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My Kedarnath Trek Experience! The Do’s and Don’ts of the Trek.

"Kedarnath, where the heart finds peace and the soul finds happiness."
The mighty Kedarnath Temple

Trekking sure sounds like a fun thing to do and tops the list of people who are always up for adventure.  I have always been a highly cautious person or rather I would say an anxiety-prone person who does not like to take any risks, and trekking even at the beginner level is alarming for me. Now if you are wondering what made me go on the Kedarnath trek then trust me even I do not have any answer for it. Nevertheless, I am glad that now I can share my experience with my readers, and anybody who has the same mindset as mine, will find some encouragement through this blog.

I’ll start with my basic thoughts and anxiety points that always made me say a “BIG NO” to trekking-

  • I believe I have some body balance issues so treks even of a basic level have always made me feel dizzy… like I will topple down any moment.

  • Thinking of going in a group made me feel worried- what if they are good trekkers and I’ll be a total mood killer? What if I am slow and they all move forward (I might get lost)? What if they have to match my pace and might get irritated?

  • Weather was always a concern- I hate getting drenched in rain, and trekking-rain is a horrible combination for me.

  • What if I get impossibly tired mid-way, where will I go after that? and camping is not an option for me as I am highly scared of being out in the mountains in the dark (the combination sounds dreadful).

All of the above points are the random highlights of my anxiety-prone thoughts and yet I was packing my bags for the Kedarnath trek 3,583 meters (11,755 feet) above sea level, not sure of what will be the outcome.

So, in September of 2022, I left for Kedarnath with a small group of friends who were Pahadi and belonged to Rudraparayag Uttarakhand. We booked a cab from Noida to Sonprayag and back to Noida that charged us somewhere around 14k and was stationed overnight at Sonparayag.

We left early in the morning around 5 AM from Noida and reached Sonprayag around 7 PM. Also, Sonparayag is the last destination for private two and four-wheelers after which you need to take a jeep that will drop you at Gaurikund. The jeep charged 250 INR per person and was a 25-minute rough ride from Sonprayag.

Once we reached Gaurikund we took a room for an overnight stay that charged 2000 INR, food was not included and we paid separately for our dinner. Now I’ll be sharing the main highlights of the trek-

  • As soon as we reached Gaurikund we went to the nearest shop and bought a few essentials such as Danda (sticks), Energy Drinks, and Raincoats.

  • We started the trek early in the morning around 4 AM when it was still dark and also raining.

  • The trek is a total of 16 km (one way) and at the beginning, I was hyperventilating unable to breathe, and felt tired, but gradually approx. after 1.5kms my lungs and legs (and technically the entire body) started to get accustomed and then it was a bit easy, but not for long.

  • After completing almost 6kms my body and mind were draining, all I could think about was how I could jump down from the trek because I no longer wanted to move forward.

  • I was tired and cried 3 times and had unlimited crying spells all through the 16 km, also I had random thoughts such as getting a full body tattoo or getting full head dreadlocks… so on and so more…

  • Height and lack of oxygen do not just mess with your mind but alter the taste buds too. I remember how I was not able to eat anything because everything tasted weird including Maggi and even daal rice.

  • We finally reached the temple around 5 PM and I was unable to move any further so we took a room that charged us 3000 INR but the plus point was that they provided us with a geyser. However, the room was horrible and smelled like stale water.

My observations and a list of Do’s and Don’ts-

Personal Observation-

  • Once you start the trek there is no option of returning, so better brace yourselves to complete the entire trek before the evening.

  • Good shoes are a must. I purchased mine from Decathlon, and they were the biggest blessing for me -you can find the link at the end of the blog.

  • Once I completed the trek and was finally in bed, I could feel like my body was releasing a lot of heat, I was shivering and felt feverish.

  • The trek was very difficult for me and anybody who says that the Kedarnath trek is one for beginners, trust me, it is NOT. Well, I was a beginner it was my first trek and if you ask me honestly, I would never go on that trek again.

  • The trek is slippery and full of horses and donkeys going up and down all the way pushing and banging the pedestrians, I was about to fall twice because of it.

  • You have to immediately run on either side because there are also Palki Wala’s taking people up and down the trek at full speed and they might even push you or start shouting if you’ll come in their way.

  • The whole trek smells of Horse and Donkey shit, also one of the major reasons why the trek is so slippery.

  • The view was great but after some time all I could think about was reaching on top and any splendid view or snowcapped mountain failed to impress me.

  • Coming down was also tiring and it took me a total of 7 hours to get back to Gaurikund. Going up the trek is painful for the thighs and coming down is painful for the calf. Also, my thumbnails fell out after one week of returning with a pair of new nails growing (which might sound painful, but it was okay).

Dos of the trek-

  • Carry energy drinks but do not consume more than two in a day.

  • Carry Supplement powders, we purchased the sachets from Decathlon- the link is at the end of the blog

  • Purchase good trekking shoes, I have heard people saying “Oh! It’s a religious trek and I’ll go barefoot”. I am not here to challenge anybody’s religious thoughts but, in all sensibility, it will be more appropriate to have a good pair of shoes.

  • Get waterproof trekking lowers from Decathlon as the trek witnesses dicey weather, it starts to rain anytime, and even if there is no rain, still the trek is full of puddles and wet slopes so a proper trekking lower will only make your endeavor a little more tolerable.

  • If you are a passive person like me, start jogging, running or brisk walking 2 months in advance, it will help in strengthening your legs and core muscles.

  • Keep drinking water or cold drinks, it provides energy. And, anybody who has convinced you that the trek can be completed in 5 hours or 7 hours, trust me everybody has its own pace. So, it does not matter how many hours you took to reach the top, at least you are finally there so it’s a huge WIN!

Don’ts of the trek-

  • Do not compromise on your comfort, be comfortable with your shoes, your clothes, and your trekking pace.

  • Do not listen to anybody who boasts about how easy it was for them how they did the entire trek running or how they took shortcuts that made their trek only of 12kms instead of 16. All of these suggestions are of no help and would only demotivate your efforts.

  • If you are a beginner DO NOT think of taking a shortcut! They are slippery, and I have seen one aunty slippering down, and believe me, it was scary.

  • Do not let your tiredness or anxiety win soon you will reach the temple and the view will be great just like the one in my pics.


Kedarnath Temple at night
I can see the snow


Happy to see a huge waterfall
Talking to my mumma



Looking at the night sky
Me petting a cute trekking companion


The beauty of Kedarnath

It is easy to find itineraries, directions, and road maps to the trek in other blogs, so I will not be going into the depth of it. What I have covered in my blog are all the points that probably nobody else would share, so hope it will be of help.

Links-

 

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