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In freezing winters, I missed reaching Rani Sui Lake. The estimated time left was an hour. After that, though, the decision to return proved the most pleasing.





It was November when an initial idea to do a snow trek came into thought.

Then, I saw the Rani Sui Lake trek pictures on the Hippie in Hills Instagram page. So, after pondering, I chose to go on this trek.

Without delay, I sent them messages on Instagram regarding the trek info. Furthermore, I shared my email id when requested.

My dates for the trek remained fixed, starting on Christmas.

However, it was the month of November then, so the Hippie in Hills team hadn’t decided the clarity of dates and no. of people. Whereas I earlier conveyed to seal my spot.



I remained confused, though.

  • The trek operator did not confirm the date of the Rani Sui Lake batch.

Nevertheless, I wanted to go anyhow. Because of that, my mind wandered to find the fixed-date batches.

Meanwhile, I saw the promotion of the Kedarkantha trek in Uttarakhand and filled in the details for a callback.

Then, everything got ready for the Kedarkantha trek; I needed to ensure my availability on any specified date. Thus, I selected 24th December as my starting date for the Kedarkantha hike.

Accordingly, I remained confident of getting office leaves for 2 days, as the Kedarkantha trek is 5 days. Besides, I additionally inquired; No network would exist throughout the Kedarkantha trek.


Unexpectedly, I learned that nobody would get a single day’s leave from the office for December. I became worried!

Then, I decided to extend the Kedarkantha trek another month, as I couldn’t work even at nighttime if I chose to go on the Kedarkantha trek because there exists no network.

Mid-December Twist

Again, I contacted Hippie in Hills regarding the Rani Sui Lake trek. Finally, a batch exists set to depart on 25th December.

Rani Sui Lake trek batch

Notably, the Rani Sui Lake trek lasts for 3 days; the network exists amazingly!

So, I become sure to manage any call if that happens. Plus, I would start office work late for one day; that’s all I could do.

Significantly, I would go on the Rani Sui Lake trek without the required office leave.

Arrival in Manali a Day Before

I arrived in Manali a day before to arrange a few things, like:

  • The items I needed to take must be in a separate bag.
  • Moreover, the night nap,

By chance, If I arrived on the trek day in Manali:

  • My body would become tired.

So it’s more suitable to take a proper shuteye a day earlier.

Also, Consider reading An Unexpected Hike to see Breathtaking Badi Lake in Udaipur.

Web Story on My Journey to Rani Sui Lake

So you can view the Web Stories from the Rani Sui Lake Trek; don’t forget to unmute the sound.

  • Snow Trek Scenes that will make you say Dayum!
  • Rani Sui Lake Trek in Winters

The Trek Day

As told, I reached the Hippie in Hills office at 9 a.m. for a pick-up. However, I sojourned near the office smartly, knowing it would become more accessible and timely. So, I arrived even before the office opened.

After some time, Harshal (trek leader) arrived, and we left for the rest of the team member’s pick-up.

Harshal - Trek Leader for Rani Sui lake
Harshal – Trek Leader

However, the other two members’ pick-ups were punctual, so the drive was punctual.

Reached Nayalag

Gaurav, the owner of Hippie in Hills, drove four of us, passing Baragaon to the starting point of the trek, Nayalag.

The drive was indeed good; it took nearly 1-1:30 hrs to reach the starting point of the trek.

Briefly, we discussed the trek challenges; meanwhile, Hemraj (another trek leader) came. Shortly, we said goodbye to the Gaurav and proceeded ahead.

Hemraj - Trek Leader for Rani Sui Lake
Hemraj – Trek Leader

Start of Rani Sui Lake Trek

Day – 1

The 5 of us (3 members and 2 trek leaders) began the journey to the Rani Sui Lake without wasting time. It was 11:30 a.m. The first-day goal was to reach the base camp at Mahili Thach, which required about 3 hours.

There were no snow signs when I commenced, but I saw irregular patches.

Shortly, we stopped for breakfast; the other team members didn’t have breakfast in the morning. So didn’t I, But I ate between the drive to Nayalag. Therefore, my tummy stood utterly packed.

Halted for Breakfast
Halted for Breakfast

The accompanying gentlemen on the Rani Sui Lake trek were from Hyderabad.

They stayed questionable and humorous throughout the hike. But, commonly, we stayed immensely interested in knowing many different things, like the names of the visible peaks.

The member's of the Rani Sui Lake trek
Two Gentlemen’s

Progressing further, I saw the batch of 30-something children seemed like school/college-going. They wished us all the best and exchanged smiles as we passed them.

I lived thrilled; being my third snow trek:

We halted almost 3-4 times before reaching our base camp at Mahili Thach. Mahili thach’s location was precisely an hour away from the base camp. But the trek leaders nonetheless call it a Mahili Thach for the ease of reaching the site.


  • The trek looked beginner-friendly, even in the winter, until the base campsite.

Reached the Base Campsite

The tents remained already placed up. All thanks to the continuous batches to Rani Sui Lake!

When questioned, I said I could stay in the same tent with the other two. It’s better to share the tent with others than to stay alone in winter inside one tent.

Reached Mahili thach, the campsite for the trek
The campsite – Mine is extreme right, blue color, Cooking tent – light yellow, right side, Toilet’s – Extreme left, red color

Indeed, that would provide warmth; you would get to know the trek companion better.

So, we three mutually decided to share the tent.

The tent was spacious. I felt it could even manage four individuals. But let’s nap comfortably. Haha!

Cooking Tent

Likewise, the cooking tent also remains in place.

After reaching the base camp, the second thing I did was sit in the cooking tent to collect warmth. But first, photograph the site.

From the initial sight, the location looked dead for photography. But, to cherish, the snow-covered mountains are present as you unzip the tent.

I carried some biscuits, so I ate that along with Maggi and Lemon tea prepared on the spot by Harshal (trek leader).

  • Cooking tent
  • Hemraj drinking something hot
  • Harshal making the Maggi
  • Harshal making the maggie, coffee for everyone

So, we all sat and communicated in the tent till dusk. After that, Harshal needed to prepare for the dinner, so we asked if any support was required. He politely said he could manage with other trek leaders.

Thus, the three of us headed into our tent.


The Bonfire stayed planned, but that happened without announcement. Haha!

A guy from a down village arrived who, among other trek leaders, went to find woods for the Bonfire.

Undoubtedly, they found the wood.

We were merely inside the tent; I heard the sound of wood burning. Then, to confirm, I stood and saw a Bonfire in a dark corner.

But the village boy was only sitting near the Bonfire. The rest of the trek leaders were busy preparing the dinner. So, to take the warmth, I proceeded near the Bonfire.

Immediately, I started chatting with the village boy named “Deewan.” meanwhile, I noticed that the other two accompanying trek members had also arrived for the Bonfire.

Bonfire arrangement at the campsite
Bonfire arrangement at the campsite

Upon questioning the town boy, have you seen any wild animals here?

He replied,

Yes, Bear! But, very rare. The Bear would probably hideaway when he sensed any human activity.


I sat there for some time, though; I was hungry. But, I kept myself busy gathering and putting wood in the fire.

Dinner Time

Harshal came and informed us that,

Dinner Ready


I went to the dining tent, a separate tent near the cooking area.

  • Rice,
  • Sabji, and
  • Momos prepared.

Seeing Momos was a splendid effort because I was not expecting that. Those were highly satisfactory.

The overall dinner experience was mind-blowing; the food showed the energy and hard work in the making with limited resources at such altitude.

Once I finished eating, I went to the bonfire area, put some wood in the fire, and sat there for some additional time before sleeping.

Sleeping Tent

I took my sleeping bag and entered the tent, expecting a sound sleep before starting a long day.

I wrote some lines:

The guy that came with a thought,
The guy that stood,
The guy that took a single step,

1000's sentiments arose in mind,
Though, the journey stayed already defined.

He stood to start alone,
To walk on the trail, the path unknown

He found gentlemen's in the strangers around,
We were walking in the same direction, the route, the same ground.

It all takes a single step,
Within, screaming go-on, Yep, Yep, Yep!

The guy that came with a thought,
The guy that stood,
The guy that took a single step,

Day – 2

The sleep came in pieces. However, the primary problem I realized in the morning was that I could not put myself entirely inside the sleeping bag, so the chilly air was coming.

The other two fellows also encountered the ditto issue.

On day – 2, we would proceed from Base camp to Rani Sui Lake. The expected trekking distance would be around 8 hours, both ways. So, a pretty long day.


I had my healthy breakfast, which included an omelet and bread.

The lunch would stay packed to have in between the trek route.

Approx. 8:00 a.m. – Our Leaving Time

We three left with Harshal at 8:00 a.m., slowly and steadily. We communicated and gathered knowledge about specific topics during the hike, mainly Himachal and the Mountains.

  • While proceeding to see Rani Sui Lake trek
  • Communicating while walking

Harshal lives in Manali and understands the mountains and Himachal better. A dedicated and passionate person for mountaineering, multitasking, and cooking good food!

A fun-loving guy to be around.

I proceeded satisfactorily, and shortly, the tree line appeared to end. Meanwhile, Hemraj also joined and reached out to us quickly.

The open valley and meadows are forthcoming!

What Happened Halfway to 10:30 a.m.?

We reached the halfway mark at the Juniper location. Besides that:

  • The weather looked pleasant, but not far away were the dark clouds, which might hinder proceeding further.
  • Icy mountains appear like they are standing tall in front of the sight.
  • Wind velocity increased.
  • Sunlight appeared, playing hide and seek.

So, sunglasses and extra layers would be adequate to remain protected.

I stood utterly alright with my winter essentials.

Meanwhile, you can see the checklist infographic that I have designed for the Winter Trekking Essentials:

Winter Trekking Checklist

At 12 Noon

That time,

  • We gained a point where giant rocks needed to cross by footing over them. It was an immensely challenging part, I felt.
  • Then another mountain arrived; we needed to cross the path full of snow. That was the first time that the trek looked like a snow trek. All around, it is wrapped with snow.
  • Meanwhile, the wind velocity furthermore slowed down.

When I tried to put my hands on my camera after removing the gloves, the hands felt frozen, absolutely numb at the same time.

My hands frozen became frozen when I took out my gloves
My hands felt frozen when I took out my gloves.

Although I managed to take certain shots, my hands badly needed warmth.

I took this Dream Shot when proceeding towards Rani Sui Lake
My Dream Shot!

I looked at Harshal and requested an extra pair of gloves; he provided me with his snow gloves, and after wearing them, I felt relieved. Those gloves were eventually the warmness provider.

Reached 360 Degree Point

We halted for a lunch break before reaching the 360-degree point as I became hungry. The sandwiches were provided.

Furthermore, it was about 1 p.m. that we reached the 360-degree point. Mainly, 10-15 minutes earlier, it had already begun snowing.

360 Degree Point - The Deciding Moment
360 Degree Point – The Deciding Moment

Hence, the trek leaders questioned whether to resume or move back?

We can’t predict that if we proceeded ahead and the weather became worse, it would become tough while coming, or even night might happen.

Therefore, we determined walking back is good before the weather becomes more threatening.

I have even created a short video. You can view that below:

Backward Journey

The Rani Sui Lake was less than an hour from the 360-degree point.

The decision to come back was the best because it began snowing heavily in-between.

  • While returning from Rani Sui lake
  • Snowfall made the surroundings become entire white

The spells of snow made me wrapped in white; I needed to shake my body to remove the snow—additionally, the snowfall went inside my eyes and was irritating. So, I cleaned my eyes from time to time using a handkerchief.

I became hungry again and told Harshal that I needed to dine. Then, we stopped someplace, and Harshal gave us sandwiches and energy bars.

That helped me and filled my stomach to an extent.

We again began the journey to reach our base camp at Mahili Thach. Usually, it takes a shorter time to descend than to ascend, but since it’s snowing, we moved very slowly to reach comfortably and not hurriedly. So, that took us nearly equal time while ascending and descending.

We slipped several moments; trek leaders also fell in many instances.

The scenery was magical; I saw my first live snowfall ever.

Snowfall on the Rani Sui Lake trail
Snowfall on the Rani Sui Lake trail

At 5 p.m.

Around 5 p.m. I reached the base campsite; mainly, others were behind as I stood excited while returning to arrive first. Haha!

Nevertheless, others also came in the next 15 mins.

My backpack was full of snow; even the snow went inside the bag, as the tiny part remained unzipped. Ohh! I hadn’t expressed earlier that my backpack had the camera.

Worriedly, I emptied my backpack first, kept everything outside, and removed the snow. But specifically, I had an electronic item, so I became uneasy.

Then, I pulled on my socks, and they became wet. Therefore, I carried two extra socks because I knew that would happen on the snow trek. Experience helps!

Snacks and Hot drinks made the body feel a little warmer.

Sleeping Tent – Here I Came

I became so exhausted that I couldn’t sit more, then I went into the tent for a short nap before dinner. The other two members did the same.

But we called Harshal as we didn’t want to make last night’s mistake. Thus, he packed us into the sleeping bag and guided us on how to do that correctly.

My body felt relieved; the sleep didn’t come, but that was an excellent resting hour before dinner.

The Dinner Arrived

Harshal brought the dinner inside the napping tent.

We all ate significantly less and didn’t drink anything because that would make us go outside to pee. However, I didn’t want to go out in any condition, as it was snowing, and I had to unzip myself from the sleeping bag completely.

Thus, Harshal sat there till we finished the dinner and then left.

Firstly, I lay down and told the other member to check if I had become wholly zipped.

You can’t move much when you are in a sleeping bag; you become sealed like the clothes in a packed suitcase.

Day – 3


I could feel that it had primarily snowed the entire nighttime—the other two snored while sleeping, which greatly disturbed me. On questioning, I don’t do that, haha! Everyone says that!

Indeed, I was the first to come out of the sleeping bag, precisely the tent, to witness the white magic outside.

I came out of the tent and witnessed the snowy surroundings
Morning view from the Mahili Thach Campsite

Everything was white; it was beautiful. Although the freezing conditions increased, I didn’t feel much cold as I remained mesmerized after seeing the surroundings.

I saw the sunrise from the campsite
Jaw-dropping Scenery

The sun’s rays fell over the trees, becoming a breathtaking sight.

It was the day we descended to Nayalag, our pick-up point to drive to Manali.

Soon after breakfast, we started our journey downwards. The route seemed wholly changed; I couldn’t even imagine it was the same route I had upwards.

The route became full of snow on descending
The downward route became white.

Pure white all around!

I was fortunate to see two opposing environments, one while going up and the second coming down.

The guy that came with a thought,
The guy that stood,
The guy that took a single step,

That guy has left,

He took the memories along,
To cherish them long,
That would make him strong.
Rani Sui Lake Trek day wise Itinerary
Rani Sui Lake trek day-wise

Drive to Old Manali

Very slowly, I made my step down to the Nayalag. The four-wheeler stood waiting for us to drive back to Old Manali.

The trek to Rani Sui Lake, which seemed beginner-friendly initially, became very challenging when it snowed.

Is Rani Sui Lake Trek for you?

In winter, on the snow and especially during the snowfall, the trek would become extremely challenging. But, whereas I can visualize walking on the green fields in the summer, that would be straightforward comfy.

I reached Old Manali at the Hippie in Hills office in the afternoon.

Vansh Tiwari

” It was such a blissful decision to choose to go on the Rani Sui Lake trek. Unfortunately, I couldn’t reach the end, but the adventure was still mind-blowing.”

— Vansh Tiwari

It was tiresome, so I didn’t catch my bus the same day. I stayed at Old Manali the night before getting the bus the following day.


I expect you have enjoyed the journey while reading as much as I did when experiencing and sharing that with you.

Let me know. Have you been on a snow trek?

About Author

Vansh Tiwari is a passionate traveler who explores every corner. Then, he presents his vision in images and writing. Further, he loves long walks along the roadside!

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