Kedarkanth is my first trek both ways personal front or through Indiahikes. To me it was a wonderful experience.
22nd morning to 23rd morning –
To start with I was happy to see that india hikes has already arranged cabs at dehradun for travelling to saankari. Upon reaching saankari, we were guided to rooms arranged for us. Rooms were clean, hygenic with nice bed and quilt. Later food was served which is almost as good as you get at home. Everyone was informed about the next days plan and timings. Next day morning tea is served in room ( awesome for so much cold ) and we got ready for breakfast and trekking. Everyone had breakfast and the trek started with necessary instructions.
Positive points till now : Nice room arrangements, breakfast, dinner etc and very cooperative staff. With the trek group there are two guides .. one in front and other one in end. Good thinking to keep one in end so that no one get lost etc.
Negative points : Few of the bathrooms still needed some plumber work.
23rd morning to 24th morning –
Arrangements of mules to carry the baggage is good for getting people excited. Availablity of mules gives options that if we feel tired or loaded you can opt to put your baggage on the mules. While trekking during first day, it was a nice feeling to move from bare land ( without snow ) to area having snow. A lot of nature beauty around with no phone network ( no office calls ) added relaxation to mind. Since trek is not organised among a group of friends but through India hikes, trek group is mixed of known and unknowns. People from different parts of the country including bangalore, delhi, chennai, hyderabad were their sharing their experiences about current and past happenings. After about 4-6 hours of trekking all reached first day camp location ( Juda ka Talab ). By the time we reached Juda ka talab, everyone was hungry and the lunch was ready. All finished lunch and started roaming in the near by areas enjoying the sunlight in snow. Almost everyone went to talab looking at the frozen water over the talab. A nice place to take photos. After the sunlight is gone in evening all gathered at the camp fire trying to get the heat and drying their shocks, shoes etc. We had tea, dinner, soup, and bournvita at this height. All were informed about the next day timings and plan.
24th morning to 25th morning –
After having a nice breakfast we started the trek. This day we found snow till knee level which was kind of surprise to all. All were excited and little worried thinking about the last day trek. We completed the trek in 2-3 hours and were served tea, soup, lunch, dinner like day before today. Today’s camp was at location having lots of snow around. Everyone was taking rest under the tree enjoying sunlight. But as soon as sunlight is over, it was getting too much cold in evening. We were given getters and crampon to try and walk around for a while for practice. This was very difficult of all to try on them with numb hand because of cold. All desperately waited for dinner to get in to their camps.
Positive points : Guide was very helping in trying getters and crampon. He also said if anyone has any issues during night also, just call my name and I will be there. Good for moral support though everything went fine in the night.
Negative points : Getters and crampon should have been provided little earlier while sunlight was there. It would have been less harder to try them with sunlight available as hands were not numb.
25th morning to 26th Afternoon-
Today we started little early as it was supposed to be long trekking day. Five of us willingly decided to stay at base camp, but rest moved ahead. We took couple of breaks in trek and enjoying nature beauty, snow. All were helping each other with serving what they had like water, snacks, chocolates. After a while we started getting a view of Himalaya ranges .. swarg Rohini etc. As you say, getting the first 80% is easy and last 20% is most difficult. Everyone started to feel the same, but reaching the summit is what kept us motivated and we reached. We stayed for 20-30 mins taking photographs, a brief about Himalaya range from guide. Coming down was easy comparatively and we reached base camp. All had lunch quickly and left for hargaon. All were full of energy … either because we felt satisfied by reaching summit or wanted to go down to lesser cold area.
Hargaon staff served food and beverages like all other days. In the end we sat together near the camp fire and started sharing individual feeling , experience of the trip. Almost everyone appreciated the behavior and service provided by the camp staff. A proposal also came to give something to camp staff and we did.
Good stay arrangement, food arrangements, staff behavior.
Overall Negative :
Need little more arrangements for morning natural activities ( you know what I mean ) for male and female separately.