Kedarkantha Trek Stories-I

Like Sep 2015 wherein I went to my solo ride to Leh, last year(2016) too I was desperate to get a chance to go on a vacation ride. Kept looking to find the right opportunity and finally it came pretty late towards the end of the year when I was between my jobs. Managed to get a 12 day break in December and I was already talked up by my friend to make it a ride+trek trip. My friend had done a trek earlier with Indiahikes and he recommended me to do atleast one trek with them. So I looked up their website and I found that most of their treks were booked out and for Kedarkantha trek which was matching with my dates just had last few spots left. So I wasted no time in booking one for me and started reading all about it including preparation, fitness, equipments, watching videos on packing your rucksack etc. I had about one month to prepare for the trek and could borrow some of the stuff from my friend, and for the stuff to buy, Decathlon becomes the one stop shop and trekkers will agree to that. At the same time had to focus on fitness too so I started running.

Now soon the days came close and to reach Sankri, which is the base camp for this trek, India hikes had arranged for the transport from Dehradun but I chose to ride from Gurgaon itself. 463 km is doable in one day but its surely not when half the route falls in the mountains. The route was : Gurgaon-Karnal-Yamuna Nagar-Paonta Sahib-Herbertpur-Nainbagh-Pural-Sankri.

Day 1: Gurgaon to Karnal
9th Dec 2016, was my last working day in my previous company and on the same day I started riding at around 3pm which was definitely a BAD TIME TO START THE RIDE. Got stuck in the friday afternoon traffic for about 2 hours and until I reached Murthal I was crawling in traffic, which is the case pretty much all the time. So this day my aim was just to cover up some distance in order to be able to reach Sankri the next day. Nothing much to write about today as I reached Karnal around 7pm covering 155km and checking into a hotel (Comfort Inn near Namaste Chowk). The hotel was not accepting card or paytm payments, luckily I was carrying cash with me. Called it a night after talking a walk around and dinner at a dhaba. It was an easy day today.
155km, 900rs. Hotel, 120rs. Food.

Day 2: Karnal to Sankri
I had to cover about 330km today and so I started early at about 7am, only to be slowed down with the zero visibility fog. It got extremely cold with my fingers going numb very soon in the chilling wind cutting through my gloves and the dew literally dropping on me. I couldn’t even cross 40 which itself seemed to be fast considering I was riding into a white sheet of fog ahead of me. This continued for quite some time until I reached Yamuna Nagar after taking the exit from Ladwa.





The sun was finally out and I have never loved it more enough. Soon I reached on one of my favorite stretches which passes adjacent to the Rajaji National park on the right.



You ride just between the lush green trees and absolutely smooth roads full of curves. Watch out for the monkeys though. I stopped for breakfast just before Paonta Sahib because I could not hold my hunger anymore. Do not expect fancy eating joints on this route except for truck dhabas or bread omlette stalls.  It was around 11:30am and unlike the time when I was loving the sun, it was on a burn and kill mode. I could seriously never expect such heat in December.

You have to keep your eyes on the signboards too to keep a check on the route otherwise you could end up moving towards Chakrata also. However I got confused at a different place and after Yamuna Nagar I started moving towards Saharanpur for a while but was quick to realize that and came back on the right route quickly. I looked on the map again on the phone to remember the key points ahead and asked my way around after that if I don’t see the signboards on the road i.e.

You start climbing uphill after you cross Herbertpur and Vikasnagar the road conditions are good here. I don’t remember the name of the place where I had lunch, Kharjunkejar or something, but have to mention it because it was next to a deep valley where a car had gone down the night before and surprisingly all 4 inside it survived. By the condition of the car it really didn’t look like that anybody would survive from that crash.








I kept riding by the Yamuna river which makes it a very pleasant ride, though with many breaks thanks to the bum breaking seat of Duke 390. Really got to do something about it. After sometime I kind of forgot the bum fatigue because of the beautiful scenary along the route. The stretch from Purola to Mori is just race track road and it passes from tall pine trees jungle. I couldn’t help myself but to stop here for a while and breath the fresh air and listening to the birds. These are the moments we ride for, I told myself. By the way Purola is the last petrol pump on this route and you must fuel up and get cash if you don’t have. From Mori onwards the scene changed completely as soon I entered Govind National Park. It is just a back breaking (and bike breaking too) stretch and nothing else which will slow you down terribly. Now it was good that there was still some sunlight left because I can’t imagine what a nightmare it will be ride that difficult terrain. Still I could not avoid riding the last 30 mins or so in dark although it was just 5:45pm.



Reached the guest house at about 6pm wherein one batch had already arrived. They were  surprised looking at me that why did I come on bike when the transport was easily arranged. The temperature was in single digits and the water was cold!! There were about 20-22 people in our group and we had a round of introduction before the dinner and a briefing to tell us about the dos and donts, medical and trekking precautions and the green trails. We were given a small ‘eco’ bag in which we will collect whatever trash we see on our way. I really liked this concept and over the trek I will make the best use of the bag thought. After the dinner I quickly moved my stuff from the Claw into the rucksack and hit the bed to wake up early next day for the trek.
Today was 330km, Petrol: Rs. 600, Food Rs. 130

In the next few parts of this ride story I will be writing about the trek experience. Update- Click here to read the next part!
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2 comments :

  1. Amazing writeup. It was wonderful to meet you at Sankri. Keep travelling. Keep trekking. :)

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    1. Hey Ashish, If I am correct you're the intern guy?

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