I started planning for the Kedarkantha peak trek before 2-3 months, as I was so involved officially that I didn’t get time for it. But this time I knew, have to do it.
Seriously I was unaware that Kedarkantha Peak is a snow trek.
I reserved my bus tickets, got my bag pack ready, list down all necessary things to carry with me.
Let me tell you, this was, not the solo trip as I did in Trek to Tungnath-Chandrashila-Deoriatal.
This time I have 5 co-trekkers and a guide.
By the end of this article, there is a complete list of items which I packed with me.
Journey Started to Kedarkantha Peak Trek –
On 24th December after finishing my office at 5:00 PM, I left for ISBT Kashmiri Gate Bus Stand. At 9:30 bus departed to Dehradun and my journey towards my first snow trek begins.
At around 4:30 AM bus arrived Dehradun and I wake up halfheartedly, it’s just I wake up at 6:00 AM in the morning previous day, after working complete day it is not easy to sleep on the bus. But still I moved out from the bus, My trek guide asked me to meet at Dehradun Railway Station at 6:00 AM.
I moved out and hired an auto towards Dehradun Railway Station. It took 20 mins to reach there.
I felt sleepy and a bit tired, I saw a man coming towards me asking about the bus towards Rishikesh. He is going for a trek to Tungnath-Chandrashila-Deoriatal, as I did 3 months back “SOLO”.
I guided him about all the possibilities to reach to Sari Village, we shook hands and departed saying “All the best” to each other.
Suddenly my phone rang and this was my guide’s phone, he was waiting for me at the railway station parking. As I entered the parking area Mr. Guide was waiting for me in a Scorpio along with 5 co-trekkers.
Moving towards Sankari Village
Sankari, the starting point of Kedarkantha Peak Trek it’s at a distance of around 200 Km from Dehradun, it took 7-8 hours to reach there.
We boarded in the cab and started our journey towards our base camp Sankari.
In next 2-3 hours, we were crossing Mussoorie. I was tired a lot and it’s a big challenge for me sit in a cab.
Within some time, I felt like vomiting but I told the driver to keep moving. My co-trekkers they helped me a lot by offering lemonade, Dimox etc.
At around 2 we reached a small town named Purola, we stopped there to have some food and refill our water bottles. But I was not feeling well since we started. My mates insisted me to have some food and it will be fine.
From last few hours, I was little worried and not eaten anything, but I still had momo’s.
After finishing our business we all started towards our destination Sankari which was around 2 hours from this place.
First view of Sankari Village
At around 4:30 PM we reached Sankari, it is a small village lies in Govind Wildlife Sanctuary. There were 2-3 grocery stores with limited products. Sankari is completely dependent on tourism, two most popular treks start’s from here one is Kedarkantha Peak Trek another one is Har Ki Dun Trek. People constructed wooden cottages at the top of their homes for the guests. There was almost no transport available. If you come to this place by a reserved cab they will charge you around Rs. 2200, or shared cab charged you around Rs. 250-350. This is the last place for charging your electronic gadgets.
Our guide already made the reservation for us in a cottage but there were no beds as we had to sleep in our sleeping bags. Never Mind for next 4 days we will be using these as our beds.
As we reached earlier we started to roam around the village and started taking pics. While enquiring from locals they told us that Kedarkantha Peak Trek did not see its first snowfall till now this year. Listing to this we felt sad. It was my first snow trek and it was 24 Dec but still, I won’t be able to walk on the snow.
At 9:00 PM we had food and sleep in our sleeping bags, we all were exhausted but still, we were discussing ourselves, our previous experiences and worried about that there was no snow fall till that day. Within an hour we slept.
Around 3 AM in the morning one of my co-trekker shaken me to listen to something on the top. Some noises were coming, it seems someone is walking, so we decided to go out and check who is on the top.
As we opened the door a blow of thunderstorm worried us and we moved back in. Once again we tried to move out it was black dark night. I flashed my torch below the balcony and surprised to see that it was a heavy “SNOW FALL”.
I went back towards my other mates and wake them up so that they can also see, that our prayers answered.
For next few hour, we slept again, At around 7:30 in the morning, our guide and a helper of him come up with snacks and tea for us.
In a small village of Uttarakhand, we didn’t expect to get such a good breakfast which includes Bread toast, Aloo paratha, Maggie and Tea. Having a morning meal we started to equip ourselves with trekking gears.
Kedarkantha Peak Trek Started –
And finally, we started our journey from Sankari village to our first campsite Juda ka talab.
Full of energy we started uphill, its a steep trek for few meters and then in 1 hour we reached near a beautiful bridge… Let me tell you there was no snow till now, its a beautiful place with greenery and a small river was coming down silently.
Moving forward I kept on thinking about the toughness of the trek because as we were moving forward the trek is changing its terrain, as its is going steeply slowly. From 1950mt to 3850mt by walking in just 12 KM increases the steepness of the trek.
In the midway we reached near a Dhaba which offers some basic snacks, this was the last place where one can buy whatever the Dhaba offers.
Moving on towards our first campsite it started snowfall and as I told you earlier that this was going to be the first snowfall of that season. It started silently but each minute it keeps on increasing.
Juda ka Talab
In 4 Hrs, we reached Juda Ka Talab. I started taking Photos, Felt the freshness on my face, a fresh breath realized me the importance of air.
I put my bag down and started helping my mates to unfold the tents, it was a lovely evening with a lake in front of me and continuous snowfall covering green patches of land into white.
Due to heavy snowfall, we light up a bonfire. I never favor such thing as it increases temperature on mountains. Just because the temperature in Kedarkantha Peak sometime decreases to -12 degrees.
Next morning we had a breakfast and then we geared up to our next campsite Kedarkantha Base Camp which is around 5Km from Juda ka talab.
Started at around 9 AM in the morning it seemed to be a great day, snow spread everywhere and I put my gaiters to prevent my trek pant from snow.
The route is itself so beautiful, clean with white snow around and large pine trees. Sometimes it comes to my mind to keep going and this trek never end.
In mid of the trek, we met a person with great talent. You must be listing to his flute in the video below.
Kedarkantha Base Camp
Covering the distance of 5Km and we reached Kedarkantha Trek base camp, Kedarkantha peak was clearly visible from there.
The peak, standing high in front of us and I was looking constantly and excited to be there by next morning.
At base camp, the snow was around 12cm and it was chilling cold. We put our bags down and started helping to set up our camps, that day we tried to sleep early, as of now I was fine but at night it starts a headache. It is tough to sleep at high altitude but still, somehow I managed to sleep.
Final Summit to Kedarkantha Peak
At 3 AM in the morning, we geared up with all our equipment.
Packed our day bags with some dry fruits, chocolate etc and water.
And started towards peak summit, it was chilling night, the temperature was around -7 or -8 we five people with our guide was covering the distance slowly and steadily. Equipped with head to toe with different equipment, day bag at the back and in the low oxygen environment, we were getting tired frequently at small distances.
As we were moving up the layer of the snow is getting thicker from 10-12 cm to 1-2 foot, which was making difficult to move. The steeps were getting slippery and it was important for us to keep full control on our steps.
With a torch in hand and a trekking pole in another, we were following each other hoping to get on the peak in next 4-5 hours.
Crossing half way we faced a serious challenge, the path on which we were walking is slippery and pretend to be dangerous as the width of the path was not more than 1 foot, for such paths crampons or micro spike are really useful gears but at that time we don’t have those. One side we had snow and another side we had the endless ditch.
So we flashed our lights around to find some other way and started discussing with each other that if we climb for few feet may be the forwarded path will be fine and we all were ready at this that we will climb for few feet. We all were young and each one of us has some experience in steep treks, so we moved on and yes we were right the path after that seems much better.
At the top of the Kedarkantha Peak
As we moving up now the trek was around 60-70 degree slope. We were pushing hard as it required lots of efforts and due to low oxygen, we were getting tired in every 10 meters.
When we started we had no idea that the peak was already covered with snow. But we kept on moving for next 2 hours.
With the first ray in the morning we reached the peak and amazingly we were the first who reached the top on that day. Black peak, Gangotri 1,2,3 and Nanda Devi Peak were standing tall in front of me.
At Kedarkantaha peak there was a trident, symbolizes Lord Shiva. I bow down my head for giving me strength to reach there. It was one of the most memorable day for me and never want to go back down. I sat on a big rock and waiting for Sun to come out. The breeze was chilly freezing my blood. The silence over there as if I am in heaven. I realized that all the worldly things won’t work here maybe this was the reason I was in peace. I closed my eyes focused my breath for sometimes it seemed that my soul was thanking my body for bringing me up here.
Sitting for an hour we start descending. Trust me moving down from a mountain was not same as moving up. It demands more attention and patience.
We planned this trip for 5 days but because we started to descend at 8:30 AM as a result at 5:00 PM we were back to Sankari. And this 12 KM downhill is so tough that 2 members legs got serious swelling. But somehow we covered up all the things and went back to our places. We promised each other that soon we trek some other place together.
- As it is one of the most popular snow trek, temperature in December to February around 0 to -12 Degree.
- Always get yourself ready for snowfall or rain.
Preparation for the trek –
I bought some important clothes and accessories. One of my most favorite place to buy these stuff is Decathlon. I went there and my list is as below:
- A trekking bag of 60-70 Litres.
- Quechua Forclaz 500 Men’s hiking shoes.
- Fleece jackets.
- Quick dry pants.
- Quick dry t-shirts.
- Down feather Jacket.
- Woolen cap.
- Neck gaiters or Muffler.
- Waterproof Gloves.
- Woolen Socks.
- Day Pack.
- Trekking Pole.
- Torch or Head Torch.
- Water Bottle.
- Snacks and dry fruits.
- Personal Medical Kit.
- Toiletries (Sanitizer, Paste, Brush, Handwash, Lip balm, moisturizer, Sunscreen etc,)
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