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Old 24th February 2011, 11:36   #1
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Default The Trekking Thread

Many times I have seen folks like to trek, but cant just do it for the want of company. I have seen people joing BMC (Bangalore mountaineering club, YMCA etc to go trekking). Then I thought why not folks start collecting in a similar way within group itself.

Hence I put this thread inside the Meet section. Its also meet but more of a
TBHP trekking meet (TTM) !

How is this for an idea?

One can align on dates, times, places etc on this thread.
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Old 24th February 2011, 11:54   #2
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Default Re: The Trekking Thread

Good idea. Has anyone ever attempted to trek solo or only in groups of two?

I have done it and it beats the large group experience by miles. Trekking in pairs too, I had a friend with whom I would march in complete silence all day and only talk when at a vantage point admiring the view or when deciding which way to turn.

Walking meditation.

Been with BMC, its a mass overcrowding venture. where 7 to 12 people is best, you will find a busload like 70!! Stopped a couple of years back.

If anybody likes this style of trekking PM me.

-R

Last edited by Ragul : 24th February 2011 at 12:05.
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Old 24th February 2011, 12:18   #3
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Default Re: The Trekking Thread

Well, if you are planning/need company for a trek, I am game. I have been on numerous ones to the forts around Pune and some in the Himalayas.

I have been itching to go for a trek since long but again, no company and no knowledge about trekking spots around Bangalore.

Agree with Ragul : The whole going in a bunch thing just ruins the fun. The whole lot is spread over the entire length of the trek so it becomes more of a picnic!

Last edited by libranof1987 : 24th February 2011 at 12:20.
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Old 24th February 2011, 12:40   #4
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Default Re: The Trekking Thread

The other issue with BMC/YMCA or any other similar group is that, one may not be able to choose his/her company! Within a forum at least you know folks and you can plan accordingly. You get like minded folks this way.

Also, going in a number 2-4 is a different kind of a trek. I may not call it a trek, but stuff like visiting places over weekends forts, parks etc. But for trek, good to have at least 7-12 folks as said. Again numbers >20, create a crowd and becomes unmanageable.
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Old 24th February 2011, 12:44   #5
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Default Re: The Trekking Thread

Good thread @ampere. Count me in for any trekking as long it is countable size like max 10 people, above that i personally feel will not be enjoyable.
@Ragul,
You have got a PM
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Old 24th February 2011, 12:55   #6
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Default Re: The Trekking Thread

I just started the thread. But the real trek experts are others!
I would be just a follower!
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Old 24th February 2011, 13:23   #7
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Default Re: The Trekking Thread

Awesome seeing a trekking thread on TBHP. We have an adventure club over here in Hyderabad called Great Hyderabad Adventure Club which has treks, rock climbing, mountaineering activities. Since the group sizes are small, its generally good experience. And courtesy them I keep going on treks almost every weekend apart from getting to enhance my skills in bouldering, rappelling, chimney climbing etc.

Bangalore because of its location has lots of good places for trekking right from mild to difficult. Few of the places are
  1. Skandagiri
  2. Tadiyanmol
  3. Ombattuguda
  4. Silent Valley
  5. Agumbe Forest

Anyone from Hyderabad interested in trekking, I'm sure we can organise something.

Cheers
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Old 24th February 2011, 14:55   #8
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Default Re: The Trekking Thread

Cheers to thread starter, i had been for group trek and solo aswell, each has its own challenges. would like to join whenever trek is organised and yes prefer a small group.
can we post our experiences and photos of our trek here?
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Old 24th February 2011, 17:16   #9
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Default Re: The Trekking Thread

Experts can also compile:

1. Essential for a trek
2. Requirments
3. Fitness levels
4. Equipments
5. Food requirements
6. Apparels to be used
6. Places to procure in various cities


Trek Reports can include
1. Definitely a separate TL. Captures the emotion well
2. Reviews of places can be useful
3. Dates, Discussions etc.
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Old 24th February 2011, 18:52   #10
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Default Re: The Trekking Thread

Good initiative Ampere!!

I am no expert in trekking, but whatever little experience I have I would love to be a part of this thread and give my ideas regarding above points.

As far as I am concerned I have 3 treks that I would love to do in the next 3 years. They, in order of priority are

1. Chader Trek - Zanskar
2. Kailash Mansarovar - MEA Organised
3. Mt. Everest Base Camp - Nepal

regards
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Old 25th February 2011, 14:25   #11
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Default Re: The Trekking Thread

Just stumbled upon this thread. Good initiative.
Some more spots near Bangalore (in increasing order of difficulty) : Shivagange, Savandurga, Kumara Paravata, Sakleshpur (don't know whether this is still allowed).

The best part about trekking (according to me) is to make you realize that you need to exercise regularly and become fit. There is always a sense of accomplishment on completion of a trek, which is far more satisfying than our day-to-day to work acheivements.

Count me in for this. Let's start off with a simple trek like Skandagiri and then move on to other complex ones. What say??

Last edited by praz : 25th February 2011 at 14:26.
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Old 25th February 2011, 14:30   #12
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Default Re: The Trekking Thread

More places: Huliyurdurga/Himagiri Betta.

For me a trek need not be to just a climb. It can also be a place in wilderness.
It is something which helps one switch off for the weekend!

Just for example: In a single day myself and my friend covered Devarayanadurga, Siddar Betta and Maidenahalli.
We did not do any arduous climbs, it was simple drive, walk, stop any place go near water bodies, take snaps etc.

The good thing was we were back by evening. A day well spent!
But yes it was definitely more stressing than just driving to a place and coming back. It did involve physical exertion.

Last edited by ampere : 25th February 2011 at 14:31.
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Old 25th February 2011, 18:40   #13
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Default Re: The Trekking Thread

I'm posting my experience of trek in Brhills in year 2004 when i was posted there for training.
its a lengthy post please bear with me

It was 9th of February. I was posted to BRT sanctuary for my SPM postings for which I was waiting eagerly. The wildlife sanctuary is 120kms from Bangalore. BRhills lies at 11”30’N 12”0’N-76”50’E 77”15’E and 1500mts above sea level covered with thick thorny deciduous forest with lantana and silver oak trees where abundant flora and fauna wander undisturbed. With tribal hamlets scattered through the sanctuary.


The morning of 9th February I left Bangalore at 7 am and reached BRT sanctuary entrance at 1:30afternoon on my bike. It was beginning of summer in south India with temperatures rising up to 33 degrees in noon. Resting for a while at entrance, I entered the park at around 2 pm after having a few words with forest guard. My bike she never troubled me and kept her noise low so as to cooperate with me not to disturb wildlife and moved stealthily. The guard had informed me that I will not be able to spot any wildlife at this time of the day which was very obvious with scorching heat of the summer sun. My eyes were searching for any signs of wild life alongside of the road. Just then my eyes spotted large grey creatures to the right side of the road near a water hole. I brought my bike to a halt which stopped with a squeak by which the elephants were disturbed. Wasting no more time I switched off the engine. By this time elephants were alert and they stood still with absolutely no movement. I too stood rock still; there were six elephants of which a calf appeared to be a year old and four females around it and a matriarch in front descending to the water hole, after a few seconds the matriarch lifted her trunk and sniff the air unable to detect any smell as the wind was in opposite direction, dropped her trunk.


Slowly I got off my bike and removed my pentax camera which my friend had given me in hope of capturing some wildlife. Keeping low stealthily I reached the lantana bushes on left of the water hole to keep out of sight of the elephants.


The guard had said that this pond did not attract elephants as it was near to road, but this did not really matter. The herd was there quenching their thirst.

I cautiously moved further to take cover behind a hillock in front of the water hole but failed in cheating elephant’s eye which were on opposite side of the water hole. Now they were agitated the matriarch held her head high with ears spread and lifted her trunk to smell the air, making a low rumbling sound whose vibrations I felt, the other elephants moved close to the calf in response to the rumble, calf amused with the act stood still between the legs of her mother and other female elephants. There was a pause for a few seconds after which the matriarch sprayed her back with mud and sending a rumbling sound stood diagonally while the other elephants slowly retreat to the cover, matriarch having a good view of me slowly climbed back with one fore foot flexed and taking the support of the trunk and disappeared in the bushes. I was really amazed by the maneuverability displayed by the largest living land mammal.


I had a great experience watching the herd protecting the calf and reassuring one another. The threat display and the amazing flexibility the elephant had all this in its natural habitat. Thanking my luck I reached VGKK at 3:30pm. Spent rest of the day narrating the experience to my friends.



Day 2

Still excited about yesterday’s event I woke at around 6.00 in the morning, with the idea of visiting nearby waterhole but my laziness overpowered my idea which put me back to sleep. Few minutes had passed I was waken by the chirping of seven sisters and few drongos. Even though drongos don’t chirp I’m not able to find the word which explains it’s choral. Finally I got out of the bed and was ready for the clinic which opens at 8.00.


It’s really exhilarating to work in middle of the forest, where you are bounded by songs of birds with cool breeze passing through your hair always refreshing to keep you at your optimum. Thus the day passed till 4.00pm looking after the patients.


I was waiting for this hour of the day and got ready to leave into the jungle. Evening is the best time to watch wildlife. It’s the time when animals come to waterhole after their days feeding.

But as usual there was a different idea among my friends, they wanted to visit view point which is south to the Biligiri Ranganatha temple.

It’s a vantage point in BRhills to watch sunset. We were there till 7.00pm and returned to our rooms had our dinner at 8.30pm and we all gathered in the open field at 9.15pm to gaze the stars. My friends knew quite a lot about star constellation which I learnt that night unfortunately no one knew how to differentiate between North Star and Venus. When you are lost in the forest at night and u don’t have a compass, if you are able to find North Star you can trek in one direction with out going in circles till you exhaust, as one gets to go in circles when they are lost in forest.

At 10.30 I went to bed.

Day 3


From this day for another few days it was routine attending hospital, watching sunset and star gazing. It’s a lovely place to work.

From 15/2/04 onwards my adventure began.

It was Sunday and we took off from hospital, As planned we trekked to Doddasampige which is around 15 kms from BRT on the way except drongos, wablers and common langur (hanuman langur) we didn’t encounter any animals. Hanuman langur is a macaque which is common in Indian jungles, its face is black, body covered with silvery white hairs and a long tail which helps them to maneuver. These macaques are more encountered in northern India.


Doddasampige means giant champaka tree, it is believed to be 2000 years old and its huge I have never seen a champaka tree of this size. It flowers during april-july months that’s during pre monsoon. Its fragrance spreads around 500 meters. Flowers are yellow in color with five petals.


Tribal worship this tree on Mondays of every week. There will be lots of offerings, dance and cultural flaunt.

According to mythology it is said lord Shiva (the creator) and his wife Parvathi while passing to lanka presently Srilanka took bath in the stream here and planted champaka sapling.


After relaxing in the stream near foot of Doddasampige Mara we trek cross country another 4 kms towards south and reached foot of another champaka tree which is know as Chikkasampige. Here also tribals perform pujas.

Here the stream flows to the left of the champaka tree continuing further down the same stream flows to the right of the Doddasampige tree.


After having our food we visited tribal hamlet which is diagonal to Chikkasampige tree. This hamlet is recognized as Gombegal podu which translates to stone doll podu. Podu means hamlet, this hamlet gets it name because of the boulder in this area which resembles human doll.

Here we saw few huts whose roof is built with hay and roof is only 5 feet high. And the door height is 3 feet.

Alongside of this huts there were still smaller huts in which these tribals use fire to keep them warm during winters. I was amazed to see solar panels on these huts. I appreciate the government effort which has provided solar panels to these tribals.

We trek back to Doddasampige; from there another 5 kms towards north in game road to reach a bungalow know as Burude bangale.which was built by British in 1940. We appreciate the architecture eminence of British. We also came to know from the locals, veerapan a local poacher had kidnapped nine persons of forest department and held hostages for 3 months from this place.


We reached BRT at 5.30 in evening not yet tired at 6.00pm we left to nearby waterhole. Walking stealthily we were trying to interpret jungle signs. Just then I noticed foot marks on the soft ground for about 2 yards which appeared to be of ungulates which were fresh, may be an hour before a mujtang (kakar in Hindi and kadu kuri in kannada) had passed ahead of us which I confirmed by the smell, which resembles to that of horses urine and later by its alarm call few feet away. By the mark of the foot print I made out the barking deer had walked leisurely. We trekked for an hour watching drongos, seven sisters, wablers, magpies and parakeets (there are no parrots in India) and listening to their vocal. It was getting dark, we forgot to get our torch so we decided to trek back. In forest it grows dark early we hurried back, while we were few yards away from nearby hamlet we heard a sound of twigs break to our right in the undergrowth which was thick cover with lantana and few bamboo clusters unable to make out what it was all of us stood still, a tribal kid who was 15 feet ahead of us had spotted something which I recognized from his dismayed look and he started shouting anne anne and ran. Unable to execute any plan I too ran and asked my companions to do the same. Anne is Kannada name for elephant. It was a rogue elephant I believe it had just separated from the herd. It was around 8 feet at its shoulder which I found out the next day by measuring the foot print. Elephant ran parallel to us for some distance and gave up the chase, believe elephant can run at 40kms per hour speed. We ran for few meters and stopped only at the hamlet, thanking ourselves for saving our souls we returned to VGKK.

I then felt ashamed of my cowardice but glad to be safe on ground to narrate the story to my friends. Thus the great day came to an end with nightmares to some of my companions.








16/2/04

It was routine clinic till 5.30 pm at six I reached the same place where we were chased by the rogue elephant the previous day. This time I was alone, my friends didn’t dare accompanying me. At dusk Indian jungles are spectacular. It’s a treat to your eyes with sun setting jungle comes out wearing a different look altogether and cool breeze append to it are the songs of the birds.

I stealthily walked through the nulla to the left was a huge silk cotton tree whose bark covered with thorns and to the right was lantana bush and in front of me a narrow path leading to a water hole which takes a sharp curve to left into the thicket. This path was covered on both sides with lantana bushes, silver oak trees and few java plum trees. At snails pace I moseyed few minutes later I heard muntjak bark a yard away and suddenly wild boar dashed across the bush 20 feet in front of me. I crouched and waited for few minutes in hope of some carnivore coming that way but nothing happened for another 15 minutes. It was growing dark I had a torch which didn’t even lit a small area in front of me. Understanding the peril I was in, I left the place and reached my room at 7.30 pm.


Today the night was unusual, the moon had not made her appearance till 10.30. Now she slowly emerged behind the hills in North West direction and the whole forest was lit, the night was magnificent, we were enjoying the cool breeze and sight. The java plum tree in front of the huge moon appeared great adding to the spectacle was lengthy silver oak tress reminding me of Jim Corbett jungle lore. Just then the silence of the night was broke by the shriek call of the kakar at the distance coupled by alarm call of langurs. They have revealed the presence of the predator to the jungle. Minutes passed by and jungle fell back to silence of the night. Night was growing brighter, my eyes were giving up and I surrendered to my bed.



17/2/04


The next day started with the excitement as a tribal kid woke me up and took me to a near by tree to show me the cluster of eggs of yellow eye babbler, the nest was beautifully built with perfect camouflage, I ran back to my room to get the camera only to know that I had ran out of films.

The day at the clinic began with a case of acute diarrhea, a kid of tribal couple was brought to the clinic in a state of stupor, and you need not be shaken at the stage the couple got the kid to the clinic, in Indian villages the people consults the doctor at the end stage after performing all types of rituals as they believe that disease are curse of the gods. Baby was put on drips for half of the day and was under constant care of the house surgeons.

And the day at the clinic ended with couple of the cases.

Thanks for your patience

Dear Mods if this is not appropriate please remove it

Last edited by Dreamy : 25th February 2011 at 18:44.
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Old 25th February 2011, 19:45   #14
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Wow, that was some story! I think you should a full TL, complete with pictures! One post does not do justice to such an event!
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Old 28th February 2011, 10:47   #15
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Count me in if any trek is planned.
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