The time has come, we woke up at @ 1 in night cum morning and believe me it was freezing cold outside the tent I couldn't even step my foot outside it was so cold but again we have to , somehow we all got up and start preparing for the trek.
There were eyes full of sleep and there were eyes searching for a way to get back again in the tent but one thing that was common inside everyone's heart was how we are gonna do this , it was pitch dark at that time all we had was torch to support this , that moment was something out of the world that freezing cold wind was chilling every bone of my body although I was all covered up but that crazy wind was successful in somehow finding passage to body and the contact with it was making my body shiver thinking about that still gives me goosebumps.
We all were lined up with the John Bhaiya in front, this time there were no instructions there were cautious because one wrong step in snow and there can be a serious injury. We were frightened but more of excited because that was something we have never done before.
We started, Yess!! , first step was full of energy and excitement, I was so high on adrenaline that I was feeling I can do this easily but again that was not the case after some time.
Our original plan was to climb as fast as possible because we want to reach the peak before sunrise (not Kedarkantha peak but the second peak) . Due to heavy snowfall the standard path was not visible so we have to invent our own which adds to the distance. From Juda ka Taal, Kedarkantha peak was about 11 km in distance ( 22 round trip )
So we were marching forward with everyone walking close to next one, this time trek was steep plus every foot was sinking in snow 1 to 1.5 feet deep because snow was not that stiff due to recent snowfall. That experience was awesome when we were trekking in snow in light of half moon but to its support 'Khonsu' blessed us with torch. There were places where we have to take every step even more carefully because on our left there was steep snow wall which we can't climb and onto our right was deep valley which we can't afford to slipped down.
With every step we were gaining altitude that meant greater drop in temperature , I was told at that time the temperature was less than zero degree Celsius. At that time some of us were feeling dizzy and headache , body pain etc were common all you have to do in these conditions is not to take long breaks otherwise your body would cool down and after every such long break it will be even more difficult to step in sinking snow also prevent your body from dehydrating so take small sip of water at regular intervals not large sip in which you are chugging at once , take small one. Carry a good amount of water and dry snacks , everyone in our group was carrying 3 litres of water and some packets of biscuits.
It was around 6 and we already had trekked for four straight hours then we saw sunlight coming from far snow capped mountains, it was time, yes it was time for the sunrise for which we were waiting so eagerly. We started gaining ground at even more faster pace.
We somehow managed to reach a point which was perfect for experiencing that moment , and the time has come sun was slowly slowly coming out from that magnificent mountain range. Sunlight was painting the snow in Yellow killing every darkness around us.
At that very moment everyone sat down and watched the birth of a new day. I was so preoccupied in that moment that I forgot everything my body pain, worries, problems, classes , viva , assignment like everything and want to live that moment to its fullest, Hell Yeah! we surely did.
Ok so spent around half an hour over there and then continued our quest for the final summit point - Kedarkantha Peak , which was still a hell of a distance to cover and after taking this long break out bodies were all cooled down so it was getting difficult to step a foot.
Now we have reached to that part of the trek which consists of nothing but vast snowfields that too steep. We have already left the Meadows behind now there is just snow 'on the rocks'. We can now see the Kedarkantha peak.
At that time we all were like 'Kitna bacha hai yaar ab nhi chad sakta'. After every 20 steps we were taking break because our bodies were so exhausted. The snow was fresh so our legs were sinking deep in snow and making our body drained after every sinking step.
But what keeps us motivated was support from each other and that voice from our heart - "Ab itna chad ke toh give up nhi karunga". Now 2 of our members were so tired that they started giving up at that point our trek leader came to rescue John Bhaiya literally hold them and make them climb , the support from him was the missing element. So John bhaiya at back supporting them , some of us started leading the trek making the path for rest of the group at the same time motivating each other.
There were points where even I was feeling to give up but again thanks to our group who was supporting each other mentally as well as emotional. We climbed and climbed also falled down, rolled back but we didn't give up not a single member of our group. Everyone was watching each other's back.
And finally that moment came when peak was just in front of us and Yes we did it!!!! Finally !!!!! , It was already 10 AM but I was so relieved that I threw my rucksack and trekking pole and laid down on the snow at that particular moment my body was consuming the warmth of the sun also the cold shiver coming from snow I was laying back on , there mixture of these two i.e the ice and fire was somewhat crushing my body but for me it was ok all I wanted was just to lay back like this forever and no one should wake me up.
Ahhhh!! so after some time I gather some of cosmic energy around me enough to get up. We spent around an hour and half on the peak capturing that spectacular view from the peak in every possible angle.
It was time to go back, we had lived the moment for which we put so much effort. We started trekking back to the Juda ka Taal , now again it was 12 KM trek just downhill and wait if you think downhill is easy lemme me tell it is not although it was fun because at some point we slided down to cover some of our distance but again our bodies were so exhausted after uphill trek that we didn't have much energy left. The main caution in down hill trek is that now you have to put effort or you have to apply force to lower your speed because you are trekking down the hill and this time gravity has joined forces with you so slow down otherwise you can fall down on your face or worse rolled down the mountain until you get stopped by an impact with something.
So we started trekking back also our water reservoir we emptied and we were in desperate need of water some of us has saved it but others have chugged it earlier. We shared water bottle at that time.
At that time the upper layer of snow start melting which causes two big problems 1. Snow Blindness , the sunlight reflecting from snow (so carry shades for sure) 2. The path was getting slippery , we were unable to judge any crevices. We have to deal with 1 on pur own but fr 2 problem John Bhaiya came to our rescue.
It took around 4.5 - 5 hour to came back to Juda ka Taal campsite. Let me tell you this I was so warned out that when we were near the campsite I literally started running in snow gathering every last bit of energy left in my body because at that point all I want is my camp , water and some food. Oh My God ! I can't even describe in words how I felt when I stepped back in my tent , it was like I was reunited with my long lost friend.
And that's how we did the summit each one of us. Yeah! we did though gave up at some point but we did it in the end that's what really matters.
After arriving Jada Ka Talab we were instructed to rest for remaining day and to socialize with fellow travellers who has reached Juda ka Taal and were about to climb the peak the very next day , where I met this amazing group from Mumbai. Till dinner we all sat together playing games or sharing our experience and other crazy stuff we did in the past. It was fun bonding with unknown people away from mobile devices and Yes lemme tell you this there are no signal during trek, you will be lucky enough if you can find any (mainly Voda and BSNL work) .