Kedarkanta trek review Dec 2012- Harimohan

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Kedarkanta trek review Dec 2012- Harimohan

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By Sandhya UC

2013-01-17

Kedarkanta Trek Review By Harimohan V

(Kedarkanta trek  –  24th December 2012 Batch)

It was 2011 September that I had gone on a vacation to Sikkim and Darjeeling with my family. There was this Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the museum in Darjeeling. The way the guide there was describing things had left an everlasting impression on me. So much that I can’t forget the quote written on the wall there – “May you climb from peak to peak”. I decided I had to do one. I know, I can’t make it to Everest or Kanchenjunga or anything so high. But I wanted to experience that feel of living in the wilderness of the mountains, reaching a peak. Kedarkantha was perfectly fit as my first trek. I super-enjoyed every bit of it. I was actually so sad on my way back to those over-civilized cities.

So, there I was on my first high-altitude (per me at least :)) trek. One which I badly wanted to do for a long time. And more importantly, I had never experienced snow before. I really wanted to walk on snow, in December. I was looking forward for some self-realization thing too….4 days on the silence of the mountains filled with nothing but my thoughts. And I got so much more. I met the most beautiful people. There was 45 year old JP who, we later learnt, has been going on week long treks every year for the last almost 10-12 years!!! And we saw a 50-55 year old lady reach the base camp when we were coming back from the peak. It was such a pleasure to have met such people. Life’s change, for good.

The trek was certainly not a tiring one. It was an Ok one to do. It was nicely planned too, with about 5-6 kms trekeveryday. Even as a first-timer, I never felt tired or exhausted. We started at some 6000 something feet, as a batch of 30 into the beautiful alpine forest. Some 3 kms into the forests, we witnessed the first traces of snow. Beautiful white snow. And we became kids again. No better place for a Christmas eve eh! After a few more kms on the beautiful white snow, we reached the first camp site – Juda Ka Talab. A dream like location. Really! I’d never even dreamed before of such a place for a camp actually. It was beautiful. More than half of it frozen, and surrounded by snow on 3 sides. Wow!

At 3 in the afternoon, the temperature was 3. By 5, it was -2 already. No one would move away from the Camp-fire. We were singing, dancing and all. But the main event for the evening was yet to come. The first time in tents, sleeping bags and all! After a few hours of disturbed sleep, I had a sound sleep for a good 4-5 hours. I guess the acclimatization didn’t take that long after all. I was told it went to as low as -7 that night, outside the tents. The feel was not half as bad the number.

And so I successfully slept in sleeping bags for the first time in my life, at an altitude of some 9300 feet. Feeling of a winner already! And the next day trek started. We were all so sad to be leaving such a campsite. But we had to. So, the second day, we were walking on snow all the time. This time, a good 2 feet at some places. Every location en route was so breathtaking that we were almost choosing our next camp site after every 50 feet. It was beautiful to walk on snow all the while. And we reached the KK base camp, at some 11200 feet, by noon or so. It was like actually living in one of those wallpapers. Beautiful. We would all have our lunch and sit around the camp fire and talk, sing, play and all. We were all acclimatized by now, to the cold and the snow and the occasional chilly winds.

After a good sound sleep, we all started marching to the peak the next morning, for the final ascent of the trek. You  would keep trekking looking at the peak. You feel to be a part of those beautiful mountains. The steeped slopes filled with thick blanket like 20 30 inches deep snow all around. It was wow! Almost there, almost there, and finally, we did it! and How!. You are on top of the world. That great sense of accomplishment. Absolutely gratifying. Once on the peak, you would no more feel like it’s just for some facebook profile pic that u have come there :D. You are completely lost in oblivion. Mesmerized. Who cares how fast you were on the trek, what the altitude was, how energy-consuming it was. You just enjoy your moments, cherish those few seconds of ‘I actually did it’ feeling. And after an hour long stay on the peak and a good round of pics taken, we started our descent. The initial descent was great fun. We started making our own slides on the snow trail. Kids again! And back to KK base, lunch, and we were on our way to Hargaon at some 9000 feet, camped there. And the next day we started our final descent to Sankri. We were running, jumping. We were all happy that the trek’s done. That we could clean ourselves and bathe! But little did we realize how sad we were going to be that it got finished so soon.

On the whole, it was such a life-changing experience. There is a first time for everything. You start so and who knows where you’ll go someday. And it was such a team activity. Really! The faster ones in the group would obviously make you feel like run to reach them. But everyone was so good that we could trek at our own comfortable speeds and still be good, as a team.

And the most important people on the trek – Sanjay, Parvesh, Thirpan, Gajendar, Pawan and the-mountain-god Sir Rajmohan. They were THE fittest guys I have seen till date. Running twice, thrice as fast as us on the slopes, should they need to. How I wish I could be as fit as them someday! Oh and we had snowy – the furry, white dog with us all the while. She was literally a part of the team that made the peak :D.

And I can’t thank Indiahikes enough. The way they organized things and made us be comfortable on the trek, was amazing. You Rock! And most important thing to mention about the trek and IH – The first day, when the supper was served at Sankri, it was so delicious that I thought this would be last good meal for the next few days. But the food at the campsites, wow! I thought I’d lose a few kilos during and after the trek, but the food at the campsites during thetrek was such lip-smacking I wouldn’t be surprised if I had actually put on a few. It was like a complete pleasure trip.

“May you climb from peak to peak!”

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Sandhya UC

Co-Founder & COO

About the author

Sandhya is a founding partner at Indiahikes. Over the past ten years, she has explored and put on the map few of the greatest Himalayan treks in India, including Kashmir Great Lakes and Kedarkantha. She is a TedX Speaker and has been awarded the Women of Worth Award by Outlook Business in 2017. She believes in sustainable living just as she believes in sustainable trekking. Read a feature on Sandhya in Outlook Business Read Sandhya's other articles Read Sandhya's TedX Talk How I Climbed The Mountain Of Entrepreneurship