Monday, February 22, 2016

Winter Trek to Kedar Kantha Summit - Part 1


Background

I was not planning for any trip this year, largely due to my career related changes that had put a restriction on time and budget. This was the reason I did not accompany Sridhar for Himalayan Odyssey 2015.

When Madhu sent two links to winter trek programs organised by youth hostels, the traveller in me started to get restless. I just needed a little push. Madhu also suggested me that it will be a good break from my hectic work-life. That was enough. Better than the break from hard work, I did not anticipate earning more friends from the trip.

Kedar Kantha

There were two choices - Sandakphu in West Bengal and Kedar Kantha summit in Uttarakhand. We chose Kedar Kantha summit as there weren't enough slots open for Sandakphu matching our dates. We wanted to plan something special on 1st Jan, after completing the trek.
Two of Madhu's friends (Harsha and Deepak, who were going to be my friends soon) and a cousin (Rajat, who happens to be a friend already) were joining the trek.

The plan

We started hatching out plans for the trek. Since we knew the roads and weather in Uttarakhand, we had to add buffer days and book accommodation till we reached our base camp at Sankri. It was amazing that the entire trip did not deviate from our plan, except for the ridiculous delay of return flight!

Considering lots of factors such as leaves, 1st Jan plan etc, we decided that 26th Dec would be our reporting day at base camp, Sankri. We worked backwards to arrive at departing date from Bangalore. 24th Dec 2015, Monday marked the historic departure for an adventure whose memory was going to be part of our lives.
We planned to reach Delhi by flight, take an overnight train to Dehradun. Take a bus to Purola (5-6 hours journey from Dehradun) and overnight stay at Purola. Following morning, a bus journey of 2-3 hours to reach Sankri base camp. Stay at Haridwar on 1st and 2nd Jan, 3rd Jan, stay at Delhi, 4th Jan early morning flight to Bangalore. 

The preparation

We started a WhatsApp group and a Google group to share information and collaborate.
All this happened around September 3rd week. I met Harsha and Deepak at Decathlon. It was shopping time to buy all the gears for the trek. Search started for proper Shoes, back pack, gloves, jackets, thermals, socks etc. Back packs were bought from Wildcraft and rest of the gears from Decathlon.
We all reserved our slots on youth hostels website for the trek, reporting on 26th December, 2015.

It was first Himalayan trek for Rajat, Harsha and Deepak. It was also first flight journey for Rajat, so our trek included several firsts in our group. 

I always want to optimise the budget to the extent possible. Only variable in the entire plan was the airfare. Harsha and I started checking out the airfare regularly. We got very good price for onward journey to Delhi on Go-Air. We waited for almost a month to get a good price for return flight. During this time, airfares were only going up and there was a apprehension in our minds that we might end up paying high price for waiting. Finally ended up getting a very good deal on Air India for return flight.

We started our fitness improvement activities, which mainly included jogging. I could reach my peak of jogging non-stop for 1km. I know that is stupid, but given my situation, that was my best shot. Others were more vigorous and did some group runs at Lalbagh on weekends. In December, I started working on a new project, that took all my time and energy, I could not even go for jogging regularly. I started to worry that I could become a long pole in the group.

The Departure

Finally the day of departure arrived. Fours of us reached airport in a cab and Deepak came alone(We all know a Tiger is solitary) as he lives in a different part of the town. Thus started a wonderful and unforgettable trip that was going to last our lifetime...

1 comment:

uầy ôi said...
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