The Class 12 students went the Nehru Insitute of Mountaineering in Uttarkashi. In many ways, it was camp, but in many ways it wasn't.
The train journey was eventful and fun (as usual), but the fact that it was our last one gave it a melancholic air. We reached Haridwar in the wee hours of the morning, and then set off for the 8 hour-long journey to Uttarkashi. Nauseating as the journey was, we were relieved to get to the institute, where they accommodated us into dorms!
However, the first thing they did was to divide us into patrols (also known as petrols to some), 1 through 12, randomly. Then we were given equipment, such as rucksacks, sleeping bags, carabineers, etc. etc. Then Colonel Abbey, the principal, gave us a two hour long lecture on Mountain manners.
Then we had dinner. Lights out was 10 o'clock … or was it really?
The next day dawned dull and early- 5:30, with announcements and music in our ears. We set up on an 8km road trek, uphill, with 7 kg equipment on our backs. We reached Tekhla rocks, ate breakfast, pitched our tents, ate lunch, and then climbed rocks and rappelled like professionals. Colonel Abbey dropped in on his daily walk, and gave us another talk, which was only half an hour, thankfully. The evening was fun and free, but the generator for the camp was turned off at (oh! Surprise!) 10 o'clock .
The next day we trekked down muddy (slippery) slopes, to the river-crossing site with our backpacks. River crossing was amazing, and some of us came back through the freezing cold river. After our mess tin lunch, we drove up to Nachekata Tal, where we indulged in a fun, but dangerous snow fight. We came back to NIM and had camp fun. The last night of camp ever!! Although it was a 10 o'clock lights out, no one slept till about 2:30 .
The next day dawned, and we were awoken by music in our ears, along with a blaring announcement. While everyone was trying to get ready, the teachers came banging on our doors, because we were late. We returned all our patrol equipment, and then started artificial rock climbing.
After lunch, we went into our busses to begin our 8-hour descent to Haridwar. On the way, we stopped at Shivpuri Jungle camp for dinner, where everyone hogged.\
On our way back, all of us got separated into 3 different bogeys, which was disappointing because all of us wanted to be together for our last train journey back from camp.
All in all, our last camp was fun, as far as activities and being with friends is concerned. However, as our last camp, we found it really strict, and in many ways, we hoped for a more relaxed and laidback atmosphere than the one we got.
BY: Hem Paratap Singh and Simrat Dugal