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My very first Himalayan Trek - Kedarkantha

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

Kedartal trek......though this was my recent trip I would like to quote it as "one of my everlasting, adventurous and thrilling trip filled with blissful moments". All this started after New Year, in month on January 2020. I got an itch to do something, something which is filled with an adventure. So after reviewing many places and options, finally I have decided to go with Himalayan trek. That decision took me back to square zero, (Yes….that was the moment when I realized we have so many Himalayan treks to do and I am confused which one to choose). This had urged me more for taking up this trek, so I read many articles and watched multiple videos. This activity filled many gaps for me like knowledge of various trek levels, weather conditions, terrain conditions, etc., (Ugh… much work,) and this took me a month to finally say "Kedartal trek it is what I am going to do next"

I was very excited for this. Many thoughts were running across my mind, I was kind of skeptical for the trek as it’s my very first time at such altitudes. But this very fact was also energizing me. Among all these things, boggling in my mind, the D day has arrived and I was grouped with 24 new friends with whom I would be trekking. We took a flight from Hyderabad to Dehradun. As I take my first step off the flight, Dehradun gives us a cool breeze of welcome which right away elevated my excitement for the trek.

By the time we landed in Dehradun, it was evening and we right away checked into our hotel and took some rest. Later that evening we went out for dinner and regrouped with our trek-mates. We chatted and shared so many experiences. And I still remember the day we went out for dinner, temperature was just 10 degree Celsius.

Next day in the morning we got up by 5 AM sharp and got ourselves ready to our first step in Trek. It was Sankri. We reached there by a van and it was 7 PM on the clock. The weather was again super cool and we enjoyed the wind chill factor of Sankri. We hit our beds earlier as next day we have to trek to our base camp and we need all our energies charged up.

Sankri to Base camp:

Day 2 begins with a lots of excitement in me as we have to trek a lot across various types of terrain. First two kilometers was a normal walk. Then slowly the path became rocky and mud filled. We made our stroll a bit more careful and was looking for better footing. We reached base camp by 3 PM. As had our lunch and explored the surrounds of the base camp. On the way to Base camp, we came across many scenic views engulfed in snow. And also we were able to get a glimpse of Himalayas, I was so breathtaking moments and no words to express that. We played in the snow by sliding on it, captured few moments on our mobiles, goofed around for some time and then we went back to our camping tents.

As the night kept on crawling, the temperature was constantly falling low. Though per tent three members were accommodated, we were not able to sleep due to the cold. For few hours, we struggled to get sleep but couldn't as we were feeling very uneasy and finally we dared to step out of our tents. There were few more folks strolling out of their tents enjoying the starry night while shivering to the spine chilling cold. Few feet away someone has lit the bonfire and was singing songs. We all gathered around the bonfire and sang in chorus. We enjoyed singing songs till 2 am and then we went back to our beds.

Morning we woke up and saw a fresh snow all around us, it was such a bliss moment at your first glimpse of your day. We got freshened up for starting our trek to Base camp 2. Compared to previous day, the path to Base camp 2 was more curvy and more rough, so we hired few mules to help us. On the way, we passed may beautiful scenarios, midway we took break to rest and played around with mules. We reached Juda ka talab which has an ancient history related to Lord Shiva. According to the legend, Lord Shiva had opened a small lock of his hair at this place and the water dripping from his hair formed this huge lake.

We resumed our trek and reached base camp 2 by evening 5 pm. Our guide gave us the permission for exploring nearby so that we can get acclimatized to the weather. It was three degrees below zero and to survive that we wore almost three layers of clothing. We spoke with people who were returning from the summit and requested them to join with us and share their story about the rest of the journey ahead. That night we had early dinner and danced around happily with everyone. It was really a wonderful experience dancing among the Himalayas. We danced until we were too tired and we retired to bed.

Base camp to Summit

Next day we woke up early and got ready by 3 AM to start to our final destination. I was extremely thrilled about the fact that today we will be touching the summit. One hour into our trek, we started observing the oxygen levels slightly dropping and not just that we have to watch our trek path carefully with the help of our helmet light. As we were getting more higher, the energy levels were falling low and we were feeling tired. But we didn't give up and kept moving forward. Midway to summit we stopped at a tea point and met with other people who were also trekking to summit. We exchanged about the experiences and also the excitement. After sometime I observed that the hut started filling and soon it was very crowded. After talking to the guides of group who returned we came to know that the weather is not good ahead and we can't trek to summit point now. After listening to that, I felt so sad being so close to summit i didn't wanted to turn back. We trying to talk to rest of guides to see if there's any other way to reach point now.

Few of them are returning back to base camp, but we stayed back in the tea point. I wanted to relax myself so ordered a hot tea and was trying not to overthink while sipping it. Some time has passed and we were left with people who wanted to go to summit. One of the guide came forward to help us to trek ahead. After discussing few ground rules, we are again all set to start the journey. After 30 minutes of trekking from tea point, the wind speed increased. Few of the people turned back to return as the wind speed was constantly getting increased, but we kept on walking forward. When the summit was just 100 meters away, the wind was so strong making us not move ahead. When the help of my trekking stick, so how i was able to move forward. We all were literally struck with very chilling wind which was numbing us and also we can't turn around as the path was blocked due to snow. That moment was very terrifying as everyone of us loosing their energy and every one of us were unable to move forward.

Then among the howling sound of strong winds, i hear a voice from behind me. The man behind was in his fifties, was encouraging us to keep on moving forward and to push forward until we see the summit. He was constantly shouting as "Come on guys" which made me believe in myself and resumed my trek. I was repetitively speaking to myself that i am strong enough to do this and went till the rock near summit without even turning my back. The wind has again started showing its strength and it felt like will be falling of the summit. We have just completed half of our journey. Everyone sat down near the summit rock, meanwhile i was feeling very excited for being at the summit after all the struggles and strains we went through.

Now the moment came where we have to return back to the base camp, the weather wasn't with us. Snow has completely blocked our return path and also our field of vision. It brought back my anxiety moments and i got a glimpse of my whole life before me. The fear gripped me further and I started thinking of my parents. After sometime of self jostling with thoughts, we made our attempts slowly to the base camp. This trek has definitely thought me so many life lessons and i am truly thankful for taking up this decision of this trip. Out of them, i can list top three of them as:

  1. No matter what happens in life, keep pushing yourself forward and be motivated.Because no one will help you if you can't help yourself

  2. Always remember that things won't happen as you have planned them. It can be due to many reasons (may be people or circumstances), but be happy no matter what

  3. Be ready to accept change and to go with the flow

For a moment, while we were at summit it was filled with mixed feelings. I was filled to crazy levels of happiness and was shouting like "YEYY!!!! I DID IT!!!!" to my heartfelt. The struggle and efforts kept in trek for two day was nothing before the beautiful view from top. It was like the quote said by Zig Ziglar

"Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. The best is yet to come"

As a closing note, i would like to dedicate this trek to my dad because i love him the most

#Himalayan #trip #getaway #trekking

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