Kedarkanta Trek Review By Pradeep
(Kedarkanta trek – April 2012 Batch)
KK trek – It’s one of those treks where trekkers are sad on their way back to Dehradun, not because it was bad, but it was over so soon. Nobody wants to go away from nature’s lap. The trip started from Dehradun railway station, where we were picked up by the cabs (TATA Sumo/ Bolero), which took us to Sankri, the base camp for KK trek, at the altitude of 6000 odd feet. It is after Purola that we get to see amazing landscape of Himalayas. We drive through Pine tree forest, with river flowing on one side. The view was such that we had to stop for some photography. Close to 170kms drive, a drive of 7-8 hours, we reach Sankri. This was including stops for breakfast/lunch that had some tasty aloo parathas at ‘Eat Well’ restaurant at Kempty falls and ‘Hotel Mehar’ in Purola, and also some solo pics for your Facebook profile ;-). It was dusk and the sun setting behind the mountains would have sculpted an amazing picture at the backdrop, but the clouds played spoilt sport. On reaching Sankri, we stayed at the Garhwal Guest house, where the power supply is intermittent. It was good that most of us had carried spare battery for our cameras. Mobile network was not available, so FB, twitter, gmail, was out of question for a few days, though people were eager to update the world about their status.
After a warm up session and then breakfast, we were ready to start our trek at 8:45am, with our back packs (which was supposed to weigh less than 7kgs); headed towards Juda ka talaab. On our way, we had our lunch which was Poori-sabzi, which IH team has packed for us. It was a tiring for some but the view around and the fun with fellow-trekkers kept us going. After a 4km walk, we reached Juda ka talaab (9500ft), where IH team had already pitched tents for us, and energy drink was served. The trek for the day was over by 4:30pm. It was getting colder and the IH team was ready to give us comfort by arranging for bon fire and served us with hot cup of soup. Our guide, Brahma was entertaining all of us with his singing and Rajmohan ji had climbed a tree, put up his rope and there the swing was ready for us to play. The dinner was ready at around 8pm. Nothing can be more pleasant than dinner in a cold weather, near bon fire amidst pine trees. It was then time to get into tents, and try sleeping in sleeping bags, for the first time.
On day 2, the trek started at around 7:30am, we started climbing up to reach KK peak base camp.All of us were very excited to encounter snow :). IH team had asked us to keep our gaiters ready. Soon, we came across snow, and as we got higher the scenic beauty just got better. We awere enjoying the hike in the snow and were our own sweet time .Thet is when we were surpassed by 2 hourses and part of the IH team, who were carrying cylinder, food items, tents, sleeping bags, etc for us. Due to snow and bad weather, the horses could not climb up to the KK base camp and so we were forced to end the trek for the day and camp at much lower location. We had lunch and then pitched up tents there. It was just 1 in the afternoon. It was snow all around and our tents stood up in between.It was time for some play and so the trekkers were asked by Rajmohan ji to enjoy and practise walking and sliding on the snow, which would help us for the coming day.It was then the weather got worse and it started raining.Trekkers then helped the IH team to get tree trunks for bon fire. Since we had lot of time, we start playing the game dog & the bone. Our game was spoilt by the rain and heavy winds. So all of us get into our tents get into warm inners. At 6pm, Rajmohanji, calls out for tea and snacks. Its cold out side, nobody wanted to come out. We were almost dragged out of our tents. Everyone then got around the bonfire, and start sipping hot cup of coffee. Did i forget to mention, entertainment by Brahma(IH manager) during the evening. He was our juke box. Kishore Kumar hits went non-stop around the fire. Then we were served hot soup followed by dinner. Bournvita was mandatory, but many of us gave it a pass, coz we had good roti and rice. IH cooks always made sure we had some deserts too.
It was day 3, the much awaited day, we were to climb to the KK summit. We were woken up by 4:30am in the morning, with hot cup of coffee, under star lit sky. It was beautiful outside. The sky was clear, moon glowing bright. We were all set, wearing gaiters and crampons by 6:45am. We started our trek on the snow. Crampons helped u walk easily on the snow, without falling. We got a lot of good clicks on the way. It reminded me of the “Roja”. The summit was right infront of us and it seemed a few foot steps away, and felt like runnign to the top, but it was not as closer as it seemed. Kept sipping water and wiht the rhythemic breathing we hit the top. It was breathtaking beauty and so peacefull at the top. After spending abbout 30mins at the top and offering a cocanut to the Lord, and clicking a few shots, we started descending.
Descending was not walking down, we had to slide down on the ice and that was the fun part.It was scary the first time,but you gain some confidance the 2nd time, and after the 3rd slide, we wanted to do it more. The sliding ends there and we started walking after 3 slides. We reached the camp but our tents were already taken to the next camp site which was to be at Har gaon(8950 ft). We had our lunch at walked down to Har gaon and ended the day’s trek.It was all smiles on all of our faces. People felt a sense of acomplishement. Trekkers were only talking about their experience. Tents were already pitched in at har gaon campsite, and the scene and pleasure was incomparable with any highly priced resorts. People were drying thier shoes and clothes, which were wet due to sliding on the ice, around the bon fire. Gulab jamun for dinner added to our joy . All were tired after the summit and went off to sleep early.
Day 4, people were woken up as early as 6 am, by the songs of the birds, though there was not much left to do. Everyone seemed pretty relaxed. We had our tea and started packing our bags. We were gathered for breakfast and there was a surprise…it was Pasta!! After having a great tasting pasta, we headed back towards Sankri. It was descending down for about 3 hours that got us to the guest house.The toes and knees were hurting slightly but the joy of completing the task brought smile on all faces.It was now time for celebration and it startsed at 6:30pm,all of us had a great time at the dinner table.
Final day, the sad day, we all got back to our cabs and headed back to Dehradun. 5 unforgetable days of your life.