It has taken almost an eternity for me to write this one. If you're planning your next winter trek, then this blog is for you.
But before I dive in, allow me to tell you how it all began. Taking you to the big bang.
Last year, I was blogging on Tripoto and after an intense month of finger bleeding typing resulting in various blogs, I won the 2nd prize, a trek to Kedarkantha with dates of my choosing, fully sponsored by the lovely folks of Tripoto. The trek was organized by the leaders of trekking community in India, Indiahikes. I chose second week of January as the dates of departures as I'd researched it'd be a good time to expect snowfall.
Days, weeks and months passed by and finally the date arrived when I had to embark this journey. I've mentioned Rs 12k as the cost of this trek (commercial pricing). For me, it was fully sponsored minus the traveling costs to Dehradun and back!
The first leg was an overnight journey from Delhi to Dehradun.
Indiahikes had already sent the communication about the taxi driver's numbers, to all trekkers 2 days prior. Once I arrived in the wee hours, I immediately called the driver and located my cab. The trekker had to bear the cost of the cab from Dehradun to Gainchwan village (the place from where the trek would begin). It was a scenic drive and I interacted with a few of the other trekkers from my group.
Cost of cab: Rs 1100/-
Duration of Journey 6-7 hours.
One of the reasons why I was excited to do this trek with Indiahikes was that they had recently discovered a new trail to KK (Kedarkantha). All other trekking communities/groups followed the route of Sankri till the summit & back. Following IH's (Indiahike) route offered isolation from the rest & scenic (also different) route via ascent. While descent we were supposed to go via thee regular route towards Sankri only.
As soon as we reached the guest house, we were told not to bath, as we might expose ourselves to risk of hypothermia. In high altitudes AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) is common and hence we followed the expert opinions.
Blood pressure and oxygen level was recorded for each & everyone. This would be done at the start and end of the day's hike by IH for the next 3 days. I was highly impressed with their professional conduct throughout.
The first night at the guesthouse we interacted with each other. There was a group of 10 students from Mumbai, 2 brothers from Pune, 2 sisters from Bangalore, a father-son duo from Kolkata and few others. It was quite a diverse group & I was excited to know what the next days had in store for me.