Wednesday 26 June 2013


3rd Spiti Gold Residential Project and Adventurous Journey from 7th - 23rd June 2013 at Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, A participants report

Our group of 25 Gold participants left New Delhi for Lahaul-Spiti as part of the Residential Project and Adventurous Journey on 7th June 2013 reaching Kaza on 9th June, completing the road journey by bus and jeep. Our project work started on the 10th with a briefing about Spiti and the region at the Ecosphere office.  We formed four groups, each with six participants, one instructor and one escort.  After lunch we went to Kungri village situated 25 kms from Kaza, along the Pin Valley. We stayed at the village monastery known as Ugyen Sanag Choling Monastery, Kungri, along with 70 lamas who stay there.

Over the next four days - 11th June to 14th June - we worked on the construction of a greenhouse at the project site, situated 1.5 kms from the monastery. Every day, three groups worked at the project site while one group had kitchen duty, in rotation. We made mud bricks for constructing the greenhouse and cleared away the stones.  

On 15th June we left the monastery for a trek, hoping that the mud bricks would dry while we were away. The Ecosphere team briefed us about the trek and we left for Langza which is at an altitude of 4400 metres, with a population of 137 in 33 households. From Langza we trekked to Komik village at an altitude of 4585 m, situated about 25 kms from Kaza. We had to stay in home-stays in different houses of village.

On the 16th we started our trek to Demul village at 9.30 am, but after completing 3000 m, due to heavy snowfall and high speed winds we had to return to Komik village and spent the night at the home-stay.

We spent the next day cleaning the snow from our home-stay along with the families who were hosting us. 

On 18th June, after two days of heavy snowfall, we trekked our way through Hikkim, Langza and reached Kaza, covering a distance of 17 kms in 8 hours along a mixture of snow and mud flaked roads and stones. 

We went to complete our greenhouse at the project site in Pin Valley on 20th June. We brought the dried mud bricks, and used bamboo and wood sticks as a support post like a roof truss model. We tied the bamboo and wood sticks as a support for the polythene to be used as the roof of the greenhouse. We then placed the polythene and put mud on three of its ends, the top and two sides.

And that's how we completed the greenhouse, which had a dimension of 30 x 16 feet, with 1 door, 1 window and one rooftop ventilation.

The next day - 21st June, we started out journey back to Delhi via Manali and finally reached Delhi on 23rd June 2013.

report by Sumankit Pandit

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