Kedarkantha Winter Trek (December 2020)
What's This About?
Did you know that Kedarkantha peak (12500 ft) in the Himalayas is a terrific trek in the month of December and January. In fact the beauty of snow covered mountains is so mesmerizing that it is also known as one of the best winter trek of the Himalayas during that period. To let you know why you should take this journey with us, let us give you a few reasons:
Picturesque landscape :- Passing through the Govind National Park, the snow covered trail to the Kedarkantha peak is a treasure house of flora and fauna such as leopards, bears, musk deer and many birds! And of course, from the summit, the arresting 360 view of the snow clad peaks like Swargarohini, Bandarpunch and Black Peak is intoxicating and beyond words to be penned down. Nature is found in abundance here, as though welcoming each of us with a warm smile.
Perfect for Beginners :- With the distance covered each day being not much (having a consolidated distance of 20kms) and the altitude gain being comfortable, the trek to the Kedarkantha Peak is the chance for beginners to put on their trekking shoes and go exploring.
Beautiful campsites :- There are very few places that can compete to the beautiful campsite that comes complimentary with the Kedarkantha visit. The Juda- Ka- Talab campsite, surrounded by pine trees is like a picture out of a postcard and the surrounding view of snow capped peaks from the open meadows of the base camp is a delight to the eyes.
Perfect way to end the Year:- What a memorable experience it would be to end the Year in the mountains with your newly made friends. Our dates coincide perfectly with Christmas and this adventure is a celebration worth being a part of.
So are you ready to Escape With Us?
Sankari, Uttarakhand, India
All expenses from Sankri to Sankri which include:
- Stay in tents/Homestay/Hotel on sharing basis
- Breakfast + lunch + dinner
- Evening snacks + Tea
- Expert Guides
- Sleeping bags + Mat
- Transportation cost to and fro Sankri
- Food expenses until Sankri
- Personal expenses of any kind
- Individual mule + Porter charges.
Dehradun to Sankri drive
A 200 km drive from Dehradun take us to the quaint town of Sankri. It is advisable to start as early as 6:00 am to warrant enough buffer time to reach Sankri by late evening. The route is picturesque with the Yamuna Valley on one side and the blue Pine forest on the other. Passing through towns such as Mori and Purola we eventually reach Netwar, from where necessary forest permits need to be acquired to enter the Govind National Park. From here follow the course of the Supin river through conifer forest, apple orchards and farming fields to Sankri.
With around 200 houses, Sankri is a start point for multiple treks in that region. Most of the people are either trekkers or support staff, gearing up for their respective treks.
Famous for the beautiful sunset over the Swargarohini Peak, our evening will be spent exploring this beautiful town, interacting with the locals and acquainting with your fellow trekkers. Night stay in homestay/hotel on sharing basis.
Trek from Sankri (6400ft) to Juda Ka Talab (9050ft)
The trek to Juda Ka Talab starts from Sor, an offset of Sankri. The ascending trail is of moderate gradient passing through sparse conifer forests. After crossing a cement bridge, the trail splits into two. Taking the left trail for an hour, we reach an open ground inside the forest, our halfway point of the trek. A single walnut tree stands tall in the middle and we take a well deserved rest here.
After a good rest, we continue climbing up and cross two meadows covered with lush green carpet of soft grass or snow during winters. Turning right from the last meadow, we climb another 20 minutes to reach our Juda Ka Talab campsite.
Juda Ka Talab is a really pretty campsite with undulated wavy meadows amidst a dense Maple-Oak forest. At the left corner of the clearing there is a small lake which remains frozen most of the winter.
The lake is famous for an urban legend. The locals claim the lake to be connected with a well in Sor village. Many years ago, a shepherd boy got drowned in the lake. The little boy loved his flute and would carry it around with him wherever he would go. A week after the tragedy, the flute was found in the well at Sor.
Trek to Kedarkantha base (11150ft)
A clearly defined trail starts from Juda Ka Talab to the Base Camp. A 10 minute climb takes us to a vantage point from where the Juda Ka Talab lake is clearly visible. On climbing further we will see a ridge to our left. Follow the trail going over the ridge for an hour till we come across a solitary shepherd hit. Another hour of gradual ascent will take us to our destination of the day. The Base Camp is a vast opening with few desolated shepherd hut. A magnificent view of snow capped mountains such as Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Kala Nag and Ranglana can be seen from here. And to top it all, the triangular Kedarkantha Peak can be seen right above the tree line. Spend sometime outside, enjoying the view, capturing these moments. Sleep early tonight as we need to wake up as early as 2:00 am for our summit attempt tomorrow.
Trek to Kedarkantha peak (12500ft) and back to Kedarkantha base (11150ft)
Wake up early as 2:00 am and don yourself in a warm jacket, windproof top and gloves. The first hour of the trek takes us through dense oak forest. However as we keep on climbing up, the forest recedes and we come across a shepherd hut with two trail leading to the top. Depending on the snow condition, we shall take the left one while climbing and the right one for descending. From here the trail gets steep and we need to climb a steep ridge to the top. Climbing up for an hour on a slushy, icy trail, through switchbacks we will find ourselves right in front of the shrine.The belief says that this shrine was supposed to be the original Kedarnath temple but Lord Shiva, who disguised himself as a cow hiding from the Pandavas was disturbed during meditation by village men and disappeared to the present Kedarnath. Another few more minutes from here takes us to the summit.
Celebrate here, for it is a cause to celebrate. Enjoy a majestic view of high peaks like the Gangotri and Yamunotri ranges, Swargarohini, Kaland, Hati Parvat and Ranglala. Spend some time on the summit enjoying the view then head back down via the other trail.
Trek to Sankri via Hargaon
For the first half an hour we retrace our steps to the Shepherd hut where we took a good rest while reaching the base camp. From here we take a different route through dense Maple-oak forest to the opening of Hargaon campsite. From the clearing the entire Har Ki Dun river valley is distinctly visible dotted with villages on both the sides of the carving Har Ki Dun nallah.
Another hour of hike will take you to the cement bridge which we crossed on the first day of our trekking. Saur is not far from here.
Sankri to Dehradun Drive
We need to bid goodbye to this beautiful valley . A pick up for the team shall be arranged from Sankri itself. On reaching Dehradun we all disperse but with fond, cherishable memories.
About Your Hosts
The Great Escape
TGE Travels is an experiential travel company established in the year 2018 founded by expert mountaineers and travellers. We believe traveling is all about experiencing a place that you go to. It is about interacting with the locals, trying out local cuisines, celebrating local festivals and exploring the off beat locations. We are here to help our travelers do just that. From staying at authentic homestays to discovering the hidden gems of each location, we help our travelers connect with the place like never before.
"Jammy" as we fondly call her has been trekking and backpacking all over India and neighboring countries for more than 10 years. Her favorite drink is tea, her most comfortable bed is under the stars and the mountains are her second home. Working earlier as an Interior designer, Jammy found her calling in the mountains and now she has been successfully leading and guiding teams on treks and expeditions for 8 years . If you are up for some tuneless karaoke and lots of singing, reach out to her
Try to catch up to her pace on an uphill climb, I dare you, I double dare you. An accomplished mountaineer, Reetu's love for trekking and travelling started 8 years ago. From then onwards, she left her lucrative career as an electronic engineer and pursued her dream of travelling around the world. A good book, a campsite by the river and lots of dogs and puppies is what keeps her going. Don't forget to ask her to make a cup of masala chai and Maggi for you, it's delicious. 😃
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