Kedarkantha over a period of time has become a favorite trekking destination for first time trekkers especially in winter months. It has become a classic snow trek if done from December to February as you will find lot of snow during these 3 months. There is a thrill and sense of achievement of going for the summit at 3800 meters on the last day of kedarkantha trek. Once on top, Kedarkantha offers 360 Degree views of snow clad peaks of Himachal and Uttarakhad. You will get the views of peaks like Bandarpunch, Swargarohini, & Black Peak. The base village – Sankri is very beautiful and you can spend couple of days at this small village doing nothing. The trail goes through Govind Wildlife sanctuary and hence there are chances of spotting a variety of endemic and exotic species.
Kedarkantha temperature during winter ranges from 13-18 degree Celcius during the day to as low as -7 degree Celcius during the night. After sundown, the cold wind starts and kedarkantha temperature drops dramatically. During the months of January and February, kedarkantha is generally covered with snow and you would realize that the kedarkantha weather is chilling cold even during the day. It is recommended to have woolen clothes with proper layering to deal with cold kedarkantha temperature in winter.
But, It is absolutely safe to do the Kedarkantha trek in winter provided you have proper trekking gears and warm clothing with you to deal with the cold weather.
For the upper part of the body, dress up in at least four layers such as :
1) A good thermal as the base layer.
2) A fleece jacket, as the second layer
3) A down jacket as the third layer
4) A wind Jacket which can withstand cod winds after sundown.
Also carry a Poncho to protect and cover yourself fully in case of snow or rain. yourself.
For the lower part of the body you will need only 2 layers. The first layer will be a thermal pant with your trekking pants over it.
Cover your head with a good balaclava and neck gaiter/warmer.
Of course a good waterproof trekking shoes are a must along with trekking poles.
How difficult is the Kedarkantha trek for a first timer?
Kedarkantha Trek is a perfect start for beginners. It is a 5-day easy trek in the region of Uttrakhand starting from the base village of Sankri. You will not have to walk more 4 km on the trail each day which is the optimum distance to cover for a novice trekker. The slopes on the trail are gentle in the beginning and get steeper as you gain altitude on the trek for the final summit.
Day 1: The trek begins from Sankri (6,400 ft)
Day 2: You will trek to Juda ka Tal (9,050 ft)
Day 3: You will reach Kedarknatha Base camp (11,200 ft)
Day 4: Climb to Kedarkantha Top at 12,500 ft. This is the maximum height you will achieve on the trek. Descend down to Hargaon Camp (8,900 ft)
Day 5: Back to Sankri
Kedrakantha trek does not require any special fitness preparation which is required for difficult treks like Roopkund Trek or Chadar Trek. However every trek requires normal fitness stamina and this fitness is required for Kedarkantha trek as well.