Kedarkantha trek is one of the remarkable peaks of Western Himalayas in Uttarakhand. If you think you can bear the extreme cold, thick layered snow and gratifying hot chai, you should not skip the Kedarkantha peak. Not only it is fun to spade out the thick snow accumulated around your tents but also it is an exhilarating sense of achievement to summit a peak. Because what you achieve is the 360-degree view atop the mountain. The panoramic sight, of the snow-clad mountain ranges of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Swargrohini, Bandarpoonch, Kalanag and many more, is the best experience. In addition, the Kedarkantha trek distance is around 20 km. Thus, the Kedarkantha trek is one of the best winter treks for beginners in India.
Kedarkantha trek in summer has its bounty of amusements. The trail, covered with pine forests, exotic and colourful flora amuses and boosts the trekkers. However, the winter treks of Himalaya have their own set of joys to believe. The easy climb of Kedarkantha height makes it a trekkable peak during the winters. Nevertheless, one cannot neglect the Kedarkantha temperature in December. Be prepared with your woolen possessions to beat the intense yet fantastic climate. While the inspiration to summit keeps you high, the campsites will comfort you by their attractive environs. Let’s learn in detail about this Himalayan winter trek and why is it one of the delightful winter treks in Himalaya.
Mesmerising Journey to Sankri
The ten to twelve hours travel from Dehradun to Sankri via Mussorie might be tiresome but the local villages of Nowgaon, Purola and Mori are worth taking a pause. Purola is a quaint native wherein a halt is generally chosen for lunch. Relishing some of the local savouries, myriad of dals and chapati or parathas, you will be nourished to get back to the road.
One could reach Kedarkantha from Delhi by reaching Dehradun via bus or train. From Dehradun there are public as well as private modes of transportation available to reach Sankri.
Sankri is situated at an altitude of 6400 feet; acclimatising begins from here. The drive becomes beautiful through the uphill while appreciating the breathtaking views of pine forests, Tons river valley, and exotic Plantae. A halt to sip some steaming chai at a dhaba you come across is a soulful experience. Thus, the Dehradun to Kedarkantha distance is one of its kind to relish!
Campsites – Mind-wrenching views, Lovely snow, and Heavenly Experience
Kedarkantha trek offers a novice trekker with an enriching experience by its serene and fascinating campsites. The base village of Sankri is limited by its area, slower in pace and delivers the guest with warm hospitality. Long walks, exploring the flora and fauna is one the best things to do while you embark for this winter trek in Himalaya. To take back home some interesting souvenirs the trekkers can spend on wooden toys, artefacts, and woolen accessories hand made by the locals.
The second campsite is a beautiful Juda ka Talab. While you step on dried maple and oak leaves from Sankri, you might also find snow in this trail depending on the amount of snowfall. It is one of the exhilarating feelings to play in the snow, throwing and splashing snowballs on your friends. It takes around an average of 5 to 6 hours to reach this campsite. The campsite receives the title by the lake here. While in summers this freshwater lake will be beneficial to refill your bottles but during winters it is tight-frozen enough to take an undaunted step on it. The campsite is at 9100 feet.
The trail to Kedarkantha base (11250 feet) finally provides glimpses of snow-clad ranges that surround the region. Hiking through the pine and oak forests, passing by a few of shepherd huts, crossing the large snow-covered meadows and frozen streams, reaching the summit base is only a 4 km trail that will consume around 2 to 3 hours.
Hargaon situated at 8900 feet is the camp that you descend to from Kedarkantha base after having summited the peak, the previous day. Hargaon offers some of the picturesque locations—an exceptional spot for the photographers’ creativity! Because you have ample time, having quickly descended, the time is well spent to discuss your future trek plans. At the same time, hogging over some delicious pakoras served to you with soup and chai.
Summit day – Finally the day to reach on top arrives!
The summit push is begun during the dark. It is extremely chilling. Make sure you cover yourself with snow proof or a down jacket to keep yourself warm. At the same time, the muffler or a monkey cap will do the best to avoid the face burns due to chilly winds. The climb is steep and satisfyingly adventurous. Summiting the peak will not only give you unfathomable peace but also will establish unspeakable confidence to climb yet another peak. Believe me!
At the top, there are pebbles piled up to form a simple shrine of Shiva and Parvati. As far as Kedarkantha history goes, the word Kedar means the Lord Shiva and kanth means the throat. Spending some time here, endlessly clicking the photographs of the circumnavigating views and feeling the inner peace is what makes this Kedarkantha peak memorable and unforgetfull.
Winter, winter, winter
The temperature dips to a maximum of -15 to -20 degrees and it actually could give you sleepless nights especially at Kedarkantha base. Therefore, it is exclusively advisable to carry adequate warm clothing like a down jacket, fleece sweater, thermals, gloves, mufflers, balaclava, and woolen socks. In addition to these, it is essential to keep yourself hydrated despite the weather being cold. Soups and teas served should be consumed to help sustain the metabolism. Moreover, enjoy this time at this Kedarkantha trek, as these moments are precious!