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Kedartal Story Sep 2004



A Trek to Kedartal

The month of September is always considered good for the high altitude trekking. The monsoons are over and with the rains is gone the winter snow. Its a time when snow is generally very less and thus poses less problems. The sky's clear and pictures taken are great.

More or less everyone has heard about Ganga. It originates from Gaumukh, which has been moving back year after year and is presently 18 Kms from Gangotri, where Bhagirathi sat meditating to get Ganga from Heaven to earth. These days pilgrims reach Gangotri by transport, which brings them to 100 meters from the temple. Some adventurous move ahead and go on to Gaumukh. However, few move up along the Kedar ganga, which joins the Bhagirathi few meters after the temple on its left bank. Well the trek leads to Kedartal.

After a visit to the Gangotri temple one moves back a little and crosses the Bhagirathi river on a bridge and there after crosses another bridge over Kedar ganga to move on to its left bank. The trek is quite clear and immediately after the last building it starts climbing. Moving slowly amongst the trees you start gaining height. The trek does not let you take it easy and keeps rising. A 3 hrs walk brought me to a point where a tricky water stream was crossed and thereafter the trail moved on. Suddenly the porter accompanying me told that the flat space just below the trek was to be our camping spot for the night. We had reached Bhojkharak. It had already started to rain and we took shelter under the mingled remains of a tin sheet structure.

After a night long rain the dawn was clear but the sun was hidden behind the ridge. We packed up and moved on. The trail was much easier now and was not climbing up as steeply as the previous day. Each day in the mountains is a different one and every trail has its own highs and lows. After half an hour we reached a spot where the trail was moving more or less horizontally but it was on a sandy slope, which was starting high up on the mountain side and finished more or less down in the Kedar ganga. Every step had to be taken carefully and one had to be watchful for falling stones. Not a place for the faint hearted. One has to move sure footedly and quickly at such a place. After gathering our breath we moved along as fast as we could and stopped only at the other side. It took us 10 minutes to cross over this piece of land. Thereafter an easy trekbrought us to Kedarkharak, the lovely camping site, with water flowing near by. Sun also came out and helped us dry the wet clothing.

We pitched our tent and decided to visit Kedartal the same day since weather was not seeming to be good. The route beyond moved up and was recognizable on the right side of the moraine. Stopping every now and then we continued to move up and up. The trail was now passing the moraine and at one place it vanished. An experienced eye and a sense of direction was required to find out the correct trail. In three hours we reached the famous Kedartal. By now it had started to rain rather heavily and shortly there after it started to snow. The weather had completely closed down. An hour or so was spent visiting the Base Camp of the Korean team attempting Thyla Sagar and thereafter we rushed back to our Camp at Kedarkharak in heavy snow and latter on in rain.

The temp also dipped and finally it started to snow heavily at Kedarkharak also. Night was spent shaking off snow from the tent top. Next day when we got up it was all white. The snow fall had been quite heavy. we felt happy that we had visited Kedartal, because today it would have been more or less impossible for us to have reached Kedartal with out knowing the route. We packed up our camp and slowly started to move down. The snow continued for a while and then we were on the wet trail. Having left snow behind us we moved down quickly and reached Gangotri by late afternoon. There the sun shined and helped us in drying out our wet clothing and equipment. It was a very small trek, but gave experience of many seasons.


Kedartal Photos

Kedartal Trek

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Published on: 2006-04-22 (2580 reads)

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