Kedarkantha is a mountain peak of the majestic Himalayas which lies in Uttrakhand at an elevation of 12500 feet. Kedarkantha is one of the best off-beat places of Uttrakhand but it is quite popular among trekkers because of its adventurous camping experience and stunning views of the snow-capped Himalayas. Naman & I were craving for a mountain trip for a long time & when we heard our friend’s experience of Kedarkantha trek, we never wasted any time in booking our tickets.
Trekking usually needs a lot of planning and training and this blog has every tiny information which is required for Kedarkantha Trek. Therefore, before we discuss in detail, we would like you guys to catch up with the facts and be familiar with important information before visiting Kedarkantha Trek; like how to reach, When to visit, how to pack, and the difficulty level.
How To Reach:
One has to reach Dehradun which is very well connected by trains, roads, and buses from many cities. The starting point of KedarKantha Trek is Sankri, which is a remote village of Uttrakhand. The drive to Sankri is 190 kilometers from Dehradun. There are travelers, buses, and cabs available from Dehradun to Sankri and if you have booked a package from any trekking company, your tour will start from Dehradun.
Best Time to Visit:
- Winter Trek (December, January, February) This is the main season of Kedarkantha to enjoy snowfall and fresh snow.
- Spring Trek (March & April) Climate is amusing. There is no snowfall but you can still enjoy it in the snow.
Experienced Trekkers categorized the Kedarkantha trek into easy to moderate levels of difficulty. Well, in my opinion, the Difficulty level depends on the season in which you are visiting.
- In winters (December to February), the difficulty level is high. It is difficult to manage in snow and the temperature drops to -15 degrees celsius. If you are planning to travel with kids it is not advisable.
- Spring (March & April), This is a pleasant time when you can plan and the trekking is a bit easy as compared to winters. You will see plenty of snow after base camps till the summit.
If you are planning for the Kedarkantha trek, the packing should be prompt. Speaking from people’s mistakes, if you forget to pack the essential items then you are going to regret it. You might end up spending too much to rent the items and in the peak season, availability is also a big issue.
Check out the Complete Packing list here :
- Original ID Card
- Backpack & Rain cover
- Trekking Shoes
- Clothing ( Tshirts, Jeans, Trek pants, sweater, thermal wear, jacket, Gloves, socks)
- Water bottles & snacks ( chocolate,biscuits & Glucose)
- Torch with batteries
- Sunglasses & Caps
- Personal Items ( cosmetics, body lotion, sanitizers, tissue paper, brush, toothpaste, sunscreen cream & camera)
Ideal Duration of Kedarkantha trek:
It is 5 Nights and 6 Days Package Ideally. In Kedarkantha base camps, it is 3 night/4 day and one day stay in Sankri a day prior to the trek. People can also stay after the completion of their trek in Sankri if they are too tired.
Day 1 - Stay at Sankri
We started our journey from Dehradun and it took us 8 hours to reach Sankri. We reached Dehradun a day before because we needed to leave early morning for Sankri the next day. We booked our package from Himalayas Griffon. The traveler was ready right on time and our journey started.
The drive from Dehradun to Sankri was serene. The tall pine trees, serpentine roads, river flowing beside the roads, and amazing people on the way made our journey memorable. There were various snack points on the way and Maggie is one of the recommended items to try.
Our traveler bus reached Sankri at 4.00 P.m. and it was the Holi festival the next day. All of our group decided to take a walk at the local market where all the essential items for trekking were available, that some people were missing like snowshoes, jackets, gloves, sticks, poncho, and torches. Everything is easily available in the market for rental & purchasing if there no peak season. We went to sleep early to get enough rest as our trekking was going to start the next day.
Day 2 - Stay at Base Camp ( Juda ka Talab)
Our Trekking begins after having a heavy breakfast. There were two guides with us, One who was leading and the other was the Tail of our group. The guides were terrific and motivating us continuously at steep slopes.
For beginners, the trek is going to be challenging but there are mules available to carry your bag if you are unable to. The path was steep but delightful. There was a small stream flowing nearby. There were other groups also who were motivating and enjoying a lot. We Carried lots of chocolates and water bottles with us to be hydrated and be energetic.
The first-day trek was 3.5 kilometers but when we track it on our apple watches it was around 7 kilometers due to zig-zag movements. It took us 5 hours to reach the base camp of Juda ka Talab and had lunch there. Mountain Rice is one of the best sources of energy for trekking. We got our tents and took a rest for a while.
We took some pictures at sunset and ate delicious pasta. The chef really made tasty food. It was really commendable to cook food with limited resources & in cold weather. We realized that mountain life is tough and people here are extremely hardworking. I felt Their immune system was stronger than all of us together.
Day 3 - Stay at Kedarkantha Base Camp
On the third day we woke up early and had our breakfast, our guides were very punctual about the time and they trained us to be the same. The food up there took only 10 minutes to get cold and uneatable, so we all make sure that doesn’t happen. Also, there is no bathing facility there and I would dare you if you could just think about bathing in minus temperatures.
Our trekking group spent time at Juda ka Talab but unfortunately, its beauty lies when there is snow and we visited in March last week there was no snow. Anyhow, we enjoyed ourselves there a lot with our group members by dancing, posing and taking crazy pictures together. While moving forward then came the moment we were all waiting for and it came when we saw the snow for the first time.
We then reached the Kedarkantha Base camp, this passage was about 2.8 kilometers but again if you are tracking it by your apple watch, it would be around 5.7 kilometers. It was a sunny day and we got to meet people who were already gone to the summit. We took lunch with them and asked many questions like how was the experience, was it difficult and how much time would it take to reach the summit.
People shared the experiences and we couldn’t wait to reach the summit. Afterward, our guide provided us spikes and gaiters and trained us how to wear them.
- The Spikes are the traction device that can be attached to your trekking shoes to make it easy to walk on the ice with a strong grip.
- The Gaiters are the protective layers for the legs to avoid ice or water getting inside of your shoes.
After getting our spikes and gaiters, we sat and enjoyed the beautiful sunset by enjoying hot pakodas. It was a peaceful view. Imagine sitting at a height surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountains.
Day 4 - Stay at Base Camp ( Juda ka Talab)
The Day started a bit early! Oh, my mistake ” very early” at 2.00 am. All of us got ready with our torches and started our trek at 2.30 am in the hope to see the beautiful sunrise at the summit. The trail was tough and the snow was slippery. Our guide really helped us a lot. On one hand, there was a torch and on the other hand, our stick to support.
It was a full moon night so, we definitely got its advantage. All we could see is the steep path and nothing else. Our guide asked us to wear at least 3-4 layering of clothes because it was freezing. We reached midpoint at 4.00 am where we had tea and maggie. The moon was so beautiful that night that all our efforts were worth it. After taking a rest, We went ahead to the last track to reach the summit.
There were times when the mountain was touching our nose. There was no support. We thought to give up at a point but there was no going back because the way of returning was different. There was no choice left but to climb. It was difficult but not impossible.
Soon, we started to see sun rays, and something inside us got sparked and we reached the Summit. It was our first Trek and it was worth it. The View of Sunrise was breathtaking. All of us stayed there for a while and tried calling our families because the network is only available at the summit.
The feeling of reaching the Summit was like We conquered the world. We pushed ourselves and got out of our comfort zone. It was the feeling, one cannot express in words.
We then started to descend and the best part of descending is you have to slide in the snow. It is the most fun part but it was not that difficult but it was a bit tricky though. After taking a rest, We descend to the Juda ka Talab base camp. We danced, sang and made many new friends, It was an unforgettable experience.
After reaching the base camp, we had our dinner. It was very cold that night, so we started the born-fire and it was the night that we can never forget. Sitting under the thousands of stars and the warmth of the fire, It is the happiness that is beyond anything. You are closer to nature and thinking we would have missed a piece of life if we have not decided to go on this trek.
Day 5 - It is optional, if you are too tired you can stay at Sankri or you can leave for Dehradun on the same day and book your hotel or tickets for your destination.
We descend to our base camp Sankri and lunch there. We returned the rental things. The traveler was right there on time and we left the place. We reached Dehradun at 9.00 pm and it was worth every penny to go there and then we stayed at Dehradun for that night and our train was the next afternoon. We reached our homes and now we have understood the values of things which we have taken for granted like food on our table, Water, money, warmth, real connections with people.
Conclusion: We are so indulged in glamourous or luxury travel. There is no harm in it, in fact, we also love it but this backpack trip made us realized that this trip has taught us that there is a place where is no internet and people likes to meet people one to one and they are not at all awkward in meeting new people. We realized that mule is not just animal, many people are working hard to put food on their table. There is the social life of people without being on media. We understood the value of water that people cover long distances to get that water for us. It was an experience that will stay close to our hearts forever.
Lifesaving Kedarkantha Trekking Hacks:
- Avoid taking big steps and rather take baby steps to avoid getting tired early.
- Don’t take long breaks as it will cool down the active muscles.
- Drink lots of water to avoid being hydrated in sun.
- Eat chocolates and candies to be energetic.
- Pack Lightly and there is cloakroom service available where you can leave unnecessary stuff.
- Check weather forecasting to be prepared accordingly.
- Do not litter in mountains.
- Train your body at least 15 days before going to trekking by involving in physical activities like running, HIIT, Zumba, Jogging & cycling.
- Pack according to the list and don’t forget things. Each & Everything is important. You will suffer in the mountains if you forget anything.
- There is only BSNL network available in the sankri so, make your family and friends aware about it that you will be not reachable for few days due to network issue.
- Light a bonfire at the night under the thousands of stars. It will be worth it.
- Take Proper rest and your medical kit with you.
- Avoid Smoking & Drinking alcohol as at high altitude acclimatization is important.