Epic Trail Run over the Hollow Hills

Dhauladhar Matter Horn - Gauri Jhundha

Epic Trail Run over Hollow Hills

Trail Run over Hollow Hills

Hills and Mountains have fascinated my soul ever since myself was of around one feet of height! I always wanted to see what lies behind that hill or the mountain. But I didn’t knew, one day I’d have an epic trail run over the hollow hill.

When ever I go hiking to the new hills or the mountains or even go the same hill or mountains. The curiosity always gets refreshed.

This Hollow Hills post is about one of the hill among many under the range of high Dhauladhar Mountains. It had my attention from the time myself was in Dharamsala.

Why I termed them Hollow Hils? Because there are numerous slate mining sites in this range. Though these hills may look undisturbed, but they have many mining caves with in. At one point you can even see huge lines. Whicht can cut of the portion of the hill in heavy rains. Most of them are no more legal and only few are valid.

I always looked for the possible trail to reach the top point of this hill. Since I have been in online mapping from a long time, so also looked in and around this one to start my solo hike.
But sometime it is not easy going solo on trekking , specially when there are new trails. There are many fear factors that hold you and stop one from taking the leap of faith.

“That was an epic soaring flight of that Himalayan Vulture, some peaceful moments. Then plucking of the Rhododendron flowers. Then made some unwise decision and another epic trail run over the Hollow Hills! “

I remember, having taken the estimation of the distance for the top point of the hill and time needed for the same, but it was always only on maps.

Then come one day, some of my new friends had decided to join in for this trek and we decided to trek to the top point, which by that time was covered in thick snow.

We started late for this trek and were going too easy, so we ended up covering only 2/3rd of the trek.

It being the season of winters, the lack of day time forced us to retreat. Here once again my climb to that hill remained incomplete.

After some days, there was fresh snowfall and I decided to retry my attempt.  I called up my another friend to join in but he wasn’t ready, so again it was all by myself.
This time, I started the climb as early as possible by 9:00 am and went somewhat easy on that unfinished trek.

Before hitting this trail, I’d taken some information from my friend about the possible trek for the final climb. The actual trek goes from the around the hill. So, once I was at the bottom or say the base of the top point. I made a calculated attempt to climb for the top point from the front face as there was enough snow for safe stepping.

So instead of going back side and around that hill through deep snow of some 4 feet. I climbed straight with careful stepping and enjoying the angular climb with wider views of Kangra and Dharamshala.

With the support of a wooden trekking stick, I was able to climb up to the top of hollow hills hhh.

It was may be 10:30 or 11:30 and I was at the top point with the sight of Dhauladhar Matter Horn welcoming me. In some distance there was a long flow of beautiful curly shaped cornice.

Stayed there for some moments, then untied my boots and started walking over the dry grass which was partially covered in the snow.

Took some photographs of the cornice and then made some footprints to leave a message of “Leave Your Footprints and not your garbage”.

People already had left some traces of their trash, which was covered with the snow. As myself was enjoying the views and solitude a Himalayan Vulture soared over the edge of that hill. It was so close that, I didn’t even needed zoom lenses to capture it soaring high. The Himalayan Griffon had appeared from the edge and was soaring up. It was going up like some kite. Which further, as if was connected with my hand with some thread.

So I clicked few shots. For me, that was an epic flight of the Himalayan Vulture, soaring over the edge of the hollow hill and so close.

But then as I tried to have a view of the captured shots, to my awe the photographs were all white!

There was no captured image of the Himalayan Vulture. I realized that, the camera was in manual mode with a setting for “night photography”. Which on the previous night, I had set up to capture the “The Orion or the Hunter and his dog in the night sky.”

So the moment which, I tried to capture in digital format just remained in my memory. Though I enjoyed that view of Himalayan Vulture soaring high. So having not able to capture it in digital mode was not a big issue, unless it was about getting “Thumbs Up and Likes” on Instagram, Facebook!

Anyhow, I was still standing there with the views. My eyes locating the possible trails that further lead to base of another high mountain pass of Dhauladhar Mountains.

I was lost in the beauty and then suddenly heard a loud rumbling sound under the very hill, where I was standing. Then again there was another loud sound of rumble. It was, as if someone had detonated a bomb or TNT for blasting.

That hill and the adjoining hills were used for mining, of which myself was aware. But, new prints had confirmed of these activities being shutdown! So the blasts were a surprise for me.

A few year ago during monsoon a very huge portion of a hill near village had slipped off just like some butter slice, slips from its main part.

Moved with the thoughts, which said “building Castles over the grave of coming generations!”
Once again I was back with the views and it is still beautiful. Walked over the snow, while my walk back towards to top point and where had untied my boots.

By the time I was there, thick fog started to climb up and spread over like a heavy blanket. So there I had nothing else to capture in the camera and lay down over the grass facing the sun, that was hidden behind the thick fog.


I was no-where over confident and recalled how the conditions have made us to go through such moments. So the steep front face climb was a bit risky but with the help of the wooden climbing stick it did not prove that difficult. Thanked Dhauladhar Mountains and the goddess for a safe climb.

Snoozed there for some 45 minutes or like that some long time. It was around 2:45 PM and with a thought of returning from the back side of the hill, packed up.

Walked a few meters but the possible trail visibility was all dim with a thick fog still circling the view in front of me. So, now had to climb down from the front steep face, again that wooden climbing stick  or DIY trekking pole came handy. With some careful steps and bit of calculated slides, made it to the base of that hill, which hosts a tiny rock shelter but that was covered with the snow.

There made a butterfly sign with my legs and hands, took some shots of the valley below.
The National Flower of Nepal, Rhododendron were blooming in plenty, so plucked some flowers to carry back home.

While climbing down, noticed some people making “Slates” from the “mining site”. Which in the books of the law were shutdown.

Took some photographs of them working, just like some spy does!
It was probably an unwise act. I had tried to keep myself hidden. But was seen from a long distance and was not aware of being discovered by the miners. I was going slow with the climb down. As I crossed the temple, I heard someone whistling and calling me.

Instincts hit strong and instead of looking back and stopping, myself skipped the regular long trek to climb down and started a steep trail run down.

There was no mobile network. So at that moment my main concern was to outpace the people. Who were calling me to stop and had started to run to get me!

Don’t know how but myself managed to run down the steep trail with some scratches on my palms.
The trail run was epic for me. Because the results could have been bad to worst for me.

There was no reason to stand bold and face them. Because I was humanly solo, friends were unaware of my hike and had photographed them in an unusual way. That hollow hill is banned from mining.  It was confirmed by some official of the concerned department!

Ran harder as much as I could. Once I was close to the village road, stopped and switched back my phone for the network. Deleted some of the photographs from my camera card and called a friend of mine!
Don’t know how but that steep run down saved my day with minor bruise on my hands.

Upon reaching the village side road and the temple, I had a sigh of relief.. But still was not clear of the possible trouble. Inquired a girl, about the possible shortcut to reach nearest town. Since, she had no knowledge of the shortcut, she directed me to go by the road.

I had no choice but to walk on the road to reach the nearest town. There I thanked the village goddess for safe escape. Later started treading the road and there found someone driving motorcycle towards the town and asked him for the lift.

Had a complete sigh of relief once myself boarded a cab for the town!

“That was an epic soaring flight of that Himalayan Vulture, some peaceful moments. Then plucking of the Rhododendron flowers. Then made some unwise decision and another epic trail run over the Hollow Hills! “

Epic Trail Run over the Hollow Hills hhh, This is one of the most thrilling write up sent to us!

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