Being an aspirant for high altitude trekking and mountaineering, the Basic Mountaineering Course has been on my to-do list forever. Having done quite a few summer treks in the mighty Himalayas, I decided to do a winter trek this time. So here's the story of my trek to Kedarkantha summit (or rather not). Various blogs would've been written about this beautiful winter trek, but what's better than a unique near-death (some might have gotten an idea looking at the name, while some might find it exaggerated) experience which created memories forever, where not many things happened according to the plan, which's just the way I like it. These kind of experiences make you stronger and better prepared for the challenges in the future, also encouraging you to try your hand at writing about it.
When Divyaj and I decided to go for a trek in the winters, there were a few options, Chandrasheela, Kuari pass and Kedarkantha being some of them. Being a winter trek, I knew that the highest altitude of the trek wouldn't be above 13,000 ft. After taking a look at the beautiful descriptions and absolutely stunning pictures on various websites, we finalised Kedarkantha, which was supposed to be a easy-moderate trek (as it turns out, it wasn't). This trek was a short one, only 4 days of trek, as the altitude was less. We came from Pune, so there were always going to be two extra days of travel.
Finally, the much awaited leave began and so did our journey to the airport. We boarded a flight to Delhi hoping that the pollution wouldn't get the better of us there. We roamed about in Delhi and eventually boarded the Nanda Devi express to Dehradun that night. In the train, we were joined by two fellow trekkers from Chennai, two of the most interesting people I have ever met. The first impression was of a to-be-married couple, but we were surprised when we got to know they were married 5 years ago and have a 3-year old girl. They had left her at her grandparents'. My parents also used to do the same thing when they went trekking, leave me to my grandmother and I used to count the days on my blackboard. So as we got to know each other, we also got news which kind of dented our excitement for the trek. One of the batches to Kedarkantha had posted photos of the summit and there were only patches of snow even at the summit.