeghyang. This was where we were supposed to leave our bikes and start hiking after lunch but we were told that the bike could go all the way up to Basecamp, so we thought of doing that.

One of the plans was to buy local chicken from there so that we could barbeque at the campsite and enjoy our night. In fact, that was the main plan, but to our surprise, we were in a violence-free zone. Which meant we couldn’t buy chicken 😒 leave alone our dream of barbeque under the moonlight. So any of you planning to go there, remember you can’t buy meat and if possible do not carry it from where you are leaving as well. Respect that it is a violence-free zone.

If you are planning a barbecue night, then don’t.

Since our plan got a kick, we had to get something else to eat. We were told, we could buy eggs though, so we bought a few of them, bought some potatoes, there weren’t bread or biscuits as this was a remote place, where you have cellular connections only at a certain angle. We were also told that we would need something to cook, so we asked them if they could provide something to cook and they gave us a wok and khukuri to cut branches so we could light a fire. Apparently, this place also didn’t have any source of water at the top, so we would have to carry water from there itself. While Sushil and I insisted on carrying 9 water bottles, Sagar wanted to drink the fresh and cold water from the source that was at the basecamp, so we carried 5 water bottles and one 5 ltr jerry can so that we could fill the water at basecamp. Boy oh boy!

Once we reached the basecamp, we rested for a few minutes and Sagar decided he would go fetch water. Turns out there were only two sources of water, one of which was half an hour walk away and the other one was 10 minutes walk away in the middle of the jungle. Where, you ask? Where one would get lost, if they didn’t know the way. Sagar was gone for 40 minutes and no network to contact him, downwards was jungle, thick jungle. When after 40 minutes I started looking for him, at one particular point my phone received network and my phone rang. It was Sagar, he had walked 30 minutes downwards for nothing and asked me to come get him on bike. When both of us were coming back the dai from one and only hut at the basecamp came and showed us where the water was. We had to fetch the water and fill the jerrycan. Guess what, we didn’t have anything to fetch water. So Sagar trusting all his patience started filling the 5ltr can with the cap of the can.

Trust them, when they say there is not water.

So we finally started our hike at 4 PM. Until now, Sushil had problems with bike and Sagar with fetching water. I was fine; until now. Two minutes into the hike and I started feeling really odd. My legs all of a sudden weren’t tired but felt very loose. I couldn’t walk properly. Yeah right. Just after two freaking minutes on a 2-3hr hike. Sagar gave up on me in about 15 minutes. He just kept walking at his own pace. Sushil and I rested in every 10-15 steps 😀 Since we were going to stay at the top, we didn’t bother about time. That was fine, until 1.5 hrs into the hike we realized, we didn’t carry matchbox. Which meant, we had all the preparedness to die of hunger and cold.

Before a trek, make a checklist. Once you do that. Please remember to check that.

Knowing we didn’t have matchbox, Sushil almost threw away that heavy jerrycan, potatoes and I nearly threw away the eggs. However, we finally managed to find one last group hiking down and thankfully enough, they had matchbox with them that had 4 sticks. Good enough to get us through the night. Sagar reached the top in around 1 hour and 45 minutes. We were still 45 minutes behind at a particular rest point. Right when we reached there, it started raining. We were having sunshine and little drizzle through out but there it started raining heavily, and it was so cold that, the rain droplets turned to ice before falling down. In under two minutes our hands were freezing. It was that cold. We hid under a rock and when the rain stopped in 5 minutes, we started walking again. There were drizzle thereafter through out the night. Since it started raining, Sushil went ahead of me and I was still there moving 10 steps at a time and then laying flat on the stairs. So much so, that when I finally reached the top, I had three more steps to go but I just lay there half dead for 2 minutes and then walked in.

Then came realization, the hut wasn’t a hut. It was the old temple that was brought down by the earthquake of 2072. It had three sides of wall and a roof. Good enough to get us through the night, not good enough to be called a hut. 10 minutes in, it started raining like hell went loose, there were hailstones, wind so fast, it felt like it would have flown our tent away, and lightning so bright with thunder so loud, we started doubting our decision. It wasn’t cold. It was freezing. The fire we had light was working hard to even boil the water, leave alone heating us. However, it was still better than not having any fire at all. Sushil went to sleep soon, Sagar and I stayed for while, ate cup noodles, and some roasted potatoes.

While the sleeping bag and tent felt warm enough at first, they weren’t just enough in the wee hours. So if you are thinking of camping, carry warm clothes. We planned to wake up around 5:15 to see the sunrise and went to sleep.

It was so cold, we woke up at around 5. Just in time to see the sunrise and boy was that mesmerizing. Everything that happened yesterday just flew past our body. The feeling was simply amazing, out of this world. That great Himalayan range made me forget all my sorrows, even the ones I didn’t have. We took some photos, some timelapse and some videos. Went back to the hut and made some eggs, had them and in sometime, were ready to leave. We left the peak at around 8:45. We took all the garbage we made, back with us. Please always do so. There isn’t any other place to stay and if we do not keep that clean, it would be hard for the next group.

The walk down was piece of cake. We rested only twice and came down talking about everything from startups to politics to countries. We were back down in under 2 hours. We then drank milk at the basecamp took our bikes and got going. Since it had rained last night, the road back was slippery and at one point all of us got stuck real bad. We literally needed two person to take one bike out, one at a time. Once we reached Tarkeghyang, we drank some soup and got moving, as we wanted to have some good lunch. 3 hours later we reached Melamchi where we had some fulfilling lunch. The price was crazy cheap, Chicken momos were Rs 70, Veg Momos Rs 50. I haven’t seen that kind of price in like one and half decade.

On return, we thought of going different route than how we came. So instead of returning to Jarsing Pauwa we moved towards Paanchkhal. Bad decision. The roads were under construction and were to dusty that we probably had a visibility of 2 meters max. Fairly less bumpy and fast but very very very dusty. By 5:30 we had reached Banepa, which meant we reached home by 7:30ish after returning our sleeping bags and tents at Thamel.

All in all, it was a trip I would never forget. Everything of the trip was amazing, adventurous, fun and tiring.

Would I go on another similar trip?
– Definitely
Anytime Soon?
– Nope. Nope. Nope.

Pro tip: When packing, always listen to your wife. I didn’t tell her this because she would go around bossing me. But yeah, everything she said I would need, I needed them and everything she packed for me without telling me, I needed them as well.

The wife is always right.

That’s it folks. Here’s my vlog of what we went through, though we were too tired to shoot anything when we reached the top at night. But should have everything else.

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