This Post is different from other posts on this blog, Remember I had made a goal, **Go on 12 Treks in 2023**.
Well, this is the first of many, introducing **Kudremukh**: A Novice Trekker's Journey to the Summit, this contains many beautiful experiences, pictures, ramblings, and how I prepared for it.

It was the 13th of January, I was a little bit sad because I couldn't go to Kerala with my cousin due to some personal reasons, I was looking around some sites to take a break and enjoy nature, was browsing **Plan the Unplanned** and they had a great collection of treks over there, I thought to go to **Netravati Trek** once the Internals ends [solo trip tho].

A couple of days later my friend asked me If I was interested in the Kuduremukh trek on the same day as the netravati trek which I had planned solo, Now I knew that Kuduremukh is not easy to do and it is challenging as well, took a couple of days to research more about it, I finally decided that going with friends is better than a solo trip and thought to go to Kuduremukh Trek.

I had little experience in trekking thus I knew I needed some sort of preparation before climbing the peak, the whole week I was hitting the gym for leg workouts, and I even went running the 5KM REPUBLIC DAY marathon getting my glute muscles stronger before the trek, I would advise gaining some form before going to the trek as it prepares the body for trek condition.

It was Friday finally, F\*cked my FAFL Intenals and headed straight to home, packed my bag, [here]( you can find what you should take to trek, packed some ORS, dry fruits, and coconut water.

The bus picked me up at 10:15 from Yeshwantpur [in front of my home lol], got into the bus it was filled up, found an empty seat near the first row, went there and sat.

After 20 minutes the bus driver stopped for a chai-sutta break [I don't do sutta lol, but I do chai :)], put my bags in the dickey picked up a water bottle, phone charger [charging spot was just in front of me] and eye cover band.

We left Bengaluru around 11, and as the bus swerved through the narrow roads of the ghats, I was a little awake. Despite the bumpy ride, I couldn't help but appreciate the mutual trust between the passengers and the bus driver. The unspoken agreement that the driver would get us safely to our destination was a beautiful display of mutual respect and understanding. I tried to close my eyes and tried to settle back into sleep, The bright headlights of the vehicles on the opposite side of the road brightly lit up the interior of the bus.

It was already 5 AM, and we reached mulodi, a taluka in Chikkamagaluru, this is where Kuduremukha is situated, The organisers had arranged for a tata tempo. As the Tata Tempo picked us up from Mulodi, I couldn't help but shiver in the cold. My breath was visible in the air, and I hugged myself for warmth. Despite the early hour and the chilly temperature, I was filled with excitement for the day ahead. The steep and curvy roads were a test for the vehicle, but the ride was made fascinating by the stunning views of the night sky above us. With the stars shining bright and the moon casting a warm glow, The bumpy ride was a small price to pay for the privilege of witnessing such natural beauty.

We reached the homestay after a bumpy ride of 15 minutes out in the cold, The homestay was a house, and we went to the atta [top floor] of the house. The atta was filled with beds, and my team quickly claimed our spot. The trek guide advised us to get some rest if we needed it and also told us not to pack any single plastic bag, but I was far too wired from the night's journey. I washed up, feeling the cold water jolt me awake and chase away any sleepiness. By 6:30, I was fully dressed and ready for breakfast. I had packed 3 litres of water bottles one filled with ORS, one filled with glucose and the last one was pure water. The chill of the early morning was still in the air, but I was excited and eager for the adventures to come. The breakfast, the beautiful views, and the excitement of the trek ahead all added to the thrill of the moment, and I couldn't wait to take on the day.

The breakfast was served at 7, It was idli and potato sambar in their style. Although the idli and sambar didn't quite meet my expectations I still managed to eat a considerable amount to fuel me for the day ahead. I added a couple of bread slices and a banana for extra energy and was ready to start the trek. The trek guide gathered us near the veranda and introduced everyone, offering advice and instructions for the trek. As the youngest member of the group, I was a little nervous.
We finally set off, first climbing to the Kuduremukha base camp for bag checks and fee payments, which were handled by the trek guides. It was finally time to officially start the kuduremukha trek.

Starting the trek with a high josh, I was eager to see what was ahead. The first hour of the trek was a forest trail, with flatter terrain. **The changing weather - sunny, rainy, breezy, and chilly** all at once - was a new experience for me and added to the excitement of the journey. The stunning scenery was a constant source of awe, and I couldn't help but snap some pictures to capture the moment. The first hour of the trek was a fantastic introduction to the trail, setting up the stage for the adventures to come.

After an hour the trial started to change dramatically, inclines oh god, I still remember those steep inclines looking over and wondering how to climb, I honestly don't know how I climbed the steep incline. It was exhausting and body-breaking [at least for me]. I was gasping for air in the middle of the climb, I think the past one hour of the trek was a preparation for this steeeeeep.

## Streams in between the trail

This trek has several water streams which one should cross carefully, when you pass through the stream the cold air hits you from the water it is an amazing feeling.


<center> one of the water stream</center>
## Ontimara View Point

After a rough climb of 2,2-1/2 hours, I reached the vontimara viewpoint which is marked as a halfway [a local guide told me], I slept on the bench as I struggled to gasp for the air and tried to enjoy the beautiful scenic view. It was vast meadows in front of me which had brownish shade as well, This view was so rewarding, I spent around 10-15 minutes in this spot and also ate some energy bar and continued with the trail.

This is only the trek where the peak is visible from the trial [found on google], which was worrying me 'will I be able to reach the top' I kept wondering all along the trek.

As I continued on the trek, I came across a clear stream of water coming directly from the mountains. This water energised me more than anything I had that day, I filled my bottles and washed my face as well, it felt like ice.

When there were 3Kms left to the summit,


I encountered a steep incline that seemed to go on forever, was looking over the head and sun and wondering how to climb this man, thinking "I'll be really lucky If I reach the summit" all these thoughts started to come across my mind. I sat near the incline drank 100ml of ORS, and 100ml of water then ate a half protein bar and also ate some sprouts [thanking dad for this]. Somehow I was able to regather all of my lost energy and started to climb, in no time I had already climbed up to the top of the incline. [Key is to rehydrate and re-energise yourself perodically].

Now it was all about walking some flat terrain and some incline to the summit, I started to go slowly as I wanted to savour the natural beauty out there, here are some snaps.


Finally, I encountered another water stream just down the last steep from the summit, I eagerly went there and splashed the cold water on my face and also filled up the bottles. [I drank around 5lts of water]. Now It was all about climbing the last steep, believe me, it's the hardest steep in the trial overall [maybe because of body fatigue or exhaustness], I took around 15 minutes to climb it. Finally, I saw a peek of the Indian Flag that was hosted on the peak, my mind was telling me "You did it!", and yes I had conquered the second highest and hardest trek in Karnataka just like that.

I reached the summit at 12:15 PM.


  This was what I was looking like when I reached the summit :) [Thanks Vishal
  for the pic]

It was an amazing feeling to finally reach the summit after all the hard work and perseverance. The breathtaking views from the top were the reward for all the effort put in. The heat was scorching but nothing could dampen my spirits. The taste of the puliyogere packed by the homestay was heavenly, or maybe it was just my exhaustion and hunger talking, but it truly was a moment to savour. The countless snaps we took will serve as a reminder of this incredible journey for years to come.

Puliyogere, Clouds and what better view you can have to eat your lunch :)




<center>The team at Summit :)</center>

Despite the sense of accomplishment, I felt, I knew I still had to be careful while I was getting down. I couldn't let my guard down just yet, but I was grateful for having made it this far. This trek was truly a test of my limits and I was proud to have conquered it. The memories of this trek will stay with me forever, and I can't wait to embark on more such adventures in the future.

All of us started to descent from the summit around 1 PM [we should hike the same way back], and it was naturally harder than I thought because we were trekking on a muddy trail and I did not have hiking shoes yet [got to know why hiking shoes are important], The mud was loose and it was cracking the moment we stepped on it. [The trick is to step on the rocks, ofc it'll hurt but this is only the tradeoff you can get instead of sliding down the hills]. All of my friends formed a chain and were trying to get down the trial.

I met some amazing peeps, experienced trekkers, and local guides too, I chatted them up to distract from my body ache, and surprisingly they also chatted with me giving me some motivation to reach the base camp. I was far too exhausted while I still had around 3kms to reach the base camp, I came across a water stream and I dipped my feet in it, let me tell you it was a natural ice bath and fish spa [if you ever had it]. My legs were feeling jolly after this. I refreshed myself and continued descending. Finally saw the base camp roof, I was overjoyed with myself and my mind was screaming "YOU DID IT MF". I rushed to the base camp and took a look at the time, It was only 4:15, and I was honestly surprised with myself.


<center>You can sense a proud feeling in me :)</center>

I slept on the bare floor in the base camp, it was the best short nap I ever had, took some snaps and finally headed to the homestay. Took bath in hot water to reduce muscle soreness, and drank a Red Bull.

The trek guides had organised a Firecamp and it was a perfect excuse to heat your legs [it reduces chances of getting muscle soreness, the next day]. I heated my legs to 11 PM and hit the bed.


The next day we were on a bus back to Bengaluru, While cruising along the highway The past two days flashed in front of me, the ghat section, the sweetest water out from the mountains itself, and who can forget the lush green meadows with a splash of brown, and their kissing with the clouds, these were more than rewarding that what I had originally asked for :)

It was an amazing experience, a journey full of challenges and discoveries, a true test of my physical and mental strength. As I looked back, I was filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment, for having pushed my limits and for making it to the summit of Kuduremukha

Thanks to everyone who was there with me to motivate me along the Journey.

> The Best View Comes After the Hardest Climb