I stood atop Ramii Datch, a ridgetop cairn-dotted crossing, taking in the sweeping views of the large and brilliantly blue Tarsar Lake below. The landscape and scope of the lake was unlike anything I had witnessed in the rest of my Himalayan treks. Sheep grazed languidly along its grassy upper slopes and a deafening silence resounded as the almond-shaped lake sat mirror-like, without a ripple. The alpine lake was mesmerising, surrounded by dramatically sloped ridges descending to the lakeshore below and gullies sneaking up with remnants of glacial ice that had fed the lake over ages.
It was just the second day of our four-day hike and I was already touching close to 4,000 metres at this ridge, also the highest point in our trek. On the other side of the ridge at a short distance shimmered the edge of Marsar, another lake similar in magnitude and beauty. Numerous conversations with Sayyed Tahir, our immensely knowledgeable lead guide, and Mohammed Adil, who ran Cliffhangers India (our local and throughly professionsal trekking agency), brought the region alive as a veritable lake district with some interesting and better variations to the trek we were undertaking. To be fair our consideration had been more driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and a vague idea of a quick trek.
On the double to camp two