Sunday, August 28, 2022

KGL - A Trek To Cherish For A Life Time

Today we have a guest blogger, please join me in welcoming Sapna Shah. I am a proud husband of Sapna. She recently completed one of the most beautiful treks called the KGL Trek - Kashmir Great Lakes. She is the first person from our family to venture into some serious trekking. Her experience was so spectacular and so special that it deserved a blog post. So here it is, KGL - The heaven on earth!

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

I am sure it will bring a smile to your face just by thinking about this question. It brought a HUGE GRIN on my face – on accomplishing something GREAT for the first time!

Recently I successfully completed KGL Trek - Kashmir Great Lakes trek. It was a 7days long trek, that involved in doing 3 summit climbs of over 13500 ft each.

Trekking is one thing we as a family has enjoyed thoroughly. We have done many treks in Sahyadri ranges, we had NEVER explored beyond Sahyadris.

To tell the story, it so happened that in June my cousins connected with me to check if we were interested to go for the KGL trek. The chosen dates weren't something that would have worked for my Husband. But I decided to say a YES just by knowing that it is a “Kashmir Trek”! So it was decided,  6 us of i.e. myself, 2 of my cousins, 2 of their friends and a friend of mine decided to go for the trek together. 

The wisest thing I did was I never underestimated the preparation required to complete this trek. I was well aware of my strengths and more importantly my weaknesses. I started the preparations for this challenge by exercising 3-4 times a week. I used to walk about 5 KM or jog 4KM or do 51 Surya Namaskar. Later on I learned that this trek is categorised as "moderate to difficult" which meant that preparations for this trek needed to be taken seriously.

Opting for this event, gave me a wonderful opportunity to break the monotony that the last 2 years had brought in life. While on the trek I got to know the importance of Oxygen at such high altitude (13500+ feet). The climate is just unpredictable, in 7 days I got to experience all seasons – sunny, rainy, cloudy as if we were in heaven and super chilly evenings. At that point I realised the importance of packing the right kind of clothing, as its commonly said: 

There is nothing like BAD WEATHER, it is BAD CLOTHING!

The trek route goes through these places Sonmarg, Nichnai,  Vishansar, Gadsar, Satsar, Gangabal, and Naranag, with a total distance of about 75km. It consisting of ascents, descents and boulder passes with no easy exits. It also has long walks in the endless meadows amid snow-capped mountains protecting their prettiest sacred lakes. 

The trek commenced on 7th Aug with a batch of 27 people, unfortunately few of us had to return on 2nd day due to AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), it was a bit disturbing to all of us. It made everyone skeptical about their journey ahead. Thanks to Trek Leaders and motivation from other continuing trek mates, I stayed positive and moved on. That day I learned that the MENTAL strength is more significant than PHYSICAL strength for such enduring treks. As our trek leader used to say: 

Insaan Thaakhne Sai Nahi Marta! (Person doesn't die of exhaustion!)

 Every night we used to have a briefing session about next days challenges, dos/don’ts. But the most important thing we used to look forward to was “knowing your SPO2+HeartBeats readings”. I still remember the delight on my face when the trek leader used to say “OK hai(its fine).

Gadsar pass is the highest point at 13800 feet and when I reached there after a steep climb on day 3, my energy levels automatically increased. I had crossed 13400+ feet altitude thrice during the trek across various passes. Every day was a 360° panorama of Nature At Its Best

Words and pictures would not justify the real beauty of this place. One must see it for themselves to enjoy its real beauty. All the challenges are worth it. 

Some people might feel Kashmir is an unsafe place to trek, but there is nothing to feel insecure about this place. Believe me, there are many army posts across this trek, one army personnel even said this:

You may not see us, but we are everywhere. We keep a close watch on you, so don't worry you are in safe hands!

Overall it was a mesmerising experience which made a long-lasting impact on me. Super grateful to my mind, body and prayers of my well wishers. I am a life long ambassador of the KGL Trek :)

Have some Fun!