Saturday, June 30, 2007

I live today, to die another day!

This Saturday, an interesting trekking extravaganza awaited, in the form of the "Savandurga". The hill is believed to be among the largest monolith hills in the world. The hill rises to 1226 m above mean sea level and forms a part of the Deccan plateau.

Around 80 kms from Bangalore, it is located between the picturesque locales of Magadi & Ramanagaram. There are two routes to reach there - one through Magadi, and the other through Ramanagaram - the latter having better roads, though a bit longer.

A friend of mine & I reached the foothills of Savandurga by 10a and started climbing. Only information we had with us was the 'ten minute' research, right before leaving in the morning. And taking this little info as being more than enough, we declined the guide out there - and for the first half hour, we felt this was the biggest mistake we made. Unknown to the turf, and excited at the opportunity of trekking, I went ahead and started with the steep ascent area of the hill (later when I asked professional rock climbers about how that area should be ascended, they said it "should not be tried at all"!)

So I had started with the steep ascent, and after climbing for about 100 metres, I realized that the way down is IMPOSSIBLE (being so steep) - I felt a chill go through my spine when I tried to look down, and I knew I can not go down - the ascent ahead was almost vertical, and there I was, stranded. My hands were trying to cling onto anything, even thin air, and my feet were starting to fail me - the only way out was to take a parallel climb to reach the normal gradient (if it is parallel, can I call it a climb? But it was a climb only, because I was still on all fours, with my hands acting as my feet as well, trying to cling onto the hill). My feet started shivering, but I could see the target I had to reach. 20 minutes hence, and I could join my friend on the normal route. Hmmffff..

Can you locate someone on this pic!

Anyhow, going on - it is easy to climb, if you don't turn back & look for where you are. Thighs & ankles soon begin paining. It takes about two hours for amateurs to reach the top. Experts later told us that they took about forty minutes. We took one hundred minutes.

This pic was taken ten minutes into our pursuit - notice the target in the background.

There are such moments too, where you have to give your bit ;-)

The road less travelled!

And the view from the top.

While we reached summit, and were taking a good look at the surroundings, a few guys came up as well (and they have been experienced climbers). We took lots of cues and pointers from them, and have a few plans for trekking with their expert groups in coming weeks.

And while coming back, it took not more than 30 minutes, and that too, with intermittent chats of here and there with the expert kids we had met.

Well well, we did it - here we are, after out descent - relaxed now. Mission Accomplished!

Net net, an awesome experience. Rest of the pictures, I'll put on my itasveer account. If things go well, I guess more of such trips will be on the cards, in the coming times. And updates here, as always.

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