Well, this was our first self supported trek as a family with our little boy in the third weekend of Oct 2016. Weather was very pleasant because the season was post monsoon. Since we had a few camping trips under our belt already, we were quite sorted. We knew how to set up a tent in few minutes flat, things we needed for a comfortable sleep, where to pitch, what to expect, etc. You could read about our camping adventures over here or here.
Now that we were comfortable with camping and hiking individually, we were very eager to put the two together for a wholesome experience – the ability to go deep or go high and live there amongst the creepy, crawlies and all things natural. So we decided to do a trek in the Coorg district also referred to as ‘The Scotland Of India’. We chose the highest peak in the district, it’s called Tadianmol.
Suhas is an Human Resource professional in a multinational company but his heart is in the mountains. Sunita is a homemaker at the moment and the ideater of the family. Aarav is a bright home schooled boy who has just realised that there is a whole different world out there that needs to be experienced. You could also watch a video introduction here.
Highest peak in Coorg District at an altitude of 5735 feet. No permission required for the trek. No trekking fees.
Bangalore to Mysore to Madikeri to Kakkabe: 260kms. We drove to Mysore the previous day and halted. The following morning we drove to Coorg.
The starting point is about 4 kms from the Kakabe-Virajpet road. There is a board with all the rules and regulations at this point. The pathway is a broad mud road and properly marked with boards at regular interval. From the starting point to the Big Rock, the distance is 2.6 Km and is the first leg of the hike. We took an hour and found it quite easy.
From the Big rock the terrain changes and becomes more steep and rocky all the way till Tadianmol peak. The distance from Big Rock to Tadianmol Peak is 1.4 Km and this is the second leg of the hike. We found this part to be moderate-difficult and took 2 hours to reach the top.
Since this leg was steep and rocky, we had to be careful while placing the foot to avoid an ankle twist. Getting a foothold was difficult too because of loose soil in pockets. Going up was a tad bit easier then coming down. The feet would jam down the boots hurting the toes and put some pressure on the knees. Trimming toe nails and wearing thicker socks would have helped the foot during descent.
Camping at the peak is not allowed by the forest department. People still break the rules and try camping but, are asked to leave in the middle of the night by the patrolling officials. These rules have been introduced recently to keep a control over illegal activities and protect people from wildlife or should we say, protect wildlife from people! However, there is some camping space just after the start of the trek route.
There were no leeches on the way as the ground was quite dry, leeches don’t quite like dry space. There were a few at the camping ground as the area was under the shade of trees and moist. These were tiny leeches and easy to brush off. We kept checking ourselves and no leeches managed to make a meal out of us. Not even my nine year old son who was running around everywhere.
There is a home stay right at the start of the trek point. Food, water, cold drinks and stay is provided by them. One need not worry about carrying too much water or food from home as you can refill at this place.
We carried a tent, light quilts, sleeping air mats, air pillows, floor mat, food we could cook on fire, snacks, dry fruits, camp light, a machete and off course hiking boots.
Stuff that we carried for the hike: Three bottles of water (since we were three of us and Aarav needed more water, we ran short towards the end), dry fruits trail mix, bread, peanut butter, sneakers, hats / caps, biscuits and a floor mat.
Carry two bottles for each person. Little people need more water. We could not do a very good job of making the fire as the wood available was wet so we decided to get a small foldable camping stove and fuel cakes for the next trip. This is super simple and easy to carry.
Watch a four minute video we made of this trek and let us know in the comments below if you liked it. Hoping our blog post makes you realise that time is passing us all by and we need to do the things we love and introduce our children to adventure at an early age.