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 send 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 clarity of dates and no. of people hadn’t been decided from the Hippie in Hills team side. 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 got the information that nobody would get even 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.
Again, I contacted Hippie in Hills regarding the Rani Sui Lake trek. Finally, a batch exists set to depart on 25th December.
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:
- Items I needed to take with me were required to be put 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; additionally, 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. Though I sojourned near the office smartly as I understood it would become more accessible and timely. So, I arrived even before the office opened.
In some time, Harshal (trek leader) arrived, and we left for the rest of the team member’s pick-up.
However, the other two members’ pick-up was punctual, so the drive was punctual.
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 came (another trek leader). Shortly, we said goodbye to the Gaurav and proceeded ahead.
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, requiring about 3 hrs.
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 in-between the drive to Nayalag. Therefore, my tummy stood utterly packed.
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 name of the visible peaks.
Progressing further, I saw the batch of 30-something children’s 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:
- First; the Triund trek,
- Next; is the Serolsar lake trek.
- But the snow still left to show its strong existence on the Rani Sui Lake trail.
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 name it a Mahili Thach for the ease of calling the site.
- The trek looked beginner-friendly, even in the winters, 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 more OK to share the tent with others than stay alone in winter inside one tent.
Indeed, that would provide warmness; moreover, you would get to know the trek accompanier 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!
Likewise, the cooking tent also remains placed.
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).
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 stood 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 happening in a dark corner.
But, the village boy was only sitting nearby 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.
Upon questioning the town boy, have you seen any wild animal here?
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.
Harshal came and informed us that,
I went to the dining tent, a separate tent near the cooking area.
- Sabji, and
- Momos prepared.
Seeing Momos was a splendid effort because I was not expecting that. Those were highly satisfactory.
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.
I took my sleeping bag and went inside the tent, expecting a sound sleep before starting a long day following.
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, I was not able to put myself entirely inside the sleeping bag, so the chilly air was coming.
The other two fellows also encountered the ditto issue.
On the day – 2, we would proceed from Base camp to Rani Sui Lake. The expected trekking distance would be around 8hrs, 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.
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 at a satisfactory pace, and shortly, the tree line appeared to end. Meanwhile, Hemraj also joined and reached us at a fast pace.
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:
At 12 Noon
- 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 wrapped with snow.
- Meanwhile, the wind velocity furthermore slowed down.
Although I managed to take certain shots, my hands badly needed warmth.
I looked at Harshal and requested for extra pair of gloves; he provided me with his kept snow gloves, and after wearing that, 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 got provided.
Furthermore, it was about 1 p.m. that we reached the 360-degree point. Mainly, 10-15 mins earlier, it had already begun snowing.
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 it’s good to walk back before the weather evolves more threatening.
I have even created a short video. You can view that below:
The Rani Sui Lake was less than an hour away from the 360-degree point.
The spells of snow made me wrapped in white; I needed to shake my body to remove the snow—additionally, the snowfall went inside the eyes and was irritating. So, I cleaned the eyes using a handkerchief from time to time.
I became hungry again and told Harshal that I needed to dine. Then, we stopped someplace, and Harshal gave the sandwiches and energy bars to consume.
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 while 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 sceneries were magical; I saw my first live snowfall ever.
At 5 p.m.
Around 5p.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, straightly, 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 within 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.
When you are in a sleeping bag, you can’t move much; 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 made me disturbed a lot. 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.
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.
The sun’s rays fell over the trees, and it became a breathtaking sight.
It was the day to descend 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.
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.
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?
I reached Old Manali at the Hippie in Hills office in the afternoon.
” 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 a tiresome journey, so I didn’t catch my bus the same day; Indeed, 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?