How To Prepare for the Monsoon Hikes
Monsoon is one of the most beautiful season in North India and presents some of the best views in the Mountains. The hills become all green.
Then there are the Gaddi shepherds grazing their flock of sheep and goat. Monsoon season usually starts from mid to the end of June and lasts till the first week of the September month.
The views after rain are crystal clear with no smudge of pollution or smoke.The Sunrise happens to be clear and same with the Sunsets.
But very recently, things have changed drastically due to the Climate Change and Global Warming. Nowadays Monsoon season is seen as a threat. Climate change has changed the pattern of rainfall in the monsoon season.
There are news of the landslides every other day along with floods. Landslides are common but it has increased very recently. So trekking and hiking in the season of Monsoon is almost considered unsafe.
There are parts and places where you can undertake day hikes and even long days trekking.
All you have to do is, some preparation for the rain.
Here in this post we will discuss some points, which will help prepare you for the Monsoon hikes.
Due to constant fog, rain and humidity there is some common thing, which bothers every trekker and hiker in the Monsoon. No, it is not the landslide, road blocks or the flooding.
The very common issue that bothers everyone in the months of Monsson is the Leeche.
Yes, leeches are common in the lower hills of Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand.
No matter, how safe you walk, you will end up giving a ride to two or more leeches during Monsoon trekking.
What is Leeche? How can we enjoy our Monsoon Hike without getting troubled by the Leeche?
What are Leeches? Leeches are segmented predatory worms. They survive on blood of the animals which includes humans as well. They prefer blood because it is the easiest source of food for them.
They are of earthworm category and have soft, muscular, segmented bodies, which helps them lengthen and contract.
Now while hiking and trekking during monsoon between July and the first week of September, it is very common to have encounters with Leeches on trek.
Generally, it is the first person walking ahead, who survives the leeches. The members walking behind get the Leeches stuck to their boots and which further climb up to foot to suck the blood.
Some people just freak out at their sight and get scared. There is nothing to worry from the Leeches. As long they are only up to your legs. They eject, once they are content with the amount of blood sucked in.
Alternatively, if you have salt or bleaching powder with you, just sprinkle on the leeches to remove or kill them easily.
In coming post, we will discuss and show an easy way to avoid Leeches. It will make trekking and hiking during the Monsoon season, a lot safer and fun.
They sense the heat emitted from animal or human body and become active once, their prey is in close proximity.
Once the first person walking on lead, gets through, the heat from his/her body alerts the leeches. Then these just, stretch up on air and get to stick on the person walking behind.
If they go unnoticed, they will slowly crawl up to the ankle point and dig through the socks to suck the blood. Else they’ll just crawl right up to the exposed part of the ankle and start sucking the blood.
You probably won’t even realize until you sit down to rest and remove you shoes. But in a case, you notice them on time, just sprinkle a pinch of salt on them and they leave instantly.
To kill them you can just add more salt on them and they perish instantly.
So, with rain poncho or rain cover and some salt or bleaching powder you can make your way through the filed or trek of the leeches.
Once you are out in high hills or the mountains, there will be no more of the leeches but only rain and fog to watch out for.
During monsoon hike or trekking, you should go easy on treks. The rain and fog impact the visbility of the trek ahead.
There are plenty of the treks in Dharamshala Local, Manali for easy monsoon hikes. Then there are some high mountain passes which also can be done between the month of June to November month.
Triund trek in mosoon, is the most preferred even during the monsoon. Kareri Lake trek is also good. Lyund stream on Kareri trek becomes a bit of tricky to cross during monsoon.
If you are going to Triund from Dharamkot, then there are no leeches on the trek. But if you decide to go from Bhagsunag trek. Then you’ll have a stretch of 1-2 km full of leeches.
As of Kareri Lake trek, the road up to Ghera village is damaged. So, you can either go via Salli village. If you like to hike up to Kareri village and then Kareri Lake, then you another option.
You can reach Ghera on foot from Dal lake and Satovari village. The trek from Satovari to Ghera is full of leeches.
Further ahead, you will come across leeches until exiting Kareri village.
Mostly all treks, have leeches up to the starting point. But there are some treks which are completely full of leeches. So in that case, you will have to prepare in advance. As of Triund, it is still worth going even in Monsoon.