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  • Writer's pictureSukrit Gupta

Executing a Self-Supported Ultra Trail Running Project in Kumaon Himalayas

I started running distance in 2014. And it was only in 2015 that I participated in my first ultramarathon event – Garhwal Runs – A 76 Km long qualifier for the prestigious LaUltra. It is only after participating in the 111km category at LaUltra I realised that the ‘organised’ format of running doesn’t excite me much. Hence, the idea of Pindari Ultra Trail came about. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”777″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

Pindari Glacier Trek is a renowned trail in Kumaon Himalayas. The 80km long trail (to and fro), weaves through alpine villages, forests, landslides and river beds to climb upto the zero-point of Pindari Glacier (at approximately 13,000 feet). Thorough trekkers take about 5 days to complete the trek. The idea was to run it in under a day’s time. [/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1T0OwIl20A8″ align=”center”][vc_column_text]

I left the base at Loharkhet at 5.30 am. A steep ascent to Dhakuri provided a thorough warm up and an idea of what lay ahead. Later in the run, sections of the trail were completely washed up by the landslides; and I had to jump across river banks using such makeshift bridges. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”779″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

I made it to the Zero Point by 4.00pm on the same day. The way back entailed a gradual descent. However, it started drizzling as soon as I started. By the time I reached the forest rest house in Dwali the drizzle turned to a heavy downpour. Rain, dark and fear of bears made me take refuge in the cozy, fire warmed hut. I could only start on my way back the following morning at 7.30 am. Way off the ‘under a day’ target. But, such are your experiences on the trail. Every instance may be a new learning experience. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”778″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

I made back to the finishing line before noon. Taking a little over 30 hours to complete the project (including 14 hours of bivouac in Dwali). Although I didn’t make it in time, the project wasn’t a complete failure. Instead it has started me on my way to scout for new self-organised challenges. Skyruns, up the hills and peaks in my backyard in Manali are driving me these days. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”780″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

Here catch up with Sukrit Gupta on his interview with ChetChat where he shares his tips and tricks for beginners on how to become an ultra runner. [/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM9uFhmMsJM&feature=youtu.be” align=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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