Winter trekking in India - Kedarkantha Trek- YHAI ,India

Tripoto
23rd Dec 2015
Photo of Winter trekking in India - Kedarkantha Trek- YHAI ,India by Siddharth Gupta

Camp site 2- Just before the summit.

Photo of Winter trekking in India - Kedarkantha Trek- YHAI ,India by Siddharth Gupta

The trekking trail..

Photo of Winter trekking in India - Kedarkantha Trek- YHAI ,India by Siddharth Gupta

YHAI- Base camp , Sankri(UK)

Photo of Winter trekking in India - Kedarkantha Trek- YHAI ,India by Siddharth Gupta
Photo of Winter trekking in India - Kedarkantha Trek- YHAI ,India by Siddharth Gupta

Juda ka talav ( A place where two lakes meet)

Photo of Winter trekking in India - Kedarkantha Trek- YHAI ,India by Siddharth Gupta

Juda ka Talav -Camp Site (1)

Photo of Winter trekking in India - Kedarkantha Trek- YHAI ,India by Siddharth Gupta

Frozen lake- Juda ka Talav

Photo of Winter trekking in India - Kedarkantha Trek- YHAI ,India by Siddharth Gupta

Kedarkant Peak !

Photo of Winter trekking in India - Kedarkantha Trek- YHAI ,India by Siddharth Gupta

Mesmerising views from the summit(1)

Photo of Winter trekking in India - Kedarkantha Trek- YHAI ,India by Siddharth Gupta

Mesmerising views from the summit (2)

Photo of Winter trekking in India - Kedarkantha Trek- YHAI ,India by Siddharth Gupta

The group which made it to the top !

Photo of Winter trekking in India - Kedarkantha Trek- YHAI ,India by Siddharth Gupta

"Mountains never fall shy of disconnecting you from your materialistic and monotonous city life and making you realise the spell binding and exquisite beauty of the earth. They grasp you with their vicious serenity , breathtaking landscapes and deafening silence."

Kedarkanth was the first trekking experience of my life. Although it is said to be an easy trek ,a 1000 paragraphs would be less to put down on paper what i experienced there in a matter of just 7 days.

This kedarkant trek is organised by YHAI (Youth Hostel association of India... www.yhai.org) every year in the winter months. The base camp from which the trek starts is "Sankri" village . It is located at about 200 kms from Dehradun city. From dehradun, you can get uttrakhand toursim buses to go to sankri village. It takes nearly 8 hours , so keep in mind to stack up some avomine tablets before boarding those buses.

After 8 hours of a rickety and bumpy journey from dehradun , we were greeted with a snowfall at sankri in the afternoon.Snow fall in the mountains was the best possible welcome we could have expected.

The first day and the second day of the trek , we were made to stay in the campsite for purposes of acclimatisation.Tents were allotted along with sleeping bags and blankets. The first day was given to get ourselves adjusted and make friends with your co-trekkers.

Second day involved a small trek and a visit to the nearby village.

Things to keep in mind :

1. Carry all your documents for identity verification.

2.You need your own plates, glasses and spoons for eating the food.

3.Keep a torch light , its very handy when the light goes off in the evenings.

4. Carry slippers for toilet using purposes.

5. Carry nutrition bars with you , you will need them throughout the trek .

6. No need to buy trekking poles , you get them for rs.20 there itself.

7.You need good inners and warmers for spending the cold nights inside the tents.

8. Keep lots of tissues, soap(paper preferably) for obvious purposes.

9.You dont necessarily need to carry your own backpack . YHAI provides a nice backpack which you can return later, free of cost .

Photo of Sankri (YHAI base camp) by Siddharth Gupta
Photo of Sankri (YHAI base camp) by Siddharth Gupta

On day 3 , we started our trek for the first camp - Juda ka Talav .

From the base camp to juda ka talav the trek was mostly without snow. With every step that we took to ascend , the feeling of solitude and serenity grew more and more. In every 200-300 metres we stopped , had fresh water and absorbed the warm sun and the vivid sceneries .The last quarter of the trek offered us snow and it was not easy to trek without our trekking poles. Post noon we reached the Juda ka Talav campsite. The campsite amidst the snowy mountains and the long pine trees did not fail to amaze anyone . I ran , threw my backpack in the tent and started exploring the best camping i was going to do in my life. Soon the sun went down and a bon fire was put up. The group circled around the fire to sit , talk and share their life experiences with a blanket of shimmering stars in the night sky covering their heads.

Photo of Juda ka talav by Siddharth Gupta
Photo of Juda ka talav by Siddharth Gupta
Photo of Juda ka talav by Siddharth Gupta

The next morning , we got up and had hot breakfast and tea. We packed our backpacks and went on further up to see the frozen lake (Juda ka Talav). It was quite a big lake , frozen to the extent that our whole group could stand at one place on the lake . The best thing about our group (which was called KK9 ) was that when it came to playing with snow , people jumped in with amazing energy and enthusiasm. We slid , we threw snow balls , got hit by some , clicked random pictures and shouted as loud as we could to hear back the echo in the mountains.

From there , it took us 4-5 hours of tiring journey to reach the Kedarkant summit base camp. This camp site turned out to me more exquisite. The sight of the final summit left everyone bewildered .Tall and strong it stood , covered with pure white snow . The camp leader was an awesome chap . He welcomed us very warmly and offered us food . We were to start the final trek to the summit , at 3 in the midnight .

Photo of Kedarkantha base by Siddharth Gupta
Photo of Kedarkantha base by Siddharth Gupta
Photo of Kedarkantha base by Siddharth Gupta

A sharp sound of a whistle , and every body was up on their feet . It was 3 in the midnight , the moon shined brightly and we gulped in some food for the upcoming journey. Water bottles, layer of clothing ,trekking poles and cameras were the only things that we were allowed to take with us to the top . With the group guide in the front we started advancing in a line , like a human centipede travelling up to conquer the kedarkant peak .

With lights in our hands and determination in our hearts , we kept walking and climbing in the snow . It was midnight so the snow was quite hard and we could grip it easily .After 2 hours the sun started coming up and we spent half an hour at place to see how phenomenal a sunrise could be . The sky displayed every possible shade of orange in that time span.The last part of the trek was a tough one . The winds started flowing with force and it became difficult to climb. The climb became really steep and the feeling that we had reached the summit kept striking us back in every half an hour. Encouraging each other to keep dragging ourselves , we reached the summit at around 11 in the morning .

I can never explain what i saw from the top . Never had i been so close to nature. Never had i seen such beautiful landscapes in my life before. There were mountains everywhere . They were covered with fresh snow which glittered in the sun . We sat there ,in the constant buzz of the wind with a feeling of accomplishment in our hearts. Every cramp , every injury and every pain was worth the feeling we experienced on reaching there . After 2 hours , the group leader whistled and ordered us to start descending. With a heavy heart we started coming down and slid and ran our way down to the kedarkant base camp .

In the next two days , we descended down to sankri base camp with an overnight halt at one camp. We were welcomed as if we returned fighting a battle . We packed our bags , returned all the YHAI accessories and said final good byes to all the amazing people we had met throughout the journey .

We loaded our bags in a jeep and headed back to dehradun , saying good bye to the amazing YHAI staff , to the mountains and to the brilliant 7 days we had spent in the arms of nature.

Photo of The final ascent by Siddharth Gupta
Photo of The final ascent by Siddharth Gupta
Photo of The final ascent by Siddharth Gupta
8 Comment(s)
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Thank you Siddharth great description...
Fri 12 29 17, 17:49 · Reply · Report
Im planning to undergo the Kedarkantha Winter Trek in Dec, 2017. I want to know will we get a porter to carry our things. I feel it would be little difficult to trek with our backpack with 5/6 kgs. Would like a response soon.
Tue 11 28 17, 04:30 · Reply (1) · Report
hey yhai doesn't provide porter service. Carrying your own backpack is not much of a problem.
Tue 12 05 17, 20:55 · Report
Im planning to undergo the Kedarkantha Winter Trek in Dec, 2017. I want to know will we get a porter to carry our things. I feel it would be little difficult to trek with our backpack with 5/6 kgs. Would like a response soon.
Tue 11 28 17, 04:30 · Reply · Report
Dear Sir, I have noticed some local made shoes for trekking from sankri is available. As we all are students . would you please tell me about local sgoes from sankri.
Thu 01 12 17, 08:26 · Reply · Report
Do we have carry our luggege during the treak? 2.Do they use modren tents synthetic ..ot is it old fasioned
Tue 12 13 16, 10:26 · Reply · Report
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