Kedarkantha Trek: A Trek That Changed My Life

Kedarkantha Anecdote

life is mysterious or so they say, if you had to ask me about trekking the Himalayas, I would have sarcastically laughed and ridiculed you for having such extreme wishes in life. but something changed when I booked for the Kedarkantha trek on a whim! I Didn’t expect this journey would change my life in such an astonishing manner. I was this kid who never left his home, and didn’t understand how the world works. Then came D-day when I had to leave for Dehradun, where I had to meet Himalayan Shelter, a trekking company whom I approached for this trek. they provided transportation from Dehradun to Sankri a small hamlet located at the foothills of the Himalayas. this journey itself took around 8 hours to reach Sankri and my mind was blown to a billion bits, all my life I have been growing up in a metropolitan city, leading a life under false presumptions such as earning money, a job, and respect are the main pinnacle of what a man can achieve and is thought that we are destined for that sole purpose, but once I set, my eyes on the scenery of mother nature I rethought my whole life, I didn’t even reach Sankri yet! we were met by the magnificent river “Yamuna” 

Yamuna river

we had a quick pitstop here as fellow group members along with their friends had a quick photo shoot, here the water was freezing cold, one sip of that and you could feel the fresh mountain water reviving your soul back to life. After a brief pitstop, we moved along. I could see distant mountains towering over the sky, home to various flora and fauna. we had to stop for lunch and I was overwhelmed by the magnificent scenic view right before my eyes as I ate the delicious Pahadi maggi enjoying the view!

En- route to Sankri

This journey had just begun but I was already overwhelmed by the stunning panorama of nature! the sun slowly setting into the mountain-stretched horizon is the peak moment of that day, i was so stunned that I stood there grasping the moment with my eyes and forgot to capture that moment in my phone. as dusk set in we reached Sankri, it was around 7 in the evening and we were warmly received by the Himalayan shelter group. we were allocated cabins and when we returned to the mess after freshening up we were given warm meals and snacks along with hot beverages as it was freezing cold outside as a native south Indian I was enjoying this freezing climate. later on, we were briefed on the itinerary and other important aspects related to the trek we were about to do. they were very specific on the safety measures and food management. there was a shack where we could rent the required gear to go up the mountain. we retired for that day in our cozy cabins and then the next morning I woke up I was again taken aback by the scenery before my eyes as it was dark I couldn’t get a good look at the place but the moment I got out of my bed I was literally stunned, we had a stunning panoramic view of the mountains right from our balcony!

Sankri shelter

DAY -1 

we prepared for the trek, dumped extra baggage at the dumping point, and had a warm energizing breakfast at the shelter along with some zingy beverages. we started hiking from the shelter at around 9AM, we reached a security gate where our documents were scrutinized. we started the trek from there slowly moving away from humanity into the arms of Mother Nature, at first I was feeling a bit exhausted due to the weight I was carrying, and I felt more miserable as time passed for approximately an hour, so I gave my backpack to the mule handler, that felt good, to be honest. we had multiple small breaks amidst the journey we had some Pahadi Maggi along with some chocolates for instant energy. As we started moving our trek leaders guided us throughout the path and spared some knowledge on the mountain we were about to climb and some other neighboring mountains as well. we reached camp 1 around 3 noon, and tents were already pitched by our trip operators we rested there for a while, and then a miracle took away our breath, it started snowing! for the first time in my life, I witnessed snowfall and god was mesmerizing. it also answered a decade-long question I have been having (yes the snowflakes were tiny and the exact shape of a snowflake they were not kidding about the shape). we lost signals somewhere around 11 in the morning, it was just us with ourselves, the birds chirping, the fresh Himalayan air filling our lungs. it was ecstatic. we had dinner around 7, some dal, and roti along with rice and eggs. it was appetizing the food was well-cooked and tasty. the thing I observed here are some minor changes that would make a sound success keeping this in mind Himalayan shelter has provided nutritious food with Dhaniya mixed in it, which helps in maintaining the ideal temperature of our body at negative or low temperatures that being said safety and hygiene were well maintained to make the process memorable we come separated but go united, as we start the journey everyone in the group would be your family for a week. we share a few smiles and some pain, but the joy stays along as we get to meet different people from all parts of the world with different tales!

Lunch with group

DAY -2

As it dawned we were covered with little snow and the previous night had a valuable snoring session (pun intended). I was tired of the climb so I cut some slack. then we headed to  Base Camp after a hearty breakfast, some eggs being a common intake. this was where I fell in low with the Himalayas we treaded through a rough patch of Alps along our way, with some streams of water flowing down the towering Kedarkantha epical mountain with its roots etched into Mahabharata and Pandava’s as we moved on we got to Juda Ka Talab which in literal terms says two connected ponds and our epics sang glory of Lord Shiva as this peak name Kedarkantha suggests throat of Lord Shiva as we go closer to base camp I was disconnected with the world as there are no cellular services or internet I got to connect to people and nature on a more emotional and human level. this helped clear my clogged brain 

from all the endless social media and societal barriers. trek to base camp is farther but everyone where on their A-game as our bodies were in an adrenaline rush, we were feeling much more energized than at the start, I even started carrying my own backpack to save the money.

alp ambience

we get to see a lot of panoramic mountain scenery along the way.

thick alpine covering

we reached base camp early, and some rested as others ventured out, I started exploring the area, and as
walked through I got to see how huge the base camp was, spread across the foot of the Kedarkantha summit, with a bit of alpine ambiance as I walked through.

Base camp
Himalayan stretch

we had to wake at 0300 as those are the ideal times to summit push as we can have the enchanting view of the sunrise. That night was breathtakingly beautiful as we looked at the night sky, we were away from major light pollution from the cities, and there were millions of stars through the canvas of the night sky painted with a bright Milky Way across our Globe, millions of stars twinkling, shooting stars zapping around, another wonder one could witness. Our ancestors used to find their way around our planet using the stars, i was once again reminded of my roots of how close humanity is to nature and that modernity is a slow poison taking away the happiness of modern generations, i wept as I saw the sky mirroring like perfect blank canvas filled with stars
, Beneath the canopy of stars, time gently nudges us to treasure the fleeting moments of our journey. Amidst the cosmic panorama of the Milky Way and distant planets, our lives twinkle like celestial beacons, each moment a delicate stroke in the masterpiece of the universe. In this celestial theater, we find resonance, basking in the timeless allure of the cosmos.

Night sky from our Tent
Night sky

We often forget how unique and meek human life is and this trip helped me grasp that again, once and for all answering the question why the Himalayas?

Day -3

We start Kedarkantha summit push at 0300 with an energy bar, a small snack, and a snack to carry too. at three in the morning walking through the snow-clad mountain under the mesmerizing night sky and chilly breeze across the valley is the closest you can get to being human, we had to wear crampons as we walked through the ice, I went ahead of the group multiple groups Kedarkantha summit push at one window and you could meet a lot of helping people along the way, as I reached to the Kedarkantha summit ridge there it was 6:40 AM and I could see the distant crown Himalayan peaks around the towering Kedarkantha the ridge was a bit hard, but the moment I set my eyes on the summit my body started pumping huge amounts of energy as I crusaded through the ridges I felt more alive as you can see the imminent danger before your eyes and this trust me boosts your morale and your self-confidence in life soars the roofs after you go back to your daily life, you are revamped, the summit was heaven with the sun beaming across the Himalayan belt, that cold wind along with exceptionally positive environment we summited Kedarkantha , i was ecstatic , i never in a million years thought nature would compel me in such a way !

Kedarkantha SUMMIT

Kedarkantha gives a wide view of countless peaks in the region with the important 6000mts such as Swargarohini peaks 1 – 4 and the famous Yamunotri and Gangotri ranges. That being said we went back to Sankri directly as our group persuaded our group leaders to do so as they needed a “warm bath” However, with a reformed understanding of life and a better vision for the future, this trek helped me recharge mentally, emotionally, and intellectually, I got to learn various things, much need education on how important survival skills are, countless memories with fellow group members memories made, pain shared, things learned are my major Take-aways from this trek, this should be done once at least

6 -8 months to heal yourself in my opinion. any common man could do this if he believes in himself and thanks to our tour organizers Himalayan Shelter we got to focus on our relaxation and joy instead of trivial issues such as food, loads, and other stuff, and the guide being the well educated and same age as me showed me how he achieved it and motivated me to pursue my dream of mountaineering!