I don’t understand how I never get enough of these beautiful mountain trails, the cool breeze, the breathless uphill climbs, the bonfire, the tent nights and the barefoot base-camp grass walks.
Even after doing this in numerous different mountains I feel different in each one of them and I have a different story for every mountain I climb and I live different experiences in each one of them and this is one of the unique and beautiful experiences of all.
Watch Video :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ppNz5nsub0&t=75s
Kedarkantha Trek was the first Trek I organised officially in/for Decathlon Gurgaon and took 11 diverse Trekkers to a height of 12,500ft in Uttarkashi District of Uttrakhand in collaboration with Bivouac Adventures Lead by @Amandeep (FB Page : https://www.facebook.com/bivouacadventure.in/)
We reached Dehradun at 5:45 AM on 14th June with 11 Trekkers aging from 8Years, 13 Years and 54Years. Sajan Sahu (Decathlon Sohna Road) who joined in to organize the trek with me (Decathlon Palam Vihar) when I shared the idea with him, We were a bit tensed as we had trekkers of all age and we were not sure that each one of them would be able to summit Kedarkantha.
But, Oh boy we were astonished with the zeal and determination of our trekkers on the trail.
We had to reach Sankri by evening and we had our traveler booked for the same but unluckily that day there was a protest of Taxi union of Dehradun and they wouldn’t let any taxi move out of the city.
As they say “when a door closes a million other open up”,Amandeep immediately arranged 2 private vehicles for us to reach Sankri as we couldn’t afford to loose the day.
We started our journey to Sankri, Amandeep and Me leading in an Royal Enfield followed by excited trekkers in two SUVs.
Riding the Dehradun roads again in an Enfield, I relived all my college memories from good old days in Dehradun.
The Transport Nagar road was now fixed and there was no sign of dust as it used to be back in the days of construction.
The fly-over bridge right infront of Dehradun ISBT was now functional and had a good city view from up there.
The Guchhu-pani road was as blissful as it was and my dearest Rajpur road was as green as ever.
I would say “Aman bhai this used to be the lovers point when I was in college, “It still is” , Only the lovers change, the street remains the same.He’d say.
The maggi points that had uncountable chai-maggi memories were still the same.In no time we crossed mussorie and this Decathlon organised trek started seem more of a road trip to us where every stranger was now friends with everyone and were having the time of their lives.
The Jungle route near Marhi had the most beautiful roads and we couldn’t resist stopping by.
All of a sudden it started raining and the day couldn’t be any better,I waited for the after rain sun and when the orange sunlight hit my cheeks I was fulfilled and I breathe the longest breathe in a terrace in Sankri.
The evening in sankri we decided to take a stroll of the village but instead it turned out to be a photography and plank challenge session and Sajan won the planks challenge.
The Youngest Trekker @Samaira
Samaira and I choose our dogs and put a bet whose dog would follow us to the base camp tomorrow.
Samaira an 8 Year old from Gurugram who is a part of running community and who treks with her mother was a figure of motivation in the group, I kept on telling her to continue her passion and It was great that she started it this early. I was doubtful about her when she registered but she proved me wrong on the trails with her pace and measured steps, Her Trekker and Runner mother @Anu guiding her on the trails and on the ways to climb uphill using that hiking pole, or how not to drink a lot of water but just a sip while trekkng, All these things made me feel,”This is upbringing done right”
Maybe that was the reason she managed to pull her spirits back when she almost gave up at the last patch of steep-uphill climb near the summit and successfully kissed the stones at 12,500ft at Kedarkantha summit.
The father-son duo
Raja and Krish made an amazing father-son trek friendship.
Krish was wonderful on the trails and his father Raj fought like a mountain-man and pulled back his mountain strength even after getting lost for 20 minutes.
The most beautiful trails of Kedarkantha filled with lush green rhododendron trees was backed by the best weather.Maybe it was the weather and his son’s mountain pace that encouraged Raj to make it to the base camp in the first day even after he was exhausted once.
First time is the Best time.
Nehal’s mother was terrified to send her alone in a trek. But Nehal had made her mind to live some adventure with a team of unknown people.
Nehal a soccer player from Gurugram who is just out of high school is a reserved girl who wouldn’t communicate with anyone in the beginning of trek maybe because it was her first time alone.And I knew things are going to change for her after this Trek.
Even if her mother was terrified and It was her first time out alone, I could sense her happiness in the trail.
The first patch was a challenge for her but after a while she made her pace and she was with the fast ones in no time blazing the trail.
Even though she was not expressive she had some dope moves during the bonfire in Punjabi beats and in the summit she was speechless. I believe this trek surely had changed her life because this reserved girl almost beat my team in singing competition and the opponent team (sajan’s team) shouted this was their hidden talent.
Age is just a Number
Of 54 years age Mr. Mukesh had the best strategy for the uphill climb to the base camp and to the summit next day, We didn’t even had to ask if he was okay because he always looked more than okay.
Maybe it came out of experience and he was back on trekking trails after 23 years, He would be on a constant pace and took rest standing against his Hiking pole, he’d put on UV protection glares when it was sunny and took selfies with the team and he would constantly report the updates on phone back home till the networks dropped in MORI.
When we reached in base camp he actively participated in Dog-Bone game and won twice to Nehal.
I was curious who was he reporting to all the way till Mori and I asked. Did you ever had a Girlfriend back in time. He replied “I married my Girlfriend” . And everyone in the campsite was a fan of him now, A 54 years old Indian man married his girlfriend which was not usual, Because it was unusual to have that kind of relationship in his time.
Vikram turned out to be a fighter and not only a HR guy from Gurugram.
He got bad cramps on this both thighs and calves, so bad that he couldn’t move his legs when he lied down against his Forclaz 60 Rucksack.
After I gave some volini massage vikram was back on his feet as the cramped muscle rods were now eased and Now vikram would take more careful steps, exactly i suggested him.
And later there was no stopping till base camp and he played kabbadi with us while camping forgetting his muscle ache.
We reached base camp when it was still sunny and Bivouac Adventures ha the tents ready and refreshments were waiting for us in the campsite, Aman bhai and I had to take care of the slow pacers and reached the campsite at last and we missed our refreshment drinks but I made most of the chai-pakora 😛 .
Just 2 days together and we 14 were a Himalayan Family.
After snacks the Campsite Olympics kicked off . Sajan and I were relieved when we saw those happy faces in the base camp.Because this was the sole reason we organized this trek, to give them a life long memory.
We were now done with the snacks and games and now the team sat for the sunset and the photography session wouldn’t end.We had already gathered firewood for the evening bonfire and the camp kitchen had delicious scent of tasty food.
Our time in bonfire started with soothing songs and in no time we were dancing in Punjabi beats.
IIT (Uday) and shiva would click pictures and make videos of everyone by putting on phone torches for the brightness. Shiva and Aman bhai would speak of their time in banglore in some south Indian language and we had no clue what discussion was going on.
Just like IIT we named Abhimanyu T-Shirt because he’d blame his t-shirt when he lost in Plank competition (I lost too :P), It was abhimanyu’s first trek and he came unprepared and still he did it with some minor injuries and he was standing in the summit with a big smile and doing some #HumFitTohIndiaFit videos.
Rishi would kill it in the singing competition as he knew every romantic song from 90’s by heart and I would tell him. He must be madly in love in 90’s.
You must be thinking this is not like my usual trek and backpacking stories, It is not, Because this time it was about the different personalities and stories of different people who came out to live that one dream and I am happy to have organised this trek and I look forward to live such memories with this kind of diverse team again.