One of the most admired winter treks in the Northern state of Uttarakhand, a first-timer’s, perhaps, the first choice for its summit climb, and an incredible trek opportunity to spend amidst the remotest of villages in stone-cold winter! Located at the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park, the Kedarkantha trek offers you the unseen beauty, unforgettable views of beautiful lakes, mountains, rivers and the great Himalayan peaks. With an elevation of 12,500 ft., the temperature here feels like 8°C to 15°C during day hours and -5°C to 3°C during the night. The ascent starts from Sankri, a small village, to the peak of Kedarkantha. The glacial winter season starts in November and stays till April.
HOW TO REACH
- Located at the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, Kedarkantha is well connected by Jolly Grant Airport. It serves Dehradun domestically, with daily flights from major metropolitan cities of India.
- The Dehradun Junction Railway Station is feasibly connected with major cities like New Delhi and others from across the country.
- Cover the distance till Dehradun with family and friends by car or cab through a motorable road network from any nearby city.
- Conventional bus services are also available in and out of Dehradun.
THINGS TO CARRY
- A pair of trekking poles for balance and stability, and to reduce energy consumption.
- 50-60 litre backpack having absolutely good hip and shoulder support with quick access pockets.
- Strong, sturdy and good quality hiking shoes
- Rain cover
- Two one Litre water bottle or Hydration packs
- Synthetic hand gloves, Socks with an extra pair, Thermal inners, Woollen cap, Mittens, Scarf and Fleece jackets
- Sun caps and RainWear/Poncho
- Other major requirements include:
- Day pack (20-30l)
- Plastic covers
- Headlamp or Torch
- Sturdy sleeping bag
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Kedarkantha trek, serving every best reason to top the list of seasoned trekkers, remains open for the most of the year, precisely, for straight 10 months except for July and August which are the peak season of heavy rainfall in the state of Uttarakhand.
- Winter [December to February]
Snowfall and chilly weather with fresh snow covering the landscape and trees, making everything thrilling ascent to the summit.
- Spring [March and April]
Melting snow with grassy meadows, aesthetically pleasing summit with warm weather.
- Summer [May and June]
Hot mornings with relatively cold nightfall and early rain by the end of May. Green and full of life surroundings make it an exciting climb to the summit.
- Autumn –[Mid-September to November]
No snow and mild rainfall till the end of September, delightful summit, rich meadows and very cold night hours with mild daytime.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
The maximum altitude reached is 12,500ft, Kedarkantha trek goes on for 6 days and is very popular among first-timers as well as adept trekkers for its challenging, beautiful and unique summit, scoring an easy to moderate grade for trek difficulty.
REASONS TO DO
Well, reasons to do Kedarkantha Trek could be as many as the number of trekkers signed up for it to this date. But to conclude, the main reasons would include the incomparable summit climb, sunsets, drive to the base camp, pleasing clearings and campsites, and handsome forests with Deodar, Pine and Oak trees. The stretch of 18km to the base camp is undoubtedly one of the most splendid drives one can ever experience on any trek. It takes you along the Mori valley alongside the River Tons.
The 12,500 ft summit trek of Kedarkantha is not an easy one, though, is counted as the most fulfilling one right from the base camp to the ascent on the steep slope till the very summit. Truly wholesome climb with an inclination of 45 to 60 degrees accompanied by mighty mountains of the upper Himalayas all the way to the top. Not many other, precisely, very few treks offer the same adventure, climactic sunset, clearings and campsites with heart-melting views while trekking.
ABOUT THE LOCAL FACILITY
- Electricity: The last points where you may find electrically connected are Sankri, Gaichawan Gaon and Kotgaon. Also, the electricity gets extremely sporadic or totally absent for the most of the day during the late summers and winters.
- ATM Service: It is highly recommended for trekkers to carry cash as many times ATM has found to be with no cash availability. The last ATM on the route is in Mori.
- Network and Connectivity: It is quite infrequent throughout the Kedarkantha. However, there are few locations where the network and connections are stable. For phone networks, BSNL and Vodafone are well-founded whereas at some locations BSNL, Vodafone, JIO and Airtel are reliable for the internet connection.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
- Weather conditions in the high altitudes vary and change rather abruptly as compared to the plains; it may take some time to get adjusted to high altitudes.
- Kedarkantha trek is not for children of and below the age of 7 years.
- Conservation of water is always appreciated.
- Trekking during the night without a guide and out of itinerary might lead to unforeseen troubles.
- Avoid using earphones or any such device during the trek which might limit your senses.
- Avoid using plastic bags, do not litter around and keep up the ecological balance.
- All the activities at such sites are highly dependent upon the local weather.
- Camping is also about being self-reliant and minimalist, expecting luxuries might come as a hindrance to the overall experience.
- Keeping your luggage minimum is a must to avoid unnecessary hassle.
- Make sure to stay covered with thermals and jackets to withstand the stone-cold temperature.
~Hope you have an exciting, pleasant and safe trek experience.