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50th Event - Kudremukh (58Kms in 2 Days)

This trek did mark a milestone in the history of BTC as this was the 50th event! And I call myself damn lucky to be one among these wonderful organizers. The only lacuna was we missed Meghraj, Shruti, Kiruba and Dinesh who couldn't make it for this event.

Day 1: Our plan was to leave on Friday night at 10.30pm from Majestic. We waited till everybody arrived. Anthony was stuck badly in the traffic and Santhosh was probably trekking from his place! After these guys made their royal arrival our driver of the TT began his drive. Santhosh offered us Channa chat (Not our dear organiser Channa :-D) and carrot halwa. We all ate and then Viru played us the movie Andaas apna apna.. We watched for some time and soon fell asleep. Thanks to Chaitanya for sacrificing his sleep and watching over the driver for driving safe to Kudremukh. We reached the place at around 5.30am.
Day 2: It was still dark like night. Viru then said we gotta reach to our homestay by 7, which was up the hill about 7km. I was thinking it would only take 15mins in our TT, but the point was we were trekking from the base! I didn't have a backpack, had a tube bag (obviously loaded) so my head was spinning, how would I trek with such huge bag up the hill. Viru was kind enough to help me with it (thanking him with just words is just not enough). 
We reached our homestay by 7ish. This place was run by Rajappa. We had to get fresh as the plan was to visit Lakhya Dam, Gangamula and Hanumangundi waterfalls.  Ajita and Sushma were really hungry I suppose they heard the hens singing to them as "Pakao Pakao mujhe"  Rajappa probably sensed that and was quick enough to serve us breakfast before his hens could get disappear and become the breakfast! Breakfast was rice kadubu with sambhar and chutney. We clicked snaps and then started to trek down to the base. The walk was so soothing, crossing many small streams, walking through the mud trails between the coffee plantations was as refreshing as sipping a freshly brewed coffee. 
We then hit the roads in our TT and visited Lakhya Dam. The dam didn't have any water but was a perfect place for our beautiful photos. The view of the Kudremukh hills from here was a visual treat. Clicked loads of snaps. Anthony had a wardrobe malfunction during the photshoot but still he was cool enough to carry it off through out the day (:-D)  Before proceeding to Gangamula we had sugracane juice which was just cane juice (literally sugarless) and then went to Gangamula, we had our first encounter with leeches. It was just a warm up for next day. We also clicked snaps infront of Kadambi falls which was on the way. Spent time at Hanumangundi waterfalls.

We then went to meet the forest authority to seek permission for trekking in the Kudremukh hills. Not only this place had won our hearts but even the Forest range officer had won our hearts (particularly one sweet heart :-P) 
We then travelled back in TT. Before trekking back to the homestay we got into the waters and played till evening. Ruwise exhibited his swimming skills (i.e to keep swimming and still not move ahead a feet :-P) It started to rain and we decided to get back to the homestay. The rain got heavier and with almost no light we reached our homestay by 7.30. We had dinner and then we had our organisers meet talk. Am sure this talk was beneficial to improvise and make BTC the best! We all slept soon.

Day 3: Woke up by 5, got ready and left by 7.30. Suresh ( Definitely not Ramesh's bro from 5 star ad ) was our guide and also carried our lunch. We began our trek. Many start a good event with a prayer or by making a wish, but couple of us made a start with a fall! (To get blessings of mother earth to trek strong :-P) I was aware that monsoon treks implies trekking in rain and leech but little did I know that the entire stretch was to fiddle with leeches. The rule to escape these creatures was to just RUN, don't stop to check them ( as you would end up with double number of leeches on to your legs when you are trying to get rid of one)
The expression when you look around was "Wow! BEAUTIFUL" and when you look down "Yuck Blood suckers" (Trust me girls!  leech bites are no way close to those Vampire family Cullen's from Twilight, if you had ever dreamt off having one! And yes after the bite you don even turn into a vampire :-P) The leeches were literally performing leech dance through out the path, just waiting for us to walk across and instantly they would climb on to your legs. Channa came up with an idea of inviting special shoes with 'wipers' to get rid of the leeches, while Ruwise constantly kept screaming " Don't shit (sit) guys! Keep running!" While Ajita sang duet with leeches, "Jaathi hoon main" leeches sung " Jaldi hain kya", while Abhishek was contesting for the maximum number of slips and myself for the maximum number of falls (Of-course! I had totally fallen for Kudremukh ;-))
Anywhere you look it was lush green, there was occasional rain which kept us company most of the time. By 11.15 we reached the top of the hill! The trek what seemed like forever, we had just made it! Even the guide acknowledged that we were the fastest trekking group ever climbed Kudremurkh peak and the group which he had accompanied yesterday had quit half the way. So it was like everybody personal record, Kudremukh trek done in just 3hrs! Now it was time for some energy loading! Suresh our guide had got us Chitranna which was just yummm!  It was time for our photoshoot! Kept clicking and clicking! (I just wonder what if this was not the era of digital cameras, having just 36 clicks on a small film!) The weather was totally foggy and absolutely no glimpse of the sun. I have always felt Sangamesh has a creative eye, this time he felt that the Kudremukh hills were smoking! So they must be banned from BTC (which is against Rules of BTC) 
After spending sufficient amount of time we started to descend. It was again the game of "Leeches on the mountain run run run" Our fast express Viru, Sush and Abhishek reached our homestay by 2.45 and rest of us by 3ish. At the homestay everyone displayed their scars of victory! (Leech bites) and unanimously it was Chaitu who was the winner with 36 bites and Ajita, Abhishek, Channa were the guys with no bites. Channa' s secret was salt, Abhishek' s was to shampoo (on shoes, not hair) and Ajita's secret to repell leeches is still a secret :-P 
We then started to pack, had tea like water and gulped hot onion bajjis. We decided to take a jeep instead of trekking down. Five of us left first as we wanted to get into the waters, the jeep ride was as adventurous as our trek, bumpy drive with super loud hindi songs! We got into the waters, splashed at each other. Played breath  holding under water competition. It was almost evening and we boarded our TT, ate our dinner at Kalasa. Started to Bangalore. Many of us did have leeches in our dreams, the variant was Ruwise dreamt of white leeches. Chaitu had started missing his Tiger leeches which were his new friends!
With green memories of the horse face hill we reached Bangalore on Monday morning :) Thanks to one and all for making this first organizers trek cum meet a success! Hoping for more challenging treks :)

Written By            : Deepthy Jagadish
Organized By        : Virander Sirohi
Organizers Count  : 11
Date of event        : 12th & 13th Oct, 2013
Place                    : Kudremurkh
Pictures                : Chaitanya, Santosh, Ruwise

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