Sunday, November 16, 2008
Madhugiri trek, the vertical limit!!
The day started on a gloomy note. The typical fickle weather of Bangalore was back! Just when i thought i could sell my umbrella, the rain gods reminded me of their presence. But nothing was going to dampen my spirits today! I was going trekking for the first time in 6 months!! I packed my bag with lots of food and water and headed to the bus stop where the Bangalore Mountaineering Club bus was gonna pick me up.
The trek was gonna take place at a fort near Madhugiri. For further info plz google it. I boarded the bus at bout 7:30 near IISc with Ramkumar. Gampa, Anoop, Eldo, Dev, Rakesh and Sriram were already in the bus along with some other people. But we BITSians were by far the coolest there! The journey was long. It was supposed to be 80km but it took bout 3 hrs!! But we gained some time as we headed towards the west. (:P) The driver thought he could liven up proceeding by screening TZP!! Its a gr8 movie, but not for this occasion. Some females had moist eyes and the guys were yawning by the time we reached the base at bout 11.
All of us scrambled out eagerly and then stopped short in our tracks!! The sheer size of the hill left me weak in my knees. The monolith was so high that the upper reaches were covered in mist. Someone said horses used to climb the steep path with ease. That gave me some courage. Not that i consider myself to be a horse. I consider my self to be a mountain goat!! [:D]
All the trekkers began enthusiastically. But that initial josh didn't last long. Within minutes people were gasping fr breath. But the eight of us (i ll refer to us as Cool Crackers coz it rhymes with trekkers!!) kept climbing up full steam!! Soon the cool crackers also began to tire. The gradient was really steep and at times we had crawl on all fours like monkeys! Anoop was worried about his mustache coming off, rakesh was nervous and was wondering whether he had made a mistake of coming on this trek, Dev was trying to sound enthu to hide his weariness, eldo got bursts of energy during which he used 2 charge ahead and stop gasping fr breath, ramkumar kept listening to music to avoid listening to my dry talks while Gampa and Sriram were trying to get the attention of the gals with their cool cameras! The climb was tough, but the pleasant weather kept everyone in good spirits
As we gained altitude, we entered a cloud and everything became foggy. Soon there were cries of 'cant visible' from the front and back. Luckily there were some carvings in the rock that could barely pass off as stairs that helped us stay on track. I keep myself busy by clicking tons of pics of everyone around.
Finally we reached the summit. Nothing was visible. I had lost track of space and time! There was a biting cold wind blowing which prompted many chimneys to light up. The cool crackers couldn't wait to get started with the eating business. Anyways we bitsians are always pioneers everywhere we go and this was no different. Everyone followed suit soon.
Soon it was time to head back down. I played 'mass' on my cell to liven the spirits. The path was very slippery now. And i could I hardly see with my fogged specs. So i decided to try a novel way of sliding downhill. It was like tobogganing without the toboggan!! It was quite effective for most part. Then we reached the toughest section.
We had to walk about a 100ft along a steep face of the hill with jus a few widely spaced shallow footholds to provide grip. It was really scary. And everyone went really slowly here. The 100ft seemed to be an eternity. Finally we reached the normal phase which was not easy in anyway now that the path was wet. I continued sliding down. Soon it got boring. I decided to spice up things by standing up and promptly landed on my butt. I then tried bare feet. But was still feeling uneasy. Then Ram gave some bhari like he had climber much steeper and slippery slopes during his Himalaya trek. Though I must admit his crossed feet technique was very effective.
Finally were reached the base again. We were all dead tired physically. The bus driver decided to tire us mentally also and played the movie Welcome!! The tune is still ringing in my head!! All in all a wonderful trip.
I would give it a 7.5/10. The trek was tough and challenging. And the weather was great. But it was very far from Bangalore. And the trek got monotonous after a while. The slippery path didn't help either. We also didn't get any good views from the top because of the cloud cover. But its a great place to face the ultimate challenge in trekking around Bangalore..