Cold Desert Skardu, otherwise called the Katpana Desert, The most elevated desert on the planet, is a high-height desert situated close Skardu, Northern Areas of Gilgit-Baltistan district. The desert contains scopes of enormous sand ridges that are here and there shrouded in snow during winter. Arranged at a height of 2,226 meters (7,303 feet) above ocean level, and Sarfaranga Desert is of the Most Beautiful also located in Skardu.
Hey This is Story of Our Trip back in 2018 Trip to Cold Desert Skardu and sharing this experience. If you are expecting this story to be about any kind of narrow escape then you should not read this.
Background about Trip to Cold Desert Skardu
It was july 2018. We were 27 friends on a 10 dayer venture in Skardu. Days were passing by in super awesome adventurous experiences till the point we were headed to White Desert in Skardu.
It was 6th day of our 10 dayer trip. According to our plan, we were going to visit both white desert and cold desert in day time and leave for Deosai Plains in the eve.
Everything was going according to the plan. Our coaster left the road to enter into the desert via a defined passage made by the vehicles going inside. The driver was young and enthusiastic or maybe he forgot he was driving a coaster not a 4×4 jeep because he tried to take us closer to the highest sand dune visible from far off. Anyhow after the coaster stopped, we jumped off and went to enjoy the desert vibe. After 2 hours when we decided to get back to the coaster, we saw half of the back tires stuck in the Cold Desert Skardu.
The Trouble Begins
This is the point when the real trouble begin. The driver was trying to get them out by applying pressure on accelerator but they were going further deep into the sand. Initially I thought the problem is not that serious because there were 15 men with us. They can even lift the coaster to get it out. However, I was wrong. They tried to place stones in front of the wheels, push the coaster, even tried to lift it, but in vain.
To our relief, there was an army shooting drills going on at some distance in white desert. They had set up their camps and the good news was that they had a 5 ton truck with them. Fortunately we had two of your friends from army with us on this trip. They went to the army camps where the drill was going on, introduced themselves and had a little chitchat with the commanding officer. We were watching this from a distance. Everyone got excited when we saw an army jawan starting the truck and driving it towards us.
It was a sigh of relief to see army coming to rescue us. The truck came and tried to pull the coaster with a rope from front end.
The rope was not strong enough to pull out a sunk truck out of sand so it broke into pieces. Meanwhile other jawans who were initially in the firing range came to give us some more helping hands. Luckily army had a stronger rope with them and another round of pulling the coaster started with different rope.In this 2nd attempt, when the truck tried to pull the coaster out, the back tires of the truck went deep inside the sand.
The HELP got in a tough situation itself. Rope was loosened and power was applied and in a couple of moments minutes the truck got itself out of sand. The driver said that they can’t hazard another attempt from front end as truck would stall out once more. So they chose to pull the napkin from the back guard.
Ropes were tied again however this time from the rear of napkin and the truck was back equipped. Nobody realized that another issue was going to frequent us. As the power was applied, the back guard came out of its place. What’s more, everybody resembled … “Gracious damn “
Over 4 hours had slipped by attempting every one of these plans. Everybody was eager and baffled. This was the point at which the boss who was sitting in his camp, saw that he himself ought to proceed to propose some other arrangement.
He came to us and asked the jawan in truck to bring the truck again at the front end and give it another attempt.
(In the mean time our guide, Iqbal Sadpara called at inn in skardu and requested that they bring some assistance)
The truck was brought to front end again and another round of back-and-forth started. All the military jawans alongside our men, began pushing the liner from rear while the truck began to pull it from front end. After two jolts, the rope broke once more. It had begun getting dim.
A lot of time had passed when the hotel owner reached in white desert with the most awaited blessing “TOE”.
Now the coaster was pulled by means of toe. But coaster wasn’t moving instead it’s back tires were getting deap inside the sand. At this time the army personnels said that they were getting late and couldn’t stay longer and we should bring some other help from main city. And these comments made us worry even more. At this time, they were asked to give a last try with full efforts. In this last try, the driver was asked to put the coaster into neutral. The final try was being given and everyone started to pray. And Alhamdullilah, in this last try, the coaster came out.
There was a smile on every face. And injured coaster with broken lip was out of the danger after the long operation of 6 hours.
We as a whole inhaled a major moan of alleviation