August 2019 | Bike Rides Bangalore

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Why I decided to go on Hampta Pass Trek this Monsoon | Himalayan Trek

After completing most of the treks in and around Karnataka it was time to explore the Himalayas. Even though I wanted to do Leh Ladak trip, I always wanted to do Himalayan treks. There are no words to describe the beautiful glaciers, pristine rivers, untouched nature and challenging terrain. I had been following posts on Himalayan treks for a quite some time and my adrenaline rush was getting higher with every article I read.

Best of the Beast: Snow crossing in Hampta Pass Trek

Finally, the day arrived when I made up my mind to go for the Himalayan trek. I applied for the long leave and got it approved. Since Aug 15th was a national holiday I had to take only 4 days leave. A simple google search suggested me to opt for Hampta Pass Trek, regarded as suitable for fit beginners. Vertical rock walls, waterfalls, hanging glaciers, pinewoods, rhododendron forests, open meadows, tiny lakes and peaks rising above 6000 m are the main characteristics of this trek.

Rani Ka Nallah in Jobra

The scenery gets better as you keep moving

I inquired a couple of my friends who had done Himalayan treks. They suggested me to go with India hikes. But sadly all the slots were full for the desired date. Slots in other known organizers like "Trek the Himalayas" were full as well. I joined the waiting list on Indiahikes. With a heavy heart, I decided to give up on the trek if we didn't get confirmation. I was on my trek to Tadiandamol when I received the mail from Indiahikes regarding the confirmation of the trek. I had to make a payment within 24 hours to reserve the slot. Without a second thought, I made the payment and got the slot confirmed.

I couldn't stop myself from clicking so many pictures :)

We had only 14 days for the trek and I had done no preparations at all. People start preparing for Himalayan treks for 2 months, given Hampta pass was on the easier side I hoped 14 days preparation should be sufficient. Indiahikes is very strict about trekkers health and fitness. The eligibility was to run 5 km in 40 minutes, which seemed to be easy but still, I took a 15 days cult pack and decided to get into the best possible shape before the trek. 

I spend the next week booking the flight tickets, bus tickets, and hotels. Due to Independence day holiday, the flight rates were inflated, I optimized on the date and timings to get the cheapest flight possible. The recent posts of the Hampta Pass Trek on Instagram made me impatient day by day.  

The coordinator shared a checklist containing hundreds of items to carry on the trek. Fortunately, I had most of the items like Trekking bag, trekking shoes, a good raincoat, trekking pole, thermals, etc. I did buy the other things mentioned in the below list in the Decathlon store. I would say all the items I bought were useful. You can refer to the below list to know what all to buy/rent for the trek. You can comment below in case you need assistance on anything you want to buy.

Checklist shared by the organizer

Easy guide on how to pack the Bag.

Getting the weight of the bag under 9 kg was crucial. Even though the trek was going to be easier I didn't want to overload my bag. After optimizing, I finally got it under 9 Kg. Most of the trek organizations offer "offloading your backpack", which means that the mules (horse alike donkey) will carry your luggage so that you can enjoy the trek without much struggle. Opting for offloading is purely your choice if you are fit enough to carry a 9 kg backpack and trek then you need not offload the backpack. The real thrill of the trek is experienced when you carry your own stuff. 

Read my further stories on how I spend my next 6 days amidst the beautiful valleys of the great Himalayan stretch. Meanwhile, you can check my videos on youtube. Don't forget to subscribe, it keeps me motivated to make more such videos in the future.

Important notes:
1. The trek cost on Indiahikes was Rs. 10,500/- for the entire trek and additional Rs. 1,800/- as jeep charges for Chandratal sightseeing and journey back to Manali.
2. The offloading backpack is Rs. 250/- per day if you book it online before the trek begins. And it is Rs. 350/- per day for the remaining days if you want to offload anytime during the trek.
3. Indiahikes was the best organizers as they focus strongly on the safety, best food, and greater guidance.]


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Kudremukh Monsoon Trek - A green carpet in the lap of the Western Ghats

Place: Kudremukha, Western Ghats of Karnataka

Distance: 331 km from Bangalore
Type: Trekking
Ideal for: Trekkers
Trek Difficulty: Medium to Difficult
Trek Lenght: 10 kilometers one side
Trek Duration: 3.5 hours for ascending and 3 hours for descend

Best of the Beast: Jeep escorting us to Rajegowda house.

If there's any trek I really wanted to do in western ghat then it would be the Kudremukh Trek. Being one of the hottest biodiversity hotspots in western ghat, it is constantly being exploited by the human and the endangered species has to be protected.

To control the interaction between nature and human the Karnataka forest department has imposed strict rules on allowing trekkers to summit the peak. Only 50 persons per day are allowed to do the Kudremukh trek. The guide and forest permission is very much mandatory. My friend Renuka who is a resident of Chikmagalur did the groundwork and took all the permissions and booked the stay.

I did record the whole experience through my camera and posted it on my youtube channel. You can go through the video down here. If you have any queries you can either post it here or on the youtube.

If you like what you are watching then consider subscribing to my channel.