Experiences, Places

Trek to the Kedarkantha Summit⛰

More than just the extravagant beauty, there is something humbling about the mountains. 

This is about my experience of climbing the Kedarkantha Summit in the December of 2021. It is a majestic peak in Uttarakhand at the elevation of 12500 feet- one of the most popular snow treks in India.

When going on snow treks, it is best to equip yourselves- snow boots, gaiters, caps, gloves, warmest clothes and more layers of clothes🥶. I am a person who would feel the coldest in a room- you know the “cold hands and warm heart” type🤣😌, so thinking about a snow trek was a big challenge, and now to have completed it is feels like a bigger achievement.😎

December is the prime time, so, not gonna lie, it was crowded. But, the bright side, I met so many new people from all over India.
Precisely- New People, Good energy and Great Adventures.

Day 1 of 4 kicked off with an army of people ready and so excited. The ascent was covered with thick, tall trees, and a beautiful view of the mountains. The right attitude, some great songs and company, helped us reach the first camp at JUDA KA TALAAB- a frozen lake; where we stayed the night. It is believed that Lord Shiva had opened a small lock of his hair from which water dripped, forming this huge lake. It was full moon (bright enough to not need torches), and a beautiful night sky welcomed us. We talked, danced and laughed the night away.
Well we were supposed to sleep in time but thanks to the freezing temperature (-3/4 degrees), I could just manage an hour’s sleep.🥺🤦🏻‍♀️

At the crack of dawn, I copped out of my tent, and was greeted by the ethereal morning sky🌄, the sound of birds🦜, and FROZENN water in the bucket😳😳. Brushing teeth was such a nightmare, but so much fun. We laughed at what we had thoughtfully put ourselves into.🤦🏻‍♀️

Wrapped up in layers of clothing, we were ready for our next location- the Kedarkantha Base Camp. The sun was such a blessing, it is what kept us going- instant energy.☀️

The path up was really steep, and your body constantly reminds you of the lack of sleep. Nonetheless, some great views and conversations later, we reached the base camp, hogged on food, sunbathed and enjoyed the rest of the day to ourselves. Usually the base camp is where we can except great snowfall, hard luck, we didn’t find any.

The good part about the trek was, we were served hot and tasty local food for each meal, you feel like you have earned it after that tiring day.

Enjoyed a scenic sky at sunset.

You know what it means for the sun to set- and now that we were even higher🥶🥶🥶….. This night was worse, you just wish for it to pass. It was biting cold, and my feet felt like a slab of ice. EXTREME.
No amount of sleeping bags, or rum, clothes, or anything helped.

Next day was significant. We were supposed to catch sunrise on the summit, so we began our trek 2 am in the morning. It was dark, everyone was wearing head torches (funnily, it looked like a procession of miners).  I was feeling all jittery, more because we had a TARGET this time. Reaching later would mean missing the magical sunrise.

ANDDDD this was tougher than I imagined. The breeze was slapping our faces, I was struggling to keep my eyes open, my body just couldn’t take the effort (lack of sleep). I literally had to ask my friend to slap me🥵 (believe me it was a tight one especially in that cold).

Oh but what beauty!!!! There was snow as far as I could see, the moon right above our heads, shining bright in all its glory. (Safar khoobsoorat hai Manzil se bhi– the journey is prettier than the destination.)

And now it was time for the final 500 metres! This distance didn’t seem to end- it was scary, steep, chilly, but fun of course. I couldn’t believe I was actually climbing a REAL mountain covered in snow.

There was a point I felt I am really going to miss the sunrise, but the courage and effort paid off, and there it was! I was just in time for the Sun. I screamed, louder than I thought I could. And then the tantalizing sunlight appeared to be blessing the snow-clad peaks. 🌄

The next couple of hours was just taking it all in- the sun, the breeze, the colour scheme, snow, mountains, the landscape, and PEACE.

But you just cannot sit there beyond a time, even though the sun was shining bright, the cool breeze was eating me up, so we made a move.

The sunrise was magical, but better was the feeling of being able to reach there.💜💛

Getting down was a party, we had to slide down the path.. it was superrrr fun and fulfilling.

That night, I saw the sky FULLL of stars- so full, really never seen before- Clear magic and beauty. It was like being rewarded for not giving up.🌌

And for a change, I managed to get 8 hrs of sleep that night!!!!

After all that sun and breeze, you find your skin tanned and dry, hair all oily and you may crave for a long bubble bath. But it was all worth it. 

The most humbling part is the sense of accomplishment that you get after reaching the top. 

Until the next adventure. See ya. ❤

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