Kedarkantha Trek in Winter
Kedarkantha Winter trek
It was a long time, I was wandering in cities, I was missing snow-capped mountains, Zigzag roads and peaceful moments, so I decided to go Kedarkantha, it was little hard to trek in Snow but for live snowfall that was best time and weather to trek. And another good thing was, My friend Rahul going with me. it was his first winter trek so he was nervous. I told him Kedarkantha trek is easy for everyone who is normal physical fit. and Share some ways how to beat the cold.
Kedarkantha is in Govind wildlife sanctuary at the top of 12,500ft. The Local tells the various story about Kedarkantha. Legend has it that Lord Shiva sat on the top of kedarkantha for meditation but because of disturbance from the local villagers in the area, ended up and move to Kedarnath. There is a small shrine at the top of kedarkantha dedicated to Lord Shiva to add life to this story.
Bike on Zigzag Road-
we started around 11 am from Rishikesh, I ride till Mussoorie then I offered to ride Rahul. He is a very good rider but was first time on ZigZag road so I was little worry but he ride well, first time I was on back seat on my bike so it was good chance to see every tree, Mountains and feel the curves of the road, The beautiful rivers flowing beside the road made it more stunning. sometimes I closed my eyes to feel cool air on my face and took deep breaths. I didn’t know when we crossed Nainbagh, we took tea break somewhere in Naugaon near small waterfall.
Rahul Told me It was his best ride till date, he was enjoying to ride on curvy road. I was also feeling it was perfect for me from pillion seat.
It is Big market and last point for ATM. we purchased Vaseline for our dry skin. After the market Both sides of the road covered with dense forest. Rahul pulling me for Pictures But I like some picture of Village, River, and Snow-capped mountains all together which we were looking first time in this ride.
it was completely dark as we reached Mori just before 25km from Sankri. we halt for the night and Moved to Sankri early morning and the route goes through Govind wildlife sanctuary. That was good decision not to ride in dark, we got road condition very bed after Mori till Sankri because of snowfall. Sankri is the village from here Kedarkantha trek start.I parked my Bike in open area. There are almost all reputed trekking companies reception and many good stay facilities available in Sankri. I didn’t want to go with any company guide because they were very costly. so I decided to go with a local guide, we got a good knowledgeable guide, he managed our Night stay and food arrangements at Juda ka Talab and Kedarkantha base camp.
Snow covered trail-
we started trekking around 10 am and found our shoes on the ice after 2minutes of trekking. it would be very slippery and quantity of ice will increase after every 50-60 miter because there was heavy snowfall three days before as Guide told us. walking on snow is a very mindful process, you need to be attentive about each of your next step. You don’t place your shoes on hard snow and slip. The trail was surrounded by tall pine tree forest adorned with heavy snow. There were two Maggi point between Sankri to Juda ka Talab(in 4km trek) and Got one between Juda ka Talab to Base camp. (In 3km trek) After Juda ka Talab trail was cover up with approx one feet of snow till Base camp.
Juda ka Talab A small Frozen lake-
As we reached Campsite Snowfall started. the camp manager told us It’s your warm welcome by snowfall, it continues 3-4hrs, We made some videos in live snowfall and took pictures. Juda ka Talab was converted into A small frozen lake.
Till the time of Dinner, the sky was crystal clear. This was the most beautiful night I had ever seen on the mountain. I could see millions of stars twinkling and the moon was glowing. surrounding was so quiet, I could hear the rhythm of tweeting by Himalayan birds. In -4*Celsius As much as I could remain out of my tent, I was gazing up to the sky in this stillness of the night and listening to the Birds tweeting. As I was entering in my sleeping bag, I hear whispering from my neighbors’ tent, someone talking in a very soft voice about there ex-girlfriend and missing college days. I also memorised my Manali trip with college friends and switched on my mobile to see some old pictures. It took some time to get my body warm and sleep.
Base camp at Gods own place-
we moved for Base camp around 11 am and done this 3km trek in 3hrs with one tea break. the trail was full of snow and snowfall also running continuously. we took early Dinner because we have to start summit trek early morning or you can say the late night at 2 am. everyone wants to see the sunrise on Summit. everyone stayed awake the whole night, snowfall was continuing since last 15 hrs. trek guide call to everyone and pass the message trek for the summit is not possible although heavy snowfall, if weather would be clear we go in the morning.
I was in the tent so didn’t know what is going outside. At 7.am, as I unzipped my tent I show a pile of snow out of my tent. My shoes were completely covered with snow, I was unable to put my foot inside the shoes as it became very hard due to ice. I tried many time and after lot of courage I wear my shoes. This was one of the most difficult tasks I did in this trek.
Nothing can be seen except snow, as far as I can see there was only white snow carpet. We gather at the dining area and waiting for the trek guide, he came with Tea for everyone. Everyone wanted to know his last decision because snowfall still continued. And he told summit trek is not possible, if you can stay one more day and weather would be clear we move for the summit. Nobody wanted to stay one more day at this frozen temperature. and who knows tomorrow weather will be clear. So everyone start trek down after breakfast at base camp.
My Unsuccessful attempt to Kedarkantha trek could be seen on my face. it was very hard for me to trek down without complete it. I could stay One-Two or Three days more but Rahul could not, he booked a return ticket and had some meetings in the schedule. And I didn’t let go Rahul alone form Kedarkantha base camp, he was unknown from the area and depend on me. I made A promise with myself, I will come again as soon as possible.
“Just because you fail once doesn’t mean you are gonna fail at everytime”-Marliyan Monroe
Now we all are descending towards Sankri from a different route. we trekked up by Juda ka Talab and trekking down by Hargaon. many campsites available In Hargaon, trekkers stay here after the Kedarkantha trek summit, I also booked one night stay in Hargaon, but I am going back without stay in hargaon. there is hardly any greenery around Hargaon, yet it had beauty and charm of its own. view from this trail had very magnificent and picturesque. It was slippery at various point, we had to slide on fresh snow it was fun, most of the time we walked in almost knee deep of snow. We were enjoying sliding. But in last one km at the various point the trail was made by stone stairs, so when you come down it put more pressure on knees, so we down slowly and after almost 5.hrs we reached Sankri.
It was his first-time ride on Zig Zag road and it became his all-time enjoyable ride. he was tense when reached Sankri but as we started he got easy. When we found live snowfall, he was very happy and saying thanks to me, and told me it was his hidden desire to see live snowfall. He enjoyed a lot in snowfall, made some funny videos and took some wonderful pictures. At the various point, he captured many incredible views of valley, meadows and pine woods decorated with heavy snow.
Nights was a bit uncomfortable because of frozen temperature and using a sleeping bag for the first time. There was no network in phones so he realized how quiet and calm life is without Phone. He took a lot experience with this first winter trek. And promised me he will manage all the things for next trek. These were four golden days of his life, will remain in memory always.
- Kedarkantha trek can be done in 2-3 days depending on your fitness and weather condition.
- Trekking equipment available for rent in Sankri, There are good hotels and restaurants.
- Various trekking Organizations charges from 6 to 9k for this trek from Sankri to Sankri it all depend on bargaining skills. I spend 5500/- for four nights stay, all meals, trekking equipment, and guide charges including.
- Waterproof trekking shoes are must for this trek in winters the temperature drops below -10 at base camp so take clothing as per comfortable. I wear 5 layers upper, 3layesrs lower, 2 layers shocks, 2 caps, and 1 pair of gloves. One extra jacket in my bag.
- Best Time to visit is December to march in winter and April to June in summer, I would highly recommend you to avoid going here during the Rainy session. Because Uttrakhand is prone to landslide.
- Direct Bus from Dehradun to Sankri leaves in the morning from Mussoorie bus stand, which is near to Dehradun railway station, and approx 4km from ISBT Dehradun. Fair is around 400Rs. Bus Route will be like this- Dehradun-Mussoorie-Nainbagh-Purola-Mori-Naitwar-Sankri.
- No Network on the trek, only BSNL will work in Sankri.
In the comments box Share your unsuccessful trip plan which one you want to do again..?