ANINI, 20 Jun: One of the most popular trekking routes in India, the 7 Lakes trek here in Dibang valley district, will be open for the new trekking season in the coming months.
These lakes are located at high altitudes and are increasingly becoming a major destination for trekking enthusiasts. The trekking route was discovered by a bunch of youths of Dibang Valley, and they organised the trek under the banner of Emudu Trekkers.
Jimu Mele, who is the advisor to Emudu Trekkers, in an interview with this daily explained the 7 Lake trek and its impact on the local economy, and plans for the future.
The preparation for the new trekking season has started.
“With snow starting to melt in the mountains, we have started preparing for the new season. The camps are being readied. Our team is now in the mountains, readying the camps and other logistics needed for the start of the trekking season,” said Mele.
The new season will start in August.
“Interested people can WhatsApp us at 7085917932. They can visit our website, Dibangvalleytrekkers.com, or our FB page, Emudu Trekkers. The package is Rs 25,000 for an eight-day trek. We provide food, camps, kayaking, tents, sleeping bags, insulation mat, sleeping bag liners, headlight, trekking pole, raincoat, guide, and first aid kit,” said Mele.
Regarding the facilities at the camps, he informed that “they are simple and the best that can be provided in the mountain.”
“Ours is a new venture and still we are evolving. Hopefully, with an improved financial situation we will be able to upgrade the facilities at the camps in the future,” he said.
He also had a word of advice for the people who want to take part in the 7 Lakes trek.
“People with very high blood pressure, obesity, asthma, and weakness should not trek here. Dimox medicine tablet for high altitude sickness is a must for beginners. As Dimox is not available in Dibang Valley, trekkers need to bring it with them as per the guidance of a professional doctor. Fitness is a must,” Mele said.
The trekking is for a minimum of seven days, and it takes nine days at the most to and fro. “The altitude starts from 6,200 ft, going up to 14,000 ft. There is an altitude difference of 2,000 ft on average. Lakes 6 and 7, located at a height of 14,030 ft, are the maximum height, while Lake 1, located at a height of 12,030 ft is the lowest,” said Mele.
The Emuduu Trekkers have invested money out of pocket to promote the 7 Lakes trek.
“We have knocked on all the doors of government agencies but there has been no response or help. However, we did receive some help from the director of youth affairs for buying trekking equipment, and it has been very helpful. The local people have donated steel plates, buckets, tarpaulin sheets, plastic mugs, and small gas cylinders,” informed Mele.
He further said that, since the start of the 7 Lakes trek, it is having a positive impact on the local economy. “Homestays, taxis and local shops are getting the benefits monetarily. People in Dibang Valley have started to talk about tourism for the first time, and women are taking part in homestay training. The most important part is employment. Ten to 15 local youths work as porters and guides,” added Mele.
The other members of Emudu Trekkers are Sajan Mipi, Manish Mili, Noven Rondo, Kanki Miri, and Ajadi Rondo.
“Except me, all my teammates are local unemployed youths. They see 7 Lakes trek as a future source of employment and have been working hard for the last two years to promote it. They are real people behind the scenes working day in and day out in the mountains and the jungles,” Mele said.
The Emudu Trekkers have a big dream to turn Dibang Valley into a trekking hub of Northeast India. “We have a plan to divide Dibang Valley into three categories – middle, west, and east – as Dibang Valley is larger than Sikkim in area. For the middle, we have Taloh Valley with Athu Popu spiritual trek. For the west, we have seven treks of Mathu Valley. This year, we have included kayaking in the lake. By next year, we are trying rock climbing. For the east, we have the Dri Valley trek. Our plan is to explore Dri this year and plan for the future,” said Mele.