Kedarkantha Summit: A winter Delight

Tripoto
Photo of Kedarkantha Summit: A winter Delight by sidharth jain

Winter for me means snow capped peaks and hearing the crushing sound of snow beneath my feet while trekking. 2020 was not a very generous year for travelers but we passed it somehow. The month of December marks the beginning of the snowfall in higher Himalayas and is the correct time to do a winter trek. This is the story of 21 trekkers (all students) to the Kedarkantha peak (12500 ft).

Day 1

We were a group of 21 students originating from different states so our meeting point was scheduled at ISBT Chandigarh. We had gathered and loaded our luggage in the travelers by 8:30pm and departed for Sankri (base camp for the trek). It was a long 11 hour overnight journey via Paonta Sahib-Purola. The road conditions were not very good.

Day 2

We reached Sankri at 9am in the morning and it was a very chilly day due to strong winds. We rented all the necessary stuff and got the permit. We started our trek from Sankri at 12:00 noon. The target was to reach Juda ka Talab by evening and camp there for the night. The starting 1-2 kilometers of the trail were moderately steep but due to our heavy rucksacks, we were having a tough time. We could not reach the Talab on time so we decided to put tents before the Janoul Campsite. There a small water source and we spent the night there.

The road further leads to the starting of the Har ki Dun trek.

Photo of Sankri, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain

Just after the starting kilometers, we entered into the forest.

Photo of Sankri, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain

The initial trails were steep and rocky

Photo of Sankri, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain

Our first campsite had a great view

Photo of Sankri, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain

The starting point of the trek.

Photo of Sankri, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain
Day 3

The frozen Juda ka Talab.

Photo of Kedarkantha Base Camp, Singtur Range, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain

The Kedarkantha peak as seen from the basecamp.

Photo of Kedarkantha Base Camp, Singtur Range, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain

The sunset was surely a beautiful treat to the eyes.

Photo of Kedarkantha Base Camp, Singtur Range, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain

You can see the Phulara Ridge from the Juda ka Talab.

Photo of Kedarkantha Base Camp, Singtur Range, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain

The Kedarkantha Basecamp!

Photo of Kedarkantha Base Camp, Singtur Range, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain
Day 4

The Swargrohini massif appears in its full glory!

Photo of Kedarkantha Peak, Singtur Range, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain

The descend to the basecamp also provides amazing views!

Photo of Kedarkantha Peak, Singtur Range, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain

Absorbing the vibe.

Photo of Kedarkantha Peak, Singtur Range, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain

The descent from the peak was mostly snow slides

Photo of Kedarkantha Peak, Singtur Range, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain

The other side of the summit.

Photo of Kedarkantha Peak, Singtur Range, Uttarakhand, India by sidharth jain

We woke up the next day around 8 am and had our breakfasts. We packed our tents and started to trek further by 9:30am. We set a target to reach the Kedarkantha Basecamp (6km trek). This trail marked the starting of snow patches. It was an easy trail with some points of steep ascents and heavy snow. The Juda ka Talab was just an hour away from here and then the basecamp was 4km ahead of the Talab. We reached the basecamp by 4:30 pm and spent the night.

The best time to summit the peak is before sunset. To get that done, we woke up at 2:30am and started the summit push at 3 am. The trail was well established and it was a 3km ascent. There is a cafe which marks the halfpoint of the way and the trail steepens after that. The real challenge starts from the shoulder section of the peak which is followed by the ridge climb. Finally after all the hardwork , we reached the summit before sunrise. It provides a 360 degree view of the Swargrohini massif, Bandarpoonch, Black peak and the Gangotri ranges. On the other side, one can wintess the peaks of the Himachal Pradesh. We stayed up at the summit for about half an hour and then we had to descend. The descent was fun because it mostly consists of snow slides. We descended back to Sankri on the same day and departed for Chandigarh by 7:00pm. Overall, Kedarkantha provides a much higher reward than the effort you put in. It is a must do trek because these views are not found easily.