Retracing footsteps of Franksymthe
Tucked away beyond the Valley of Flowers above Rataban glacier.Crossing glacial moraine, high valleys snow fields.The Passes came into light after Successful Expedition led by British Surveyor general sir Gardiner and Frank Smythe in year 1930.The valley of Flowers...known as Eden to nature lovers is gateway to both passes.
Bhyundar khal situated at an altitude 16700 ft above sea level is above the Rataban icefall and later crossing vast ice fields approaching Bhuyundar Icefall.Later on leads amritganga valley.The glacial moraine region in crevasse zone with huge boulders...crossing one reaches a ' T ' junction called Eri udiyar. To the left leads to Bhandkund lake.Nilgiri icefall.ratapahar,ukhi Pahar...are the prominent peaks visible along the trek.Above bankund lake the lateral moraine leads...to another vallley crossing the Bidhan,Khagbushand icefall one reaches bankund icefall.
Crosssing the Bankund glacier carefully one approaches huge icefields.
The views of Nilgiri parvat Mana South face, Deoban peak, Mandir Parvat,Bidan parvat is feast to eyes.Walking whole day one reaches gad camping ground.A vast snow field with spell bounding views of snow clad peaks in the background.Walking on the vast snow field in the shadow of Mana peak one reaches a end with huge..snow wall rising to 300 ft.The cornices above the wall pose danger to climbers.Climbing the wall cautiously reaches Gupt khal 19140 ft.The 360 degree views of snow clad peaks is feast is eyes.
Walking cautiously on snow field traversing on snow slopes....climbing down with ropes to reach snow fields is a herculean task indeed.The 60 - 80 degree pose danger of fall.After Negotiating the curve and reaches vast snow field. Peaks Nilkanth , Arwa tower , Chaukamba, Parvati Parvat, Mandir and Nar - Narayan peaks...some unknown peaks dot he landscape. A two day walk on the snow fields...glacier fields cautiously crossing the icefall and boulders.Walking paralleling to Alakananda river brings to Legendary small hamlet Mana.The view of water cascading from cliffs and sudden appearance of a flock of Bharal - Mountain Goat here is soothing to eyes.