Amedikallu is believed to be one of the tougher treks in the Western Ghats. Satyaveer Singh tobe Professor from IISc Bangalore did extensive research and worked out what looked like a perfect cake walk to Amedikallu and adjacent Ridge. The trek was being planned for quite sometime but happened only on 12th June 2009.
The group consisted of 4 including myself off which 2 were amateurs Raghuveer(small Startup), Anand(Cisco), Satya(IISc) and Rohit(TCS).
|Amedikallu Amedikallu in the backdrop|
Day 1 - Amedikallu Ridge
We reached Kokkada (en route to Dharmasthala), from here hired a jeep to Sheshila (INR 250). From the driver we understood it has been 2 days since we had rains. We began trekking at 0900 hours at a slow pace; we had trouble finding trails leading us to the peak all through.
|Amedikallu Large Wood Spider found during the ascent|
|Amedikallu Nice looking Parasite on a broken tree trunk|
|Amedikallu First glimpse of Shola grass|
|Amedikallu First signs of Monsoon clouds|
|Amedikallu Time to pack my camera safe inside|
Day 2 - New Trail
Next morning we got the most beautiful sight ever imaginable.
|Amedikallu First light|
|Amedikallu A close-up of early morning mist|
|Amedikallu Rock Orchid|
The 360degree view peak was truly mind boggling.. We could spot -> KP, Khudremukh Range, Yettina Bhuja Ridge and few other Ranges..
|Amedikallu View from Peak over the entire Amedikallu Range|
|Amedikallu Yettina Bhuja to the Left & entire Amedikallu Ridge|
What we decided next was either too stupid or simply the best trek route way back to civilization. This was something we had done no homework at all, we had no navigation equipment like a simple compass.
|Amedikallu Our Destination as seen from Amedikallu Peak|
|Amedikallu The steep Ridge that we took to hurry down...|
The Steep Descent
To begin with it was shola grass initially with blades of grass cutting through our arms. The combination of sweat (salt) + Sun over bruised arms was quite something to remember. Our calculations went wrong when we hit a cliff and we were forced to revisit our plan. Satya and myself were forced to take lead and shift to an adjacent ridge a few meters away which was at an 80Degree inclination we certainly cheated death here a couple of times. But it was worth what we did, we discovered a new unexplored stream here, the water here tasted distinctly different, it was literally sweet and unforgettable.
|Amedikallu Signs of Grasslands almost coming to an end..|
|Amedikallu Stream in the thick forests; we camped nearby..|
Day 3 - Tough Decisions
Next morning we were just too tired to do anything. We again worked out a new strategy. We had run out of food we had to eat just enough to keep us going, we had a spoon of protein supplement [Whey Protein] + a couple of oat meal + 2 kharoojs + a little bit of MTR ready to eat stuff . If we followed the river it would take us to our destination in a winding manner which would be longer, the plan was to cut across by climbing up another mountain range and slide downhill other side to hit the valley down below. The climb down was too steep almost a cliff, I had to take lead and keep the team going.. Finally we hit the valley and the first glimpse of blue skies above and the adjacent Yettina Bhuja mountain ridge slopes. This was a great relief; it was just 09:00 hours.
|Amedikallu We made to the Valley finally!|
|Sheshila That's Satish's house a localite where we freshened up|
This was the best trek ever; I got a chance to use my new monopod to take most of the shots off my camera.
#1 We Discovered a new stream which had a distinctly different taste.
#2 All the while we had a GPS which gave us incorrect Altitude readings which was not of much help.
#3 Since the trek extended into day 3 and no network, people back home ended up panicking
#4 Monsoon treks have always been different and adventurous; if you make it out alive you carry some awesome memories with you.