Two weeks ago, a crew of us went on a day hike to Tope Tibba, a nearby hill that is somewhere near 9,000ft in elevation. I believe it is the highest peak on the Mussoorie/Landour Ridge. We drove about 10 km east of Woodstock to get to the trail head. There were 5 of us dorm parents and the two Hanifl Center leaders. Woodstock is building a strong outdoor education program and has two fulltime staff members who work at the Hanifl Center to coordinate and lead outdoor activities. One of them has been here for many years and knows everything about the flora, fauna, and the geography of the area. The other is in his first full year at Woodstock. He most recently directed the NOLS India program, one of the best outdoor leadership training organizations in the world. He kept us in line with proper "expedition behavior."
The trail was really nice for the first half of the hike. We stopped many times to learn about plants (and we got to eat some too!). About half way up, we passed through a tiny village. The villagers were happy to see us; they are used to Woodstock visitors. After the village, the path all but disappeared, so we followed winding goat paths up the steep hillside. We reached the top in time for lunch and just as the view was completely obscured by all-encompassing monsoon clouds. Despite the lack of view, it was a wonderful spot to sit. The descent was much quicker, and much funnier due to our deteriorating muscle control as we tumbled down the steep goat paths.
Off to an energetic start. Beware of goats and cows!
Kutty enjoying the view before it disappeared into the clouds.
Darab bestowing his nature knowledge on us.
Villagers working in the fields just outside the village.
A few of the village buildings.
We made it to the top! Notice the spectacular view (of clouds).