Kedarkanta trek review Dec 2012-Rajarshi

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Kedarkanta trek review Dec 2012-Rajarshi

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By Sandhya UC

2013-01-17

Kedarkanta Trek Review By Rajarshi Chatterjee

(Kedarkanta trek  –  23rd December 2012 Batch)

When I fell in love with the mountains

What was supposed to be my first encounter with snow, turned out to be much more. Kedarkantha, a short four-day-trek booked a permanent place in my memories.

As this was to be my first sub-zero experience, I was a little wary about the chill and its repercussions. But, the instructions and assurances from the Indiahikes team  (Bharti, Manish & Raj) turned out to be accurate and I didn’t even have to unpack the hollow-fill jacket that I’d ordered for the trek.

 

The team of 25 could have easily been called mini-India. There were participants from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Kochi and Goa. The youngest member was 21, the oldest being 45. Since barring a few, it was pretty much the first experience for most of us of trekking the Himalayas, the apprehensions put us on the same platform and brought us closer to each other on day 1 itself. What awaited us over the next four days were close and memorable encounters with the nature, all-round physical activities that tested our mental strength every now and then and new friendships, some of which I’m sure would stand the test of time.

 

On an average, we walked for about 4/5 hours every day, covering an average distance of 6/7 kms. The first glimpse of snow on the trail, after a couple of hours of walk on day 1 was expectedly greeted with loud cheers. But as the thickness of the snow cover kept increasing, it soon became clear that negotiating the snow trail was the biggest, if not the only challenge on this trek. Here, I must mention, the gaiters and cramp-ons provided by the Indiahikes team on day 3 (summit climb) proved to be extremely useful. Even though some of us had difficulties preventing water trickling into the shoes in spite of the gaiters, in no time we realized, the trek couldn’t possibly have been completed without the aid of the cramp-ons. The Indiahikes team, Manish and Raj in particular helped us, greenhorns with our gaiters and cramp-ons. With the equipments on, the feel of a mountaineer demands a small note of mention.

 

Day 3 was the most challenging. We started from the base camp early (6.30 am). It took us about three-hours-and-a-half to climb the summit. After a two-hours- and-a-half walk back to the base camp, we proceeded further down towards Hargaon, the last campsite. We walked for about eight hours but it hardly took its toll on anyone of us. Even though we were cautioned about altitude-related health hazards and advised to carry Diamox tablets, everybody managed the summit climb without the aid of medications.

 

The highlight of the trek was expectedly the summit climb. Since the Indiahikes website had termed Kedarkantha ‘A beginner’s trek’ (difficulty level: moderate), I wonder how many of us took the word ‘summit’ seriously. At 12,810 ft, the KK summit is not really in a position to challenge the supremacy of some of the higher peaks in the region but it certainly helped us change our opinion about it.

What seemed a 15-minute walk from the foothill, turned out to be an hour-and- a-half steep climb. There were moments when the terrain immediately ahead of us did make us think twice about proceeding further. The last climb (believe me, a 75 degree upward slope) had to be completed with the help of a rope and at the end of it all, one of the team members who had successfully completed the Goechala trek about six months back declared, ‘This was a bit of trekking and a lot of mountaineering!’

 

The satisfaction of successfully climbing the summit and the breathtaking 360 degree view from the top has to be either experienced first-hand (strongly recommended) or one may look forward to reading accounts of an established author. In any case, a wannabe writer like me will not be able to do justice by attempting to describe it.

 

In all, the trek was more fun-filled than ever expected. The arrangements (tents, high-altitude sleeping bags, campsites, food and the people responsible for all of it) bettered our expectations once again. In a country of 1.22 billion, the serenity on offer all around us was almost surreal. The Indiahikes team more than lived up to its reputation. Suffice it to say, this was just the beginning of a cherished relationship between them and all of us.

 

 

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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