An unforgettable winter trekking experience at Kedarkantha - The dream finally came true!

13 November 2017, Places I explored Kedarkantha

I have been planning for Kedarkantha trek for quite some time but finding time from professional life is always a challenge. I was told that December to April is the right time to get into Kedarkantha trekking on the high peak of the Himalayas, Kedarkantha. Located in the Uttarakhand district, the magnificent mountain with Ton river valley is a beautiful ridge peak. Although anyone could visit any time of the year, I had my pre-planned winter vacations, so thought of going to the Summit and make my holiday a fruitful one. Everybody who visited Kedarkantha peak had high praises of how the 12,500 ft elevated place is bliss. In winter, the snow makes it enticing for any trekker to go ahead with.

The overall experience of Kedarkantha trekking was so rewarding that as you go through the Govind National Park, its natural beauty is bound to make anyone spellbound, with me no exception. The clearing in the middle of the forests, walking through the snow-covered forests flow merely is a picture perfect capture. I always thought such scenes were only in Switzerland, how wrong was I.

Here is the detailed travelogue from my Kedarkanth trekking trail from last winter!

Day 1 - Mori River Campsite

Dehradun is the nearest popular location where we had to reach a day before. After refreshment, we stay overnight at one home stay. We started an early drive and reached the Mori River to rest and have a campsite experience. The drive from Dehradun to Mori River was approximately 210 km, but the scenic beauty on the way was marvelous. Especially the drive through Govind National park, which was 20km+, but flora and fauna of it kept us rejoiced. After a drive of 8 hours, we finally spent the night camping at Mori River. With some fun elements of dancing and bonfire, food and games, we went off to sleep to gear up for the next day event.

Day 2 - Trek to Juda Talab (lake)

After having a healthy and wholesome breakfast, we started to drive until Sankri. It is from Sankri that the trek to JudaTalab takes place. The initial climb is gentle through the Saud village. The countryside has some of those childhood drawings of huts and ladies carrying wood and hay for their cattle. While kids play the game of marbles, everything is so simple in this village. Well, reaching Juda Lake was not very tiring. The campsite was well placed with tall trees and mountain slopes. We reached the lake by noon and decided to halt for the day there. After all, how can you not take a break here, the settings are right!

Day 3 - The Kedarkantha Meadow

This is a 4 km trekking from the Juda Talab base. So after having the first meal of the day, we started the trekking towards. Needless to say how the pine and the oak trees keep you spellbound. The flat surfaces with pine trees around it making the scene look just fantastic. The campsite has an excellent view of the Himachal.

Day 4 - I term it as Mission Kedarkantha Peak (3850m)

In the morning I was told that it is going to be a big day as today we are going to summit Kedarkantha peak. So yes has a good breakfast and set foot to trek. It took us around 2 hours to climb. But honestly, I saw some breathtaking views and experiences on the way. As we were heading towards the Kedarkantha top of the ridge, the morning sun rays that come and fall on the hill made it look all glittery and shiny. As you hold the snow in your hand, it slips like sand. Touching the untouched, soft and virgin snow, priceless!

Photography by Bachan Rana (http://www.theindia.co.in/user/bachan-rana-504)

Thus after spending some quality time at the Kedarkantha peak, we started descending to our campsite. We had lunch on our way; there is some real lip-smacking traditional food available at Sankri. We then by late evening had reached river Mori. We decided to spend the night in the tent out there.

Day 5 - The wrap-up day

On this day we wrapped our belongings and were ready to head for Dehradun. After breakfast, we started the 210 km drive and reached by evening.

With the sight of Swargarohini, Banderpooch, Black peak and Ranglana peaks, one feels rewarded for the accomplishment.

I just realized after the trekking that if I can do it, anyone can do it, all you need is a little preparation. For instance, I was aware that Kedarkantha's winters have day temperatures such as 8 to 12 degrees while at nights it drops to -5 to -7 degree Celsius. I had worn almost five layers of warm clothes and made sure to carry water resistant gloves, woolen socks, thermals etc. So here's wishing my fellow trekkers good luck!

Special thanks to my friend Bachan Rana and the Himalaya Shelter team who has organize this Kedarkantha trek. I really enjoy their services, very friendly and supportive all the time. If you are also planning for this trek, write here by comment or contact us and we will help you to plan your entire trip.

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