Reviews of Juda Ka Talab • 11
9100ft | -12°CArrival at the first camp was mesmerizing, a patch of flat land surrounded by snow-capped pine trees. The frozen lake besides the campsite and the best part : Tents pre-set for us to retire in after hot delicious meal and Tea. That kind of food isn't expected with those resources and climate, but no denying, it was as good at being served on your dining table at home.
Day 2: Juda ka Talaab - Base campIt was a sunny day with clear sky and the weather was just right to begin our trek. We begun from Sankri (6400 ft) and headed to Juda Ka Talaab (9100 ft) which was a good altitude gain.The trail from Sankri to Juda Ka Talab passes through the woods with tall,old and beautiful pine and oak trees with patches.Juda ka Talaab is a semi frozen lake amidst gigantic mountains and dense forest.
DAy two- Sankri to Juda-ka-TalabWhen morning arose, I went by the window to see the mountains and got the surprise of my life! Overnight it had snowed at Sankri, so it was like a fairy had visited the place who kept blowing white particles everywhere and made it look like a dream! I couldn't contain the excitement and ran out!After a good breakfast, we left Sankri at about 10.30am as we had to wait till the weather clears a bit! Since it had snowed at Sankri itself, you can imagine the way up to the peak! So basically right from the first step we had to trek in snow ;) As we kept ascending the level of snow was increasing gradually but ,nevertheless, seemed like a fairy tale! And the already fairy tale heightened the fairy tale dream when it started to snow! Yes! Heavens were showering their blessings to this trekker all the way from Bangalore who had a dream of watching snowfall and camping in snow blanket. I enjoyed every second of it! Though trekking in snow and continuous snowfall is a bit more tiring compared to the normal circumstances, I relished the moment- what else can one ask for? Snowing while trekking in the Himalayas :)
As we reached Juda-ka-Talab (9100 ft.) which was a frozen pond during this time of the year, we were literally walking on the snow trail. We had a cup of black coffee and brown breads with peanut butter, we halt for an hour there.
Trek Day 1 - Sankri to Juda Ka Talaab - Ascent : 2700 ft - Distance : 4kms - Time : 4 hoursActual trekking started from this day , from Sankri (6400 ft) to Juda Ka Talaab (9100 ft) base camp. During this 4 km trail one can experience the beauty of lush meadows, dense pine forests, cascading beautiful streams, and gorgeous maple trees -but everywhere it was full of snow.After 2 kms , the snow increased and we were trekking through 3-4 inch snow. It took us around 4.5 hrs to reach our campsite which was around 100 mtrs before Juda Ka Talaab. We took a walk to the lake and It took us by surprise that Juda Ka Talaab was totally frozen , under a sheet of thick ice and snow.
We set off the next morning at 7:30. A second guide from the campsite volunteered to accompany us, since he was worried that the path must've turned even more slippery in the night. However,the night had been cloudy which, in turn , meant the ice hadn't melted. So the conditions weren't any worse than the night before.The guide also informed us that they had managed to raise Sankri on the walky and had informed them of our delay. They had been about to send out a search party for us!We made good time, with the guides holding our hands and guiding us on difficult paths, or showing us shortcuts which we would've missed otherwise.Sankri came into view around 11 in the morning, and we finally heaved a sigh of relief. After greeting the trek organisers there, we went up to our rooms to freshen up.On returning for breakfast, we met up with the rest of the group. They had reached Sankri at 8 at night! We questioned them about falling, and everyone unanimously agreed to having fallen on multiple occasions.One of the guys had even fallen 27 times!
Soon, we were all set and ready to start our trek to Kedarkantha Base camp which was a short trek of 2 hours to reach at an altitude of 10900 feet..!! As we kept moving, we could get clear views of various peaks and one of them was Swargarohini Peak. !! Moving ahead, soon we reached the next camp from where we were able to view the mighty Kedarkantha peak which was covered with clouds all over it and we were badly hoping against not receiving any bad news like unadaptable climate or rains ..!! Kedarkantha Base camp was a beautiful tenting location with plain table lands, a open view of mighty peaks on the front and Kedarkantha summit on the back..!! We settled ourselves in and had some delicious food which included Bhajiya dal and rice.. !! Later, we were all outside, hearing from our leader on how to work on rescuing a person and how to tie a stretcher with the help of a rope. It was a session full of learning and laughter as we literally made a stretcher, created a patient and rescued him :P. Everyone around us (Other trekking groups) were wondering what this group is up to and had their eyes on us all the time while this was going on. The fun ended and we teamed up to play our next game which was to drink 1/2L water quicker than the opposing team..!! To gulp down that cold water in no time posed a challenge for many but the best way it helped us was it kept our oximeter reading high. One beautiful innovation by our leader to merge playing with acclimatization,. The evening was followed with playing Fire in the mountain where it was a treat for the viewer to find out how many people would ditch others to win :D We were in our dining tents where we had our dinner and our briefing for the next day which was a new year as well as our planned summit day. And as the leader announced the details of our start time, there was a huge roar and cheer around, filled with claps. We were supposed to sleep that night by 8pm and the wakeup call being 12.00 midnight and moving time being 2.00am to reach the summit by 7am and view the 1st rays of the sun of the new year from the summit. The joy , happiness and excitement had no limits. Quickly we wrapped up everything and hit the tents and wrapped ourselves in our cozy sleeping bags. DAY 4 : KK BASE TO KEDARKANTHA SUMMIT TO HARGAON
The climate was extremely perfect to begin our trek with clear skies and a shining sun. We begun from Sankri (6400 ft) headed to Juda Ka Talaab (9100 ft) which was a good altitude gain. Walking through forests, conversing with fellow mates , hearing different tales of different experiences one has lived, listening to various purposes of one being on this trek..!! Clicking pictures every now and then, sharing , caring for each other and expressing love for each other with various gestures like offering food, giving some help, motivating etc. No doubt why a journey is always more beautiful than the destination. Between all this, we never realised how 4-5 hours of the journey trailed behind us and we reached our camp called "JUDA KA TALAAB". As the name suggests, the camping was just next to a pond which we found frozen to some extent. They say that this pond freezes completely at the top layer in winter at night and only breaks when it is sunkissed during the day. We were blessed to have some snow patches on the other side of the pond where we clicked some pictures and then awaited for the medical checkup which was followed up with some entertaining games which made us remember and relate to every trekker. Something that I loved about the place was we were surrounded with forest on all the sides. So we were in the middle, surrounded on all 4 sides which never let the wind booze around making it really cozy for many like me :P The food, was really fantastic which was coupled with spending time with everyone in the Dining tent. The highlights of post dinner has to be having some really warm Bournvita..! ❤ As the clock kept ticking, it got really dark and everyone headed to get in their sleeping bags ..!! No wonders, in a chilly night where, for the 1st time, temperatures got to negative figures, nothing would have felt as good as getting into the sleeping bags because of the warmth it gives is really really pleasing..!! The next morning as we got out of our tents, all we could see around was the frost.. On our tents, on the grass and the pond frozen completely. !! Having hot Black tea was the perfect recipe to begin the day with..!! And as we got busy getting ourselves ready, the sun soon hit us with its light which allowed the cold to fade away and filled our hearts with happiness...!! The highlight of that moment was when the rays hit the pond and the reflections it created, one's eyes could feast on a beautiful moment..!! DAY 3 : JUDA KA TALAAB TO KK BASE (Talkhetri)
Juda ka Talab -- A pristine alpine lake and meadow
The Juda Ka Talab is a very scenic camp site located in the capacity of a National Park. The Lake freezes in winters and the temperature can get as low as -15 degree celsius. The camp site is pretty big and provides space for group activites. It can get windy at times. And beware of the foxes at night . If you are lucky and the sky is clear, there is a very good chance that you will see lot of brights stars and milky ways. Juda Ka Talab with its scenic location is a very good place to get some star trails.