Mount Snowdon – Highest in Wales

Comments 3 Standard
Snowdon Mountain.

Snowdon Mountain.

Earlier this month, myself and Ash finished our long awaited hike to Snowdon Mountain. We have visited wales a number of times, but because of the famous welsh weather we could never hike this peak. But finally we got such a weekend with a bright beautiful sunny day to hike the summit.

Snowdon is the highest mountain in the Wales, at an elevation of 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level. It is located in the very famous Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd. It is beautiful from every corner of North Wales.

There are number of paths to start your Snowdon hike to summit from easy grade to hardest one.

1.Watkin Path 2. Llanberis Path 3. Pyg Track 4. Miner’s track 5. Snowdon Ranger 6. Crib Goch

We took a combination of two routes to see different types of world around Snowdon, and I am very much glad that we opted for that( You will see in the pictures, why am I saying so) We went up by Pyg track and came down via Miner’s track. Both of the path starts at the same point at Pen-y-pass car park. If you are planning to drive there, I will suggest you to reach early as on a good day you will not get a parking space. If you do not get a parking here, your next parking point is 3miles down towards Llanberis, so either you come back via a Sherpa bus or walk (Pheww!!!)

Pyg Track-  It is not known how the Pyg Track got its name – it could be as it passes over the Pigs’s Pass (Bwlch y Mocl), because it is close to the Pen y Gwryd Hotel, or because pyg, in welsh, also means pitch, and part of the surface of the path looks like black pitch.  Whatever the origin, this path starts 1,170 feet above sea level which gives you a helpful start on the way. This walk is rugged, and very challenging, but the scenery is absolutely stunning.

View from Pyg Track

View from Pyg Track

Miner’s Track – The track was built during the 1800’s to serve Britannia Copper Mines which were abandoned in 1917.  Mine Manager Arthur Lockwood drove his car to Llyn Glaslyn, and the track to this point at the lake still resembles a road so is a good walking surface.  The track does get considerably steeper towards the summit.

At the foothills on Miners Track

At the foothills on Miners Track

Do not worry if not in the mood of walk, during the summer months you can reach the summit via Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Whatever path you choose believe me you will never fall short of mesmerizing views around you. Here are some pictures of the day, as always feel free to get in touch if you need help in planning a similar trip.

11224211_10153681417473799_5901373000566011999_n

12049580_10153681417458799_6021305961237726619_n

12042844_10153681417453799_7528691852228586429_n

12038401_10153681417168799_9177422600653387066_n

11224414_10153681414373799_6203610343119754135_n

Done & Dusted -We did need a celebration 🙂

 

Advertisements

WPC: Serenity – Less Travelled Routes

Comments 6 Standard

serenity

All you need is an eye to capture the serenity. I find it on the less travelled routes, hiking through the valleys, crossing the broken bridges and a desire to be at the top of the mountain to see the captivating nature around me.

Picture taken during my hike to Kinder Scout Peak in the The Peak district.

In response to – https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/serenity/

Kudremukh(Horse Face) Peak

Comments 16 Standard

During my under graduation at Manipal, we often escaped to Kudremukh ranges for a drive or for a small trek. It is one of many beautiful places around Karnataka, some call it Kashmir of Karnataka.

Kudremukha is a mountain range and name of a peak located in Chikmangaluru District of Karnataka. The Kudremukh National Park is the second largest Wildlife Protected Area belonging to a tropical wet evergreen type of forest in the Western Ghats of India. It is also basically known for its mining town, but it has been halted now to preserve the ecology of the place.

It is very famous for trekking but you can really stay in the forest as long as you desire. Trekking to the Kudremukh peak is permitted from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm after which you will be not allowed as per forest rules. As this used to be a naxalite prone area, every step has been taken to protect people visiting this area.

I love this place, it is lushful with greenery all around you, dense forests, there is always a kind of mist in the air around you. It gives you the sense of being lost in the woodlands.The rolling hills and grasslands gives it a mesmerizing country side feeling.

There are many guest houses and camp sites which organizes safari tour in the national park, trek routes and guides.

261578168_7409b86a8e_o 5380702044_6b69948ca9 Clouds-and-Mist-greet-the-weary-traveler-on-the-road-to-Kudremukh DSC_0138 green-velvet Kudremukh_hillside panchgani-hills

Gangotri-Gomukh Pilgrimage Trek

Comments 12 Standard

As a Hindu we have many god and goddess in our religion and each of the god/goddess sits high up in the mountains. So my affair with mountains started in childhood, thought at that time I was really not sure if I was in love with these majestic mountains, poised landscapes.

I went to one of the ‘Chota Chaar Dhaam Yatra’ (the small circuit of four Abodes) with my family and cousins few years ago. It is one of an important Hindu Pilgrimage circuit in the Indian Himalayas, consist of four sites: Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, BadriNath. In this post I am writing about my journey and trekking at Gangotri(Ganges River) and Gomukh (source from where Ganges river originates).

Gangotri is a place of Goddess Ganga, every year millions of people come here to pay their visit, stay here to attain peace and moksha. People travel from all over world to seek yoga knowledge and submerge themselves into the holy environment of this place. During evening prayers, this place has a divine feeling, with priests reciting prayers, devotees singing bhajans and playing instruments. One has to be there in person to feel the deity.

gangotri-temple-night

Gangotri-Gaumukh-Tapovan-Trek

On our second day we started our trek to Gomukh which is a 18kms trek from Gangotri. The mighty river Ganges starts from Gomukh, above this there is only is the land of Glaciers. It is a very strenuous, risky (believe me very risky), long and a gorgeous hike. When I say risky, that means you have to be really very careful during this trek as the path is not very well laid, a slip of foot will take you right down into the fast flowing Ganges, almost whole of the hike is exposed to steep cliffs, you will need scrambling with your foot & hands at many point as there is loose sand and stones on the way. As these hills are prone to landslides, you will have to careful of falling stones. In addition to that almost all year around peaks are covered with snow and it gets really cold.

We finished this hike in 1.5 days, as we had our parents with us who did not want to walk continuously. We halted at tent shack on the way, where we had our dinner and got some beds. It was not a very cozy tent, it was ripped off from many points so it was cold inside. During the night temp might have fallen down to several degrees in minus as I remember at one point I had covered myself with 4-5 blankets to escape from the cold. It was an adventurous night in the hills.

When I think about it now, I feel lucky that I have been to such a beautiful place showcasing snow-capped peaks, fast flowing river, people meditating around me. I have been lucky to have it done with my dearones. Though I should not forget to mention, I hiked up 18kms, hiked down 17kms, at the last 1km I sat on a stone step and cried and cried because I was tired and I was happy to be back alive 🙂 But I adore those moment when my brothers(younger to me) tried consoling me saying it’s ok do not cry just 1km more 🙂

Gomukh003

Gomukh039

Gomukh032

Gomukh044

DSCN2567

1400155112.shiv1

At Sunrise

At Sunrise

Gomukh- Ganges starts from here

Gomukh- Ganges starts from here

A checklist for a Day Hike

Comments 12 Standard

 

What to Pack!!!???

What to Pack!!!???

As you start to explore places around you, the excitement and love for walking keeps on increasing. Over the years from a walk in the park, it changes to a passion for walking into villages, coastline walks, mountaineering and hiking.

Out of personal experience I thought of coming up with a checklist for day hike essentials to help myself in future and my fellow reader and hiking lovers.

So how to prepare yourself for a Hike:
1. A good walking Boots – Without a doubt it is a must. Make sure it fits you properly and is light weight. Remember on a long hike pushing yourself to hike with a heavy boots will bring in tears. Never a trainer,flip flop or heels. (Believe me I have seen people coming for hikes in those, No idea if they ever completed it)
2. Walking trouser– A cotton walking trouser that will allow easy movement up and down the hills. Those fancy jeans will not help you and your legs will plead you for some oxygen.
3.Waterproofs– A pair of trouser and jacket.
4.Warm Clothing– Fleece,Caps,Gloves. If you hiking a mountain or a costal hike, weather cant be trusted.
5.Water Bottle– A must even if it is a short distance hike.Keep some water purifier tablets in case you have to drink water from a stream. You will not fancy anything more than water while on a hike. You can also keep instant energy mix that can be added to water bottle.
6.Food– A packet of sandwich and a mixed nuts packet. Nuts will give you instant energy when you are tired.
7.Map,compass,torch and whistle
8. First aid kit.
9. Sun glasses, sunscreen and a Cap.
10. Walking pole– only if you think it is necessary.

Carry a phone and contacts of emergency services, just in case you find yourself seeking for help.

Ofcourse I know you are taking camera along with you 🙂

Pack everything in a waterproof and breathable backpack and Get Set GO.

A walk to Coral Beach

Comments 5 Standard
Coral Beach

Coral Beach

We visited Coral Beach on a sunny day at Isle of Skye. It is one of the popular walk in Claigan just north of Isle of Skye and a very beautiful coastal location.

The beach is made from crushed white coral that makes the water look blue when the sun comes out.

Road ending at Claigan will have a car park (no parking fee), and walk to Coral Beach starts at this point. It is 3miles walk to get to the beach, the whole walk is pretty much straight forward and suitable for any weather.

Sharing some pictures with you guys, hope you will like it.

DSC_1635

DSC_1624

SG098-2011-06-19-Coral-Beach

2_13_3l

May be you can complete your visit by Dunvegan Castle on the way for a nice day trip. You will get to read about fairy myths and ofcourse Clans.

 

A hike to Pulpit Rock

Comments 31 Standard
Me- At Pulpit Rock Edge

Me- At Pulpit Rock Edge

By bringing myself over the edge and back, I discovered a passion to live my days fully, a conviction that will sustain me like sweet water on the barren plain of our short lives.

My love affair with mountains & hikes started after my first hike to Pulpit Rock.  A big thanks to Ash who feels the same and we continued hiking through many forests,hills and lakes.

After a night well spent in the little red cabin, it was the day to hike Famous Pulpit Rock in Stavanger. Pulpit Rock – also know as Preikestolen, is a steep massive cliff 600mts (1982 feet) above Lysefjorden.

Once you reach Preikestolen Fjellstue, the trail starts from this parking site. It is a wonderful hike of 2.4miles with some great mountains and landscapes views on the way. A good fitness, proper walking boots, rain gear ( mountains weather can be mischievous), a small lunch pack and water bottle will keep you going 3-4 hours up & down the mountain.

I always find the initial bit of hike to mountain a bit tough because the path starts with a steep ascent but thereafter it always gets easy. I am not sure if it happens with all, but for me its true. Nevertheless once you climb initial 100-200 meters, the muscles just gets the kick and you are ready.

We all were excited to do this hike. It is a must do for people who love mountains. It is not a challenging but a hard gradient hike, also one should be careful as it us an exposed plateau so on windy days you need to be careful at edges. Never take mountains lightly, you have to careful from the time you start your climb until you are back safely at base.

Here are some of the pictures of our hike.

20140626-140736-50856237.jpg

On the way to Pulpit

 

20140626-141207-51127989.jpg

Hiking up my way

20140626-141208-51128335.jpg

Breathtaking views of Fjords and rivers

20140626-141208-51128972.jpg

Happy moment- yes I did it

Thanks to our friend Nammi who introduced us to Pulpit. And a big hug and thanks to dear hubby ( Ash) who captured the moments.

Lost in the woodlands of Surrey

Comments 9 Standard

It was one of those days in Britain, when weather prediction proved itself wrong once again and to our luck it turned out to be an amazing sunny day for a long walk. We decided to walk up to Leith Hill and Abinger Forest in district of Mole Valley. When I entered Surrey, I was mesmerized with this beautiful place, to be frank I did not know Surrey is so beautiful. There is a lot to discover in this county, for this time we limited ourselves to this walk.

There are numerous trails to discover Leith Hill and woodlands around. There are a lot of Car Parks available at start of each of the walking trail, so there are no parking worries. Everything is well-marked and visible. From our Landslip car park, we walked up to 2 miles to reach Leith Hill, it was an easy walk, only a small steep climb rest of the walk was fairly simple. On the summit of Leith Hill is an 18th-century Gothic tower, with panoramic views northwards to London and the English Channel to the south. One fact- When you are at the top of this tower, you are actually at a height higher than Shard (http://the-shard.com/) .There is a small fee to go up on the tower 1.50 GBP for an adult.

If a day is good like it was for us,  you are in a proper walking boots and in the mood for a good long walk, you will have a choice to pick up one of the various routes from http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/leith-hill/things-to-see-and-do/walking/. I choose woodland trail,a peaceful walk crossing Leith Hill Place, woodland. The route in the map(www.nationaltrust.org.uk/) bring you back to LeithHill but since day was lovely and we wanted to explore more, we decided to deviate from route and decided to complete circular route back to Leith Hill crossing Friday Street.

Woodlands In Surrey

Woodlands In Surrey

Now that is where our adventure began. We started this walk without a mapped route, without any signals on phone and without a compass too.  We had walked up till now 6Kms and were clueless about KMs that were yet to come along.  Everything was beautiful around this valley- Friday Street hamlet , hammer ponds, woodlands. It was one of those days when you put your HAT on and venture out to meet nature.

Transfixed with the beauty we were soon off the track and in the middle of Abinger Forest. We had walked 11Kms by now and had no direction with us. I started to get a little bit worried as it was already 6.30PM and it would have got dark soon as we were in a dense woodland. To be frank I freaked out for a while and asked Ashwin(Oh Yes! my partner in all this venture) to take me out of this place before it gets dark. After every few yards you will see different path- a crossing that takes you in 4 directions and we had no idea which direction to go ahead with.  There was not a single person around for miles, we kept on walking uphill- downhill, choosing a direction on gut and it did not take us long to realise that we actually have no idea if route we choose is taking us more into this forest or if we are coming out of it.

Continue reading