Updated: Jan 3
Kedarkantha Peak located in Gobind Forest Reserve in Uttrakhand is most sought trekking destination for winter trekker for it’s panoramic snow cladded mountain view and pictorial trail between Pine tree, snow covered meadows and frozen ponds. Nested at height of 12500 Feet/ 3810 Meter. It offers great view of Swarg Rohini range, Kala Nag, Bandarpoonch among others.
इन बलखाती नदियों की सुरीली सी सदायें |
इन ऊँचे पेड़ों की कतारो की भीनी सी हवाएँ |
सुर्ख सफ़ेद भुरभुरी बर्फ से पिरोई तेरी चोटियाँ |
जंगलो और घाटियों की चीरती तेरी पगडंडिया |
मैं चला था खुद को पाने तेरी पनाहों में |
खुद को खो के लौटा हूँ तेरे ठिकाने से ||
The Christmas holiday was approaching. The travel bug inside started chanting to go for something new, something more adventurous than before. How about solo backpacking and looking for some offbeat location, out of city crowd, into lap of nature. Desert, beaches has been done before, culture tourism too covered, what next?
Well, After shortlisting few destinations, final plan moved to Deoria Tal, Chopta –Chandrashila trek and finalized, Purchasing of trekking gears were started, monitoring weather forecast became part of routine, but then Kedarkantha name came in picture, at almost similar attitude but longer trek duration and more wilderness. Since it was about self-camping and trekking, we (Me and my colleague Mayank) decided for Kedarkantha at last moment. There were some question in his mind “Sir Dekh lo jyada adventurous to nhi hoga na, tent bhi khud lagana hai, hotel le lete hai (Will it not be over adventurous after looking at cold weather, we can go for hotel or something else) or Can we look alternate destination.
In Addition we planned to gift something special to our company which has continuously supported towards employee’s personal & professional development and enriching value toward society.
The Plan aka Itinerary
Day- 1 Noida - Sankri Village (Uttrakhand) via Dakpatthar
Mode- By Car
Day 2- Sankri to Juda to Talab
Distance – 4 Km Attitude – 9100 feet
Day 3- Juda to Talab - Kedarkantha Base- Kedarkantha Summit - Juda ka talab
Distance- 4 Km -3 Km – 7 Km
Attitude- 9100 feet- 11250 feet- 12500 feet- 9100 feet
Day- 4- Juda ka talab to Sankri village
Distance- 4 Km Attitude- 6400 Feet
Day-4 – Returning back to Delhi via Dehradun
Gears aka survival kit
Sleeping bag (-10 °c rating)
Rucksacks- (60ltrs- 70 ltrs)
Walking stick/ trekking pole-1
Personal clothing ( One Jackets, two body warmer, two synthetic T-shirts, Trekking Pants -2, Winter shocks -2, Waterproof Gloves- 1 Pair, Gaiters- 1 Pair, Poncho- 1, Hat, Neck gaiters)
Toiletries - Toilet paper, Lip balm, Sun Screen, Soap,
Energy bar and snacks
Day One- First Step
Final day for departure had knocked the door, it was Friday 20 Dec 2019, ending office work took time and we get free at 20:30 hours. Moving toward big bazar to buy food items and other pending things, we finally started journey at 23:00 on same night, Offline google map was downloaded and navigation was set to Sankri Village ahead of 438 Km. In Route after having cup of tea at Ganapati dhaba in Mujjafarnagar, We took stop at 4:00 AM near Vikasnagar to take an hour nap for further drive toward destination.
We get toilet facility at Judda for freshen up and had breakfast in nearby restaurant, We continued further with curves of Yamuna River and between dense Pine forest till we reached to Mori village where we had our lunch.
On the way while entering in Gobind forest reserve we get lift request from few Kids returning from their school.
Having interaction with those pure and brave souls, talking about their culture, and effort for education as they used to walk for hours daily to reach their school, their ambitions were to serve nation by joining army and into teaching. Learning from them and cherishing their smile, we move forward and reached to Sankri Village at 15:00 On Saturday 21 Dec 2019.
Local guide and trekking permit from forest department are mandatory for this trek. We took the permit with charge of 100 per day, and hired local guide as required with cost of 1000 Rupees per day. We got the place to pitch our tent in apple orchard for first night by local guide Vijaypal.
It was our luck and his humbleness that we get the chance to have dinner with his family in village and talking about their culture and tradition. This reward we received after hiking down for 200 meter between jungles to reach the village.
It was a wonderful journey and amazing evening with and between local villagers, now time was to relax ourselves in tent for next day trekking.
Wait what, at 3:00 AM morning, when temperature dropped below freezing point we started trembling as our sleeping bags were not capable to give enough warmth, me and my colleague saw each other, No option left than spending night. we wrapped ourselves with available cloths and waited for next morning.
Second day- Trek between mud and meadows
A beautiful winter morning and priceless view from tent, this is what we gifted by Sankri next day. After getting aloo ka paratha with Chai in morning , our first priority was to upgrade our sleeping bag by renting them from local shop. We started our trek at 11:00 am. Rucksack weight was increased to 14 Kg after up-gradation.
Walking through mud, rocks, and between pine tree we reached to snow covered meadows, taking photograph, having Maggie and tea what we did before reaching Juda ka talab (A frozen pond).
With luck we get chance to pitch our tent in tea shop near Pond. In dinner we get Rice, Dal and sabji with lot of stories from other trekkers and locals.
Third Day- the Summit day
After having breakfast we started at 9:15 toward base camp, 4 Km was covered in 2 hour and 30 minutes with one breaks and photo session.
At base camp after off-loading our backpack, we started for summit. Now we were gaining attitude more aggressively, walking on slow covered trail with surrounded by 1 to 4 feet snow and vegetation were decreasing with height.
At one point my colleague felt AMS (accute mountain sickness) but still he managed to walk with that, in approx. 3 hours, 30 minutes we covered 3 KM trail and reached to the summit.
WOW the next word came from our heart, breathing heavily, sweating from inside in cold weather but what we get was magnificent. Feeling ourselves above the world, where all major peaks were below eye line, Snow covered mountain ranges, like Swargrohini, Kalanag, Bandapunch, Kinnar Kailash, Rupini valley. A 360% splendid view welcomed us for our effort given to Kedharkantha. We paid tribute to Kedarkantha Lord Shiva. Kedarkantha which means Throat of Shiva, where lord Shiva appeared during Mahabharata time while escaping from Pandvas.
Clock reminded us it is 16:20, Sun will set in an hour, It was time to leave. We were walking alone on trail, slipped many times but stood up and took next move toward base camp. Darkness approached us with its time and we were walking with making noise to keep ourselves safe from predators.
18:30 we reached to base camp and decided to trek down further to reach Juda Ka Talab, to pitch our tent at same place where we did before. At 20:30 we reached to pond and welcomed by Bharat the shop owner. Got the place to pitch the tent, very next moment we were drying our gears with bone fire.
Now we were become guide and motivator to trekkers approaching forward, talking about trail condition, how we did solo trekking without support. It was last cheers in Tent with Bharat (Shop owner), Vijaypal (Guide).
Bharat ignited his BIDI and talked how much effort given by local put to conserve this forest. Their belief, support and kindness were amazing. He allowed his kitchen to cook our breakfast, dry our socks and shoes. We slept late with memorizing about our entire day, A 14 Km long trek, Kedarkantha peak and night trekking.
Fourth Day- locking up memories and emotions
We started late from Juda ka talab to Sankri village, reaching down to village at 14:40. It was time to say Bye to Sankri and Vijaypal who allowed us to trek independently. Had a wonderful trip with astounding memories. We returned back on same night to Delhi.
This trip taught us how to living happily with minimal support, caring other without any expectations, humbleness and simplicity. A wonderful hospitality and an ownership towards our environment.
I dedicated my trip to my company RV Solutions Pvt Ltd and its CEO, who is continuously contributing toward all round development of employees, Enhancing their skill, Strengthening moral value and spreading awareness for responsibility towards Mother Nature.