Monday, January 17, 2011

TMI Trek to Alang- Madan on 15th- 16th Jan '11.

Way back in manali, we planned for this trek. The plans and the dates were discussed with Vikram around a month ago; a few members got a slight hint about the plan and had confirmed their names for the event.

The event was put up on the net around 18-20 days prior to the main event, and it was decided that two technical ppl (myself and Vikram) will be handling this event... I was at my ease, as Vikram was to accompany and so it would have been easier to manage a group of 25 ppl together... We extended ourselves and agreed to take a response of 30.

But 2 days prior, Vikram got a project and got busy with his job. Now it was me, and me alone for the event... I surely had supporting hands of Apurva, Dilesh, Swapnil, yogesh, Manoj, Zeenat, Ravi, and other new members, but I still was a bit worried about the technical support... every one among these had technical knowledge, as they had already helped conducting waterfall Rappelling at vihi, but still I was a bit tensed.

The registrations were stopped at 30, and a few last moment cancellations took the count to 27.
Starting from home on Friday night, after a good dinner (chicken curry), we went till the station, to meet a few more already waiting there.

My list now showed 27, but the counting said it is 28.... Counted again, still one person extra??? Who is it?? How come?? We were amazed to see 1 more member joining us without registrations. Anyways, he was welcomed for the event.

My bag now weighed about 23-25 kgs, a normal weight for a trekker, in normal situation. But I was trekking after around 2 months, and the two months gap never saw me working out on my stamina. And the bag... I was with my fully loaded trek bag after a year.

3.00 AM: We got down from the local at the last stop, Kasara, where the jeeps were just waiting for us. Got in to the jeeps and started our journey towards Ambewadi, the base village for Alang –Madan -Kulang.

4.30 AM: we reached Ambewadi, the bags were unloaded from the vehicle roof, Introduction
round took place, the instructions were given, the breakfast packets were distributed, and the entries for the trek at the base village were done, and the trek started.

HINT for first timers: start as early as you can. And if the group is 20+, 6 am is a good time.

6.30 AM: Everyone started the move towards the forts. Some enthusiasts found it an easy climb, whereas a few were panting their way up. However 9.30 am saw everyone at the cave. It was a good time according to me to start for our next sessions... the one which I am best at..... EATING. I asked everyone to have a quick brunch as we would get late to return for lunch.

10.00 AM: we started our march towards Madangad from the traverse till the col. And then the tough open traverses of Madangad.

HINT: For any newbie, I would suggest not to attempt this traverse alone, try it only with experienced ppl around. Ropes and equipments are must for a safe climb.

Further we reached the rock patch where our guide had already ascended. I was the next person to climb, and I did so. It took me hardly a minute to do so... now this is an imp part when you are leading a group... make it look as easy as possible. This encourages others to face the challenge easily.

I climbed up the patch, the ropes were set, and the support belay was ready. Now it was time for others to climb... and so they started one by one... some left their shoes, some left down their jackets, and now there was a guy who left down his glasses... “Oh they are so heavy; I can’t climb with that extra weight.” Right Nikhil?

Climb on, explore the fort, and come back for Rappelling... this was the prog... but I saw a few crying faces, for their shoes. “Oh I won’t be able to walk...”and all.... however the shoes were pulled up the patch, where one shoe belonging to Mr Amod Ikhe left the group. I knew this is going to be a problem for me now.

The rappelling session started by 2.30 pm, and continued till 4.00. After rappelling I had to remove the ropes, coil them and move back to Alang. And I did so with only one shoe. Had already gave my shoes to Amod, and now it was time for me to go slowly, looking out for stones, thorns, etc on the way.

I, Ravi, Yogesh and Zeenat were the last to move out from that place... there were a few discussions on what next, few expert comments, and a few expectations. However the expectations failed very badly, when we heard that the other rope that was sent further for the next rock patch was not enough, and so a very few people had now climbed the fort. Now we had to hurry towards the Alang patch for the ropes now.

We reached the alang patch, but took a few spare minutes to full our tummies, as we all were having an idea about what is coming next. Next I reached the patch, climbed it and then others were pulled up one by one... every member of the group played their own expert role at this crucial time, and so the climbing was completed by 10.30.

This is a risky technical rock patch and one needs a regular rock climbing practice to ascend this.
2. No wood on the top of the fort, so you need to get along with you, from below the patch itself. Or even a gas cylinder can work for a smaller group.
3. A slippery patch with exposure on one side follows the rock patch. It needs to be climbed very carefully.

Reaching the top we went directly to the cave, and the food preparation started. The best person for the same was Apurva Bhasagare, accompanied by his assistants, Jhanvi and Komal.
No idea about others but I loved the food. Thanks Apu and the assistants for the delicious biriyani. Later it took me hardly 10 mins for the further instructions, and I was fast asleep by 12.30.

Wake up at 9 am, a quick exploration of the fort, Maggie and then the Chai in the morning was enough to freshen up things, and gear up for the forthcoming rappelling session. The first few people to rappel were those who would take time to trek down till the base village. With few good trekkers and our guides they started their descend by 1.30. the others followed them and the last group with experienced ones started at 4.30... it was 16th Jan, and we had our Marathon from Alang till the base village to be the first ones to reach the base village (not to forget my one shoe and one floater condition).

We had to skip our lunch here, as we would have missed our train otherwise, and so we had just some tea and biscuits, and started our journey back... it was full fun to sing Hindi and Marathi songs in the return journey... the drive till Kasara station was so awesome. Thanks to the driver who had put in all his efforts and helped us get the train. Had some snacks in the train, and continued our masti and the journey. Amod Still has some extra snack packets in his bag... Right Amod??

Reached home by 10.45....
(actually this travelogue of mine should end here, but the following sentence is for a few foodies out there, who surely are going to comment very badly on the same. right Adhar?)
Reached home by 10.45, and enjoyed fried lollypops, prawns, and then chicken curry for dinner.

Lastly apologies for the Sunday’s lunch, and other mistakes (if any).

Thanks every member on the event for a great company and support.

Thanks and Regards,
Nilesh Patil
Team TMI.


AXAY said...

And also in between that deadly steps on Alang fort climbing them under moon light was amazing experience.

vedicastrology said...

the cook of the group members should have reached the caves of alang first , and should have started prep. things, so that when all reach up one by one,, food would have been ready..
and its duty for the group leaders to wake ppl up for the sunrise,and should have accompanied to explore the fort fully,as the purpose of the trek is to enjoy the scenary, sunrise-sunset, and the explore the ruins of the fort and also to know its history..
technical assitance for the rock climb-descend was superb. if food arrangements were proper then trek would have been awesome..

Nilesh Patil said...

Thank you Shri...
the plans were just as you said... but....

anyways... thanks for the suggestions..

Nilesh Patil said...

yes Akshay... that was a grt experience.. and i had to do it thrice that night.
fatee experience and enjoyed the trek thoroughly.

ace_86 said...

It seems you are having more fun while writing this blog and talking about the food you had rather than the trek. time I am on trek with you...m gonna starve you for all the chicken I would bring. Enna Rascalla....Mind it!!!!!!

Mere Bager Chicken khana tujhe mehenga padega......


Nilesh Patil said...

ha ha ha.... i knew that Adhar..

smruti said...

Enjoyed the trek throughly...every moment of it.Last one year I dreamed for this trek even after the discouragement of lots of experienced trekkers.I determined to climb and descend with my backpack on.I amthankful to all the co-ordinators and all the participants for their love and support.I don't repeat the trek, but I will definitely repeat AMK again......


Yogi... Yo Rocks.. !! said...

Hey Nilesh.. well written.. coz of this, I completed online trek after long time.. :)

sppg said...

I missed the fun..:( Next time now. I want to do this trek with tmi only...:).

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