Kedarkantha is undoubtedly one of the treks you should be adding to your bucket list.
Leaving behind all the extravagant New Year celebrations in Mumbai, we decided to start our New Year by conquering the summit of Kedarkantha @12,500 ft.
After pushing our body and mind through conditions which it has never been through, the view at summit paid off for everything.
This trek being our first Himalayan winter trek, the experience was ethereal. It’s been long since we are back from the trek, but we still live and cherish every moment by going through the pictures again and again.
I’m sure we need not write much as the pictures can speak for themselves.
If you are planning to do Kedarkantha then try the trek during mid-Jan or February, you’ll for sure experience snowfall. We did our trek with trekthehimalays and since we did it from 31st Dec – 5th Jan, we were lucky enough to get snowfall.We have tried to cover the entire itinerary and our experience in the least number of words as possible so that we don’t bore you.
On 30th ’17 early morning we reached Dehradun and decide to explore the Doon city. After visiting the first spot, we realized that there is nothing to be explored. So being slightly sad, we head towards Haridwar.
Haridwar is not just for the pilgrims.
The place is really soothing and has a different aura, it’s a place where you can spend hours at the banks of the river and watch people worship Ganga. We explored Haridwar as much as we could in the short amount of time we had and headed back to Dehradun since next day early morning our trek started.
You can check out our experience in Haridwar by visiting the below link.
Day 1: Travel towards Sankri
Sankri is the base village for Kedarkantha trek which is 10 hours drive from Dehradun station. The Village is at an altitude of 6,400 feet and also happens to be the base Village of Har Ki Dun trek. En route to the village, you will have a mesmerizing view of the valley, the beautiful and serene view of river Yamuna. If in any case, you don’t have trekking essentials we will recommend you to buy or rent them from the Village. There are a couple of shops that rent items, check the rate chart below for rentals. There is nothing much you can do at the base Village; probably the best thing will be to relax before starting off with a hectic few days.
Day 2: Trek to Juda-ka-Talab
After, pestering the trek lead with the same question ‘When will we see snow?’ the day had finally arrived where we would see our first sight of snow at Juda-Ka-Talab.
The distance towards Juda-ka-Talab is just 4km, but it takes at least 4 hours since it’s at an altitude of 9,100 feet. The trek is easy except some steep climbs, but that’s fine since you have regular breaks and tea-stalls on the way. The below picture is the last greenery that we saw and after just a few km’s the landscape changed from Green to White.
The first view of our tents and snow got us all excited and pumped up for the rest of the day. The place is called ‘Juda-ka-Talab’ since it’s believed that there is another pond underneath which is the actual source of this pond.
Day 3: Juda-ka-Talab to Kedarkantha Base
This is relatively the easiest and the shorted trek of just 2.5 hours, but this is where you will actually see the first sight of Kedarkantha. Most of the day’s trail is on a ridge, under oak trees and hard ice making you slip and slide. The landscape that you see from the base camp at 11,250 feet is panoramic.
We settled quickly into our tents and wasted no time to enjoy our time playing with snow. By evening we were given our pair of crampons and were taken on a walk to get acclimatized and get an experience of walking with crampons. But, it took no time for the evening walk to turn into a fight, it was a snow-fight. People throwing snow at each other, laughing and enjoying themselves like kids is a memory which will be remembered forever.
Day 4: Kedarkantha base to Kedarkantha peak; descend to Hargaon camp
It’s finally the day that we dreamt of, a day we have been waiting for since we booked the trek. We started our ascent around 4:30 AM, it was a beautiful experience of trekking under the light of a full moon. The climb towards the summit is not at all easy, though a Maggi point on the way does make it a bit easier. We raced ourselves all the way to the summit with the hope of seeing the sunrise and it was absolutely worth it. The view from the summit is something which can’t be expressed in words. It’s as if you have seen heaven.
After spending an hour clicking pictures and admiring the nature, we descended our way back to the base and from there to Hargaon which was our final camp of the trek.
Day 5: Hargaon camp to Sankri
It’s the day when the nostalgia kicks in and you realize that it’s time to get back to our monotonous life again. But, the best part is that every trek you meet new people and make some good friends. We were blessed to have a great group of people and wonderful trek leads.
The entire experience of the trek was surreal, from trekking through different terrain, playing in the snow, gasping for breath, trying to drink water and realizing that the bottle is frozen, gorging on some delicious food cooked by our trek leads and playing mafia at night with our fellow trekkers. The amount of memories that we made on this trek is inexplicable.
If you ever plan to do this trek, we would strongly recommend you to do it with trekthehimalays and if you have any doubts or need help, do DM us on Instagram.