It's the season to scale Kalsubai, and mountaineers Anusha Subramanian and Kuntal Joisher are here to help you prep
Within the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary lies Maharashtra's highest peak — Kalsubai, brimming with flora, fauna and endless pastures that promise the perfect idyllic escape. Come monsoon and the undulating Western Ghats is covered in a sheath of green, making it an even more desirable choice for holidaying.
The view of Kalsubai peak for ascending trekkers
Standing tall at 5,400 feet, Kalsubai's "Everest" image draws scores of trekkers. According to mountaineer and writer Anusha Subramanian, it is a fairly doable one, too.
"You have to begin at the base village which is 150 km away from Mumbai. After walking through the village, there will be some muddy trails. Steel railings have been placed on the trail now to make things easier. One must be careful while manoeuvring the narrow rock-cut steps," Subramanian shares.
However doable the trek might be there are some dos and don'ts. "It is important to always take a guide or a local along, especially for first-timers. It might be sensible to adhere to the buddy system as well where everyone walks in pairs," she says. The professional mountaineer also recommends research and reading before a trek so as to understand the terrain and its challenges.
The iconic temple of Kalsubai. Pic/ Julius Gomes
Respect the wilderness
There are two ways to go about a trek — sign up for a package tour or head out on your own. For Kuntal Joisher, a vegan mountaineer who has scaled the actual Everest, it's the former approach that one must be careful about. "It's very important to check the credentials of the group you sign up with. Are they equipped to carry out a rescue? Do they have proper medical back-up? Do they have contacts in the village? One must take note of these things," Joisher suggests, pointing out that anything untoward can happen at any moment ranging from heavy rainfall to stepping on a reptile.
Speaking of the commonality of accidents and rescue operations being carried out in the region, Joisher says that it's better to be safe than sorry and that while he encourages people to head out and explore nature, it is imperative to be careful while doing so.
"It's best to be prepared if you don't want to end up as a statistic in the newspaper. Don't go with the mindset of going for a picnic but instead with that of going into the wildnerness, and respect it," he says.
Your chance to scale Kalsubai
Experience a one-day trek and explore the summit and other peaks there through the day. Gorge on vegetarian meals while you enjoy the rain in the company of fellow globetrotters.
ON August 4 and 5, 11 am
MEETING POINT Pritam Hotel, Dadar East.
Cost Rs 1,300
This moderately difficult trek is suited to the needs of thrill seekers. The duration is longer, so you can take your own sweet time soaking in the pulchritude of the Sahaydris. What's more? Breakfast, evening snacks and guidance by certified mountaineers.
ON August 15, 6 am
MEETING POINT Pritam Hotel, Dadar East
LOG ON TO instamojo.com
Cost Rs 1,999
Enjoy the perfect chill Sunday with this day trek that digs deeper into the history and mystery of the peak. Subsume in the panoramic views or fuel up after the long walk with food prepared by local villagers before departing for Mumbai again.
ON August 5 meeting point Pritam Hotel, Dadar East
COST Rs 800 to Rs 1,200
Subramanian's dos and don'ts
- Carry at least 2 to 3 litres of water and extra clothes.
- Immediately inform someone if you're feeling uneasy and stop to take rest.
- Don't walk with headphones on because you wouldn't know if someone's calling out for help or if you start walking on the wrong trail.
Joisher's dos and don'ts
- Carry a whistle and torch at all points. One can manage without water and other amenities but these two items are necessary for seeking out help during an emergency.
- Dress in full-length clothes to be protected from snake bites and UV rays.
- Don't take crazy selfies, especially during the monsoon when moss on boulders make them very slippery.
- Don't litter. Carry reusable containers for water and snacks to abstain from disposing plastic.
- Carry electrolyte and keep sipping through the course to stay energised and avoid cramps.
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